Monday, 31 July 2017

Wedding Cocktails: Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue

Picking the perfect cocktails for your wedding can be tricky, but I love the idea of picking four to suit a variety of tastes and to add an extra special touch: something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue cocktails!

The four below (plus other suggestions) all use really accessible ingredients, so it should be easy for your wedding planning team or bar staff to create, and the cocktails can keep flowing all day and all night.

Just a tip - make sure you try all of your wedding cocktails in advance. Buy all of the ingredients so you can have a lovely little cocktail night with your nearest and dearest (basically, the main wedding party) and sample all the ideas first. You want to make sure you really love them, after all.

Something Old

There are tons of options here. An old-fashioned? If you're a bit of a vintage/Gatsby fan you might enjoy a gin rickey or a julep. Or you can plump for something serious old but super refreshing: the Tom Collins.
Photo: Evan Mackay (CCL)

It's supposed to date back to the mid-1800s, and it's also speculated that it has something to do with the Tom Collins Hoax in 1874, where people would convince their friends a phantom bloke called Tom Collins was lurking around and talking about them behind their back.

It's a pretty easy one to make so your bar staff won't struggle - and if you want more inspiration, have a look at this Classic Cocktails book (£10.99, Foyles)

Tom Collins recipe (serves one, multiply as necessary)


  • 40ml gin
  • 20ml lemon juice
  • 10ml simple syrup
  • Soda water, to top up

Shake it!

1. Build the gin, lemon juice and simple syrup in a highball (or Collins) glass over plenty of ice. Give it a good stir.
2. Top up with soda water and stir again.
3. Garnish with lemon or orange slices.

Something New

This is my favourite of the four, because you get a chance to be really creative. If you want to be uber-trendy, find a cocktail with the season's hottest new ingredients (right now it's good quality vermouth, mezcal and cacacha, or vegetables like celery and cucumber) or you can come up with your own creation based on what you like best.

That's what I've done with this cocktail, and it's ridiculously simple and tasty, plus one of the prettiest I've ever, ever created. Feel free to steal it for your big day (just raise a glass to Vinspire!):

The Bouquet Bloom and the Bouquet Blush recipe
(serves one, multiply to suit)


  • 100ml sparkling wine
  • 20ml elderflower liqueur (I can't recommend Chase Elderflower Liqueur enough - and it's only £19 at Waitrose!)
  • 1/4 tsp rose water
  • To make the blush: either 1/4 tsp grenadine (which adds a touch of sweetness) or use pink fizz.
  • Edible petals, to garnish

Shake it!

1. Add the elderflower liqueur and rose water to a champagne flute. Give it a stir.
2. Top up with the sparkling wine.
3. If required, add a quarter of a teaspoon of grenadine to create the pink effect. Plop it right in the centre of the glass and it should sink to the bottom and create a slightly layered pink effect.
4. Pop the petal on top.

Something Borrowed

The best advice I can give on this front is to give a classic cocktail a personalised twist. There's plenty of options - a 'Just Married' Julep, a Bridal Bellini, a Groom Gimlet etc. I've gone with a newlywed negroni because it's a nice contrast to the other flavours I've used for these four.

The recipe is actually known by another name - the Negroni Sbagliato - and is a popular new twist on this classic cocktail. It was created when a waiter mistakenly picked up a bottle of fizz rather than gin (sbagliato means 'mistake' in Italian) when making a negroni. I chose it because wedding = bubbles.

Photo: Jeremy Brooks (CCL)
Newlywed Negroni (Negron Sbagliato) recipe 
(serves one, multiply to suit)


  • 50ml sparkling wine
  • 25ml campari (currently only £15.50 at Tesco)
  • 25ml martini rosso

Shake it!

1. Fill an old-fashioned glass or tumbler with ice (crushed or small cubes, depending on your preference.)
2. Top with the campari, martini and sparkling wine, and stir gently.
3. Garnish with lemon or lime.

Something Blue

There are a few options when it comes to blue cocktails - the violet liqueur we used recently creates a delicious, easy one with lime and soda - but blue curacao is coming back into fashion with a bang.

I always find it works best with tropical flavours, but I'd keep the glass dainty and small, both to keep it looking pretty and also because this can be quite sickly, and your guests might only want a glass or two.
Photo: Innisfree Hotels (CCL)

Something Blue cocktail recipe
(serves one)


  • 30ml blue curacao (currently only £8 at Sainsbury's)
  • 30ml Malibu or coconut vodka
  • 50ml pineapple juice
  • 10ml lemon juice

Shake it!

1. Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker over ice.
2. Shake it like the bride on the dancefloor.
3. Strain into a champagne saucer or small wine glass.
4. Garnish with a straw - maraschino cherry optional!

What would your four wedding cocktails be? Tell us in the comments!

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