So today I wanted to share with you the recipes I created for our wedding last summer. We had these cocktails and soft drinks during cocktail hour as we wanted an informal vibe and to give people plenty of options. (We also had a variety of beers, ciders and soft drinks in ice buckets for people to help themselves too.) Getting everything in ourselves proved much more cost effective than having the caterers provide alcohol and it was more personalised to us. We collected jam jars and had these furnished with paper straws ready for people to use for their drinks.
These recipes are easy to put together and taste delicious. We had so many compliments on these drinks on the day so of course we wanted to share them with you guys.
These recipes were designed for 7 litre dispensers but you can scale up or down for different sizes.
This is great cocktail for blokes who might normally shy away from drinking “girly” cocktails. #eyeroll The bourbon gives a little warmth to the drink and the aromatic rosemary adds a subtle flavour which means this drink is actually great in autumn and winter but it totally works all year round.
Still Lemonade – 4L (I like the cloudy real lemon variety but feel free to replace with whatever your favourite is)
Bourbon – 1L (we used Jim Beam but again feel free to replace with your favourite variety)
Lemon rounds – (2 lemons, cut into round slices)
Rosemary sprigs (1/2 a pack)
Pour 4 litres of lemonade into dispenser, add 1 litre of bourbon, lemon slices and rosemary – then stir to mix. Top with ice until dispenser almost full. Stir again. Close lid.
A classic mojito! What’s not to love?! Some people (my hubby) like the crunch of brown sugar in their mojitos but I wouldn’t advise including this in your dispenser as it can easily clog up the tap, if you have the time rimming the glasses with brown sugar would be a great touch.
Mint – x2 packs – stalks removed
Limes – x20 cut into wedges
Sugar syrup – 1L sugar syrup (Gomme) –
Side note: this is easy enough to make but to save energy we used Monin Gomme Syrup which you can find online or in specialist drinks shops, it usually comes in 70cl bottles.
White rum – 1.5L (we used Bacardi Carta Blanca but you can substitute with whatever your favourite white rum happens to be)
Soda water – 3L
Add the soda. Squeeze half of the limes into the dispenser getting out as much juice as possible then throw the remains in too. Add the mint (removing any large stalks beforehand) and stir. Add sugar syrup (gomme) and remaining limes gently squeezing each wedge so some juice is released but they don’t entirely lose their shape. Stir again. Add the rum. Stir. Top with ice until dispenser almost full and gently stir again. Close lid.
Raspberry & rose water cooler:
This cocktail probably went down the best of all at the wedding. It’s something a bit different to what you’d find on a standard cocktail menu and the delicate flavours come together to create a really romantic feeling drink with a delightful scent. The raspberries will sink to the bottom of the dispenser and the strawberries will float to the top, making an interesting visual display.
Vodka – 70cl (we used Smirnoff Red Label but any vodka will work)
Chambord – 70cl (Chambord raspberry liqueur may not be available in all supermarkets but you should be able to find it online or from specialist drinks shops)
Juice of 4 Limes – (use juice only)
Rose water – 100ml (you may be able to find this in supermarkets, health shops or only)
Gomme (x4 tablespoons)
Soda water – 4L
Fresh Raspberries – 1 pack (alternatively you could use frozen raspberries)
Fresh strawberries – 1 pack cut into halves
Edible flowers – 2 small handfuls (this part is totally optional)
Add half of the soda water (2L). Add vodka and Chambord to the dispenser. Carefully squeeze juice of limes into dispenser, try to avoid any pulp falling in. Discard remains of limes. Gently stir. Add x4 tablespoons of Gomme (sugar syrup). Stirring as you do so. Add 100ml rose water. Stir again. Add the rest of the soda water (2L), raspberries, strawberries and edible flowers. Stir gently. Top with ice until dispenser almost full and gently stir again. Close lid.
Gin & Tonic:
This classic does what it says on the tin! A crowd pleaser for sure. Make a big batch like this to save making endless drinks at your next party. We used Gordons for the version below with lemons but have also tried Hendricks with cucumbers instead of lemon which is very yummy. You could try Bombay Sapphire with lemon or lime or pink gin with orange slices is a great twist, we’d throw some frozen mixed berries into the pink gin version too.
Gin – 1L
Tonic – 4L
Lemon wedges (4 lemons)
Pour 4 litres of tonic into dispenser, add 1 litre of gin. Stir. Gentle squeeze approx half of the lemon wedges into the dispenser before putting them in. Put the remaining fruit in without squeezing. Top with ice until dispenser almost full. Stir again. Close lid.
Elderflower Fizz (soft drink):
This is refreshing and delicious drink is a great option if you want to offer a soft drink that feels a bit more adult. It’s the perfect option for those who are pregnant, those who abstain from alcohol for whatever reason or kids who want to feel a bit more grown up.
Elderflower cordial – 1L (we used Blossom Cottage Elderflower Cordial but any variety will do)
Soda water – 4L
Strawberries 1 pack – cut into halves (optional)
Pour 4 litres of soda water into dispenser, add 1 litre of elderflower cordial. Stir gently. Add the strawberries. Top with ice until dispenser almost full. Stir again. Close lid.
Cucumber water (soft drink):
This is so cost effective but so much more interesting than just water. For an extra twist add mint.
X1 Cucumber cut into rounds
X5L Mineral water
Chop one whole cucumber into rounds. Half fill dispenser with ice. Add cucumber and top with mineral water. Stir & close lid.
Don’t forget to be the perfect hosts you should offer other drinks as well as some people just don’t like cocktails (we think they’re bonkers but that’s their choice!) an easy to solution is to fill ice buckets with a variety of beers, ciders and soft drinks.
We hope you have fun trying out these recipes this summer!
If you are searching for bespoke recipes for your wedding or event then get in touch as we can create bespoke recipes unique to you. Also get in touch if you are looking to hire dispensers, ice buckets or jam jars (decorated and undecorated versions available) as everything you see pictured is available to hire.