Cocktails represent a significant portion of the cost for any event, so it’s important for event planners to be familiar with cocktails and drink recipes when planning a reception. By including a signature drink into special events, it helps make the occasion both memorable and cost effective.>
But there are many different cocktails to choose: vodka, rum, tequila and more. The trick is to choose a signature cocktail that complements the meal while pleasing the crowd with your selection. The following drinks were highlighted as part of the 2008 National Restaurant Association Show.
1. Tito's Summertini
For those wanting a trendy vodka martini cocktail, Cosmopolitans are a favorite. When vodka makers elbowed their ay into the gin-inspired martini world, it wasn’t a bad thing (although some purists would argue that). And then came the Cosmo, a vodka martini with fruit flavors. For a sophisticated cocktail party, try this one:
- 2 oz. Tito's Handmade Vodka
1 oz. Orange Liqueur
2 oz. Cranberry
Splash of Blood Orange Italian Soda
Twist of lemon
Combine first three ingredients in a cocktail shaker until well chilled. Strain into a martini glass top with splash of Blood Orange Italian Soda and garnish with twist of lemon.
This drink recipe was created by Mixologist Courtney Padgett and submitted by Tito’s Handmade Vodka.
2. The Flapper® Martini
Continuing on with new drinks that are presented and served in a martini glass, here’s a vodka martini recipe that’s blended with other spirits that offers a strong kick with a sweet touch for your signature drink:
- 1 1/2 oz. Roaring 20s Tommy Guns® Vodka
1/2 oz. Malibu Rum
1/4 oz. Grand Marnier
1/2 oz. Midori
Splash of Pineapple Juice
Shake ingredients over ice and serve this cocktail in a martini glass.
This drink recipe was created by Mixologist Bill Brooks from Tommy Guns Vodka.
3. Basil Gimlet
For a refreshing change to a more traditional vodka martini drink, vodka lovers will find that basil lends an added flavor and aroma to this classic vodka cocktail.
- 2 oz. Square One Organic Vodka
4-5 leaves of basil, torn*
1 oz. fresh lime juice
½ oz. organic Agave nectar
*Also try Thai or Lemon Basil
This drink recipe was created by Mixologist Neyah White and submitted by U.S. based Square One Vodka, crafted from 100% organic American rye.
4. G Sling
Although most people recognize sake (Japanese rice wine) as being served at room temperature in a small ceramic cup, consider a tropically-inspired version of sake for a signature cocktail drink for an Asian theme.
- 2 oz. G Sake
1 oz. Cruzan Banana rum
1 oz. lemon lime juice (50/50)
1 oz. simple syrup
Serve on the rocks with lime slice & tropical flower.
This drink recipe was crafted by nationally acclaimed Mixologist Lucy Brennan, owner of Mint/820 in Portland, OR, and author of “Hip Sips” published by Chronicle Books. She has been named Playboy Top 10 Mixologists in the U.S., Food and Wine Top 10 Mixologists, and Saveur magazines Spirit Professional of the Year.Drink recipe submitted by Sake One.
5. Brazilian Wax
Rum is one of the most popular distilled beverages used to make a variety of cocktails, and there are many grades of rum. Cachaca is specifically fermented and distilled in Brazil, and is the country’s signature drink. Cachaca is pressed from sugarcane vs. other rums which are commonly produced from molasses and sugarcane, and then aged in oak barrels. Consider this simple signature drink for your next South American or Carnival-themed event.
- 2 oz. Cabana Cachaça
2 oz. Pineapple juice
Splash of club soda
In an ice-filled glass, add equal parts cabana Cachaça and pineapple juice, add a splash of club soda and stir. If desired, add passion fruit puree.
This drink recipe was created and submitted by Cabana Cachaca.
This drink has nothing to do with gin, vodka or tuna. Tunas is Spanish for “prickly pear.”
This signature drink is an excellent choice before a heavier Mexican meal. It combines premium tequila, orange liqueur, pear puree and a splash of orange and lime juice.
- 2 oz. Scorpion Mezcal Silver
1 oz. Cointreau
1.5 oz. Prickly Pear puree
Splash lime juice
Splash orange juice
Shake with ice. Serve this cocktail in a Martini glass rimmed half in kosher salt and half in chili salt. Add a lime garnish.
7. Copa Verde
Ever consider mixing avaocado with tequila? This drink will surprise and please your guests.
- 4 oz. Scorpion Mezcal Silver
half an avocado (ripe but not too soft)
2 oz. fresh squeezed lemon and lime juice mixed
2.5 oz. Agave Nectar*
2 oz. Water
* Prepare with two parts mild honey, dissolved into one part warm water.
Using a hand immersion blender, puree avocado, honey syrup, water and lemon juice. Add Mezcal and stir with ice cubes to chill. Strain into four, port-style glasses (2 oz. shots). Optional: Frost rim with a blend of chili powder and kosher salt.