Photos by Sean Gasser

Three signature cocktail ideas for taking a wedding bar to the next level

In the newly released 2023 inRegister Weddings issue, event planner Angela DiVincenti Babin of Angela Marie Events & Florals brought together three scenes for bar setups that take the often-forgotten space and make it a wedding reception focal point. From wallpapered panels to spray-painted baby’s breath to floral displays that are carried all the way to the floor, each bar utilizes unexpected elements to make a big impact.

However, while the aesthetics of the bar are important, what’s equally important are the drink selections behind the bar—and some ordinary beer and wine just won’t do. Katherine Roberts of @cocktails_with_katherine came up with three signature cocktail ideas that rise to the level of the bars’ presentation. Her pro tip: You don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Choose a classic, crowd-favorite cocktail and rename it to fit your theme or something about you as a couple.

Read on for the recipes and check out this story from the 2023 Weddings issue for a look at the corresponding bar scenes.

In Bloom: Hugo Spritz

“The golden hues of the St. Germain and sparkling wine complement the elegance of the chinoiserie jars and full hydrangeas,” Roberts says. “The sprig of mint is a lovely pop against the blue and white, as well as an aromatic delight for the guest.”

3 to 4 mint leaves
¼ oz. lime juice
1½ oz. St. Germain
4 oz. sparkling wine
Sparkling water
Mint sprig
Muddle mint leaves in a glass with lime juice. Strain mixture over fresh ice. Add St. Germain and sparkling wine in a glass. Top with sparkling water. Garnish with a mint sprig.

Birds of a Feather: Cappelletti Spritz

“Cappelletti is very similar to Aperol but more mellow,” Roberts notes. “It isn’t as intense in flavor or in color. It is also a great signature cocktail for summer weddings, especially outdoor summer weddings.”

3 oz. sparkling wine
2 oz. Cappelletti
1 oz. sparkling water
Orange wheel for garnish
Build in a glass over ice. Garnish with an orange wheel.

Tickled Pink: Empress French 75

“Empress 1908 gin is infused with butterfly pea blossom that gives it a gorgeous purple color,” Roberts explains. “When combined with lemon juice, this vibrant purple changes to a soft and delicate pink perfect for the pink-loving bride.”

2 oz. Empress 1908 gin
¾ oz. lemon juice
½ oz. simple syrup
2 oz. sparkling wine
Combine Empress 1908 gin, lemon juice and simple syrup in a shaker with ice. Shake well until chilled. Strain into flute or Collins glass. Top with sparkling wine.