How to Create Your Perfect Signature Cocktail

By Amy Cabaniss with Julep’s New Southern Cuisine

Couples are getting creative these days when it comes to wedding beverages. Outside of the typical beer and wine, many are choosing to offer creative craft cocktails/mocktails for their guests. Are you looking to offer something memorable and delicious? Here are some tips:

First, you’ll want to consider the liquor.
How many do you want to use? Would you like to use a nationally-known brand or include something that is distilled locally? Does it make more sense to use a flavored liquor or liqueur? Knowing what you want for the overall taste of the drink will help you decide. And of course, it’s always best to go premium regardless of what you choose. If you are hoping to save some money, do this with your other ingredients, not your liquor!

Next, decide on your additives.
Do you want it to be sweet or fruity? Are there seasonal flavors that you want to feature? What about any spices or herbs? The options really are endless, but you will want to be sure that whatever you choose marries well together (no pun intended).

Go the extra mile to make it special.
Once you have established the flavors of your drink, consider how it is presented. Are there visually interesting garnishes to be included? What about the choice of glassware? Short glasses versus champagne flutes make a big difference! Would it be helpful for guests if you displayed the ingredients in your drink, or are they self-explanatory? You can also create a fun name for the cocktail so that guests can order it by name.

Do a mock trial.
Just like food or cake, the last thing you want to do is serve something that you think is delicious, but is actually too bitter/sweet/etc. Be sure to do a mock trial of your selected beverages, especially if you’re not familiar with the recipe already. This is key to making sure your extra efforts of creating signature cocktails is executed without any issues.

Still having trouble? Leave it to the experts.
If you’re still having trouble coming up with something fun that reflects your personality or theme of your wedding day, consult a professional mixologist, your favorite local bartender or your selected caterer/bar staff.

Julep’s New Southern Cuisine is one of Richmond’s top upscale restaurants, offering quality service, creative and seasonal cocktails made with local ingredients and Southern dishes inspired by Atlanta, Charleston, New Orleans, and Savannah cuisine. For more information visit