From signature cocktails to locally brewed beers, the party portion of a wedding has become a highly sophisticated affair. But where to start? Here, Laura Johnson, founder of San Diego’s forthcoming You & Yours Distilling Co., and the folks behind Vista’s Booze Brothers Brewing Co. reveal how to make your boozy bash the best.
By Lisa Butterworth
1. Choose a cocktail with significance.
A signature cocktail is a great way to placate the liquor-loving crowd without blowing your budget on a full bar. Just make sure it’s meaningful—like reprising the drink you shared on your first weekend away together!
2. Call in the experts.
Work with a fabulous cocktail-centric caterer (like San Diego’s Barçon or Snake Oil Co.) to create a unique, custom cocktail or two. Offer guests hand-lettered drink recipe cards with your names and the date of your wedding.
3. Give some location love.
If your celebration is far away, incorporate spirits from your closest hometown distillery as a little nod to your provenance. Does your destination locale have a craft distillery scene? Mini bottles of a local spirit make great favors.
4. Gauge your crowd.
Everyone in Southern California seems to love a strong IPA, but at a wedding, you’ve got to please the masses. Make sure to have a mellow option available—blondes, Belgian wits, and ambers are safe bets.
5. Keep it craft.
Yes, you’ve got to appeal to your general guest list, but we recommend sidestepping major corporate brews like Coors Light or Budweiser. At weddings, craft beer is way better! (Despite what your uncle from North Dakota thinks.)
6. Consider the booziness.
When ordering beer, especially for an open bar, it’s important to keep the ABV (alcohol by volume) in mind. A double IPA or heavy stout might make your guests sloppy; session or standard IPAs and brown ales are a smarter move.