How to Create Signature Cocktails with a Purpose
It’s no secret that one of our favorite things about a good party is the bar and it’s probably your first stop at any event too! We love how good conversations are sparked, old friends reconnect, and acquaintances get on instantly when waiting for a refreshing beverage at the bar.
At EP, we pride ourselves in perfecting the art of storytelling through thoughtfully curated events, may it be fundraising events, large galas, or your wedding day. And our attention to detail certainly includes helping our clients curate signature cocktails which tell their story.
We’re sharing our tricks of the trade in creating an inviting bar with signature cocktails that share your purpose, messaging, or love story.
The magic of a signature cocktail starts with selecting a primary liquor that resonates with the host(s) or hostess(es). Whiskey or gin tend to be the most popular signature cocktail base liquors, followed by tequila or vodka.
It’s important to agree on a simple recipe with your bartending service, preferably a recipe that requires only 3-4 ingredients maximum. We highly recommend pre-batching your specialty cocktail(s) to minimize serving time during an event. This is especially helpful when the bar is hit heaviest at the beginning of an event and post-dinner.
Garnishes are the Jewelry to a Cocktail
The purpose of a cocktail garnish is to highlight a subtle herb, floral, or citrus note in the cocktail’s recipe, heightening the overall sipping experience through from the sense of smell. Not to mention, garnishes add dimension, substance, and tangible beauty to a beverage. Some of our favorite garnishes are herbs (i.e.sage), florals (i.e.elderflower), dried citrus, cinnamon sticks, or flame-torched rosemary.
One of the most intriguing aspects of a signature cocktail is its personalized name! For social good events, we suggest cocktail names related to the nonprofit’s mission or pressing fundraising initiative. While a nonprofit’s vision and goals are typically shared several times throughout an event, there is no harm in gently reiterating on bar signage or directly delivering a branded beverage into supporters’ hands.
For a wedding, we recommend 1-2 specialty cocktails with names that tie back to the couple, may it be their middle names, hometown, favorite activities, or upcoming honeymoon location. This is a subtle way to make your guests feel like you’ve gone above and beyond to curate an unforgettable experience.
The Magic of Branding
We’ve fallen in love with the elegance and subtlety of branded cocktails. From branding an ice cube (i.e. for an old-fashioned or whiskey on the rocks) to branded citrus garnishes (i.e. grapefruit peels, lemon peels, orange peels) to printed branding on foamy beverages, the options are endless! Have a conversation with your bartending service to discuss the least time consuming option during a live event.
For weddings, we suggest branding the couples initials or wedding date. For social good events, we suggest branding your logo.
Customized Cocktail Napkins and Stirrers
We are big fans of customized cocktail napkins and stirrers (of course, from recycled and eco-friendly materials!). Custom cocktail napkins and stirrers are great paraphernalia to connect an event’s design aesthetic from atmospheric decor to boozy libations. Not only are custom cocktail napkins and stirrers quite affordable, they deliver another touch of detail into your guests’ hands.
For social good events, cocktail napkins with brand logos remind patrons of the organization they are supporting, which is especially helpful when engaging potential new donors. For weddings, napkins with the couple’s initials or wedding date add another sweet touch.
Last but not least, we hope you remember to indulge in a signature cocktail yourself! What is the fun in detailing a specialty drink unless you also enjoy it with colleagues, friends, and family? Cheers to delicious cocktails and beverages that create help create connection.