There’s only one way to make our G & T and that’s what my husband and I chose to serve everybody at our wedding (for the record – Tanqueray, Schweppes, lots of fresh lime, ice). But that’s where we ended the service of gin.
We’re often asked whether or not spirits should be included at weddings and as a general bar item, our advice is no. In our experience spirits can be the tipping point from happy and fun guests to messy and belligerent guests, and no one wants the latter. Also, and always importantly, it’s significantly more cost effective to stick with beer and wine rather than introducing spirits and mixers, offering a gin, vodka, whisky and bourbon can seriously blow the budget.
However, you can of course use spirits for something a little unique and fun – like my G & Ts which were served trayed to all of our guests immediately after the ceremony. I love champagne but only the really good stuff and there was no way I had the budget to serve French plonk to 100 people so we went with our signature drink – an afternoon gin. Our guests thought it was really different, very ‘us’ and thoroughly enjoyed the change.
We’ve had clients come up with great ideas for a signature beverage option and we are more than happy to assist – from a vintage themed whisky bar (or whiskey, depending on your preference!), an arrival cocktail matching the wedding colour theme, coffees with a shot of liqueur, a trayed glass of limoncello, port or brandy as a digestive or a scoop of ice cream served with a drizzle of home-infused damson plum vodka. We’re all particularly partial to the ‘cocktail sorbet’ served later in the evening too.
The key is to do it well and keep it limited. It’s a treat, a one-off little number to add to the sense of occasion. After our G & T, our guests enjoyed beer and wine until we rounded out the evening with an Amarula hot chocolate served in old-school enamel mugs with homemade spiced marshmallow. Amarula is a cream liqueur made from the African Marula tree, which incidentally (and rather romantically) is called the Marriage tree by locals. If you’ve never had it, I highly recommend it, it is off-the-hook good. My husband and I were served it in a camping ground in Tanzania but that’s a whole other story….
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