18 Popular Wedding Cocktails

We’ve narrowed down a list of some of the best wedding cocktails to consider for your big day (as well as some fun, flavor options to make them your own).

By Maggy Lehmicke

8 Popular Wedding Cocktails
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The First Look ✨

Whether you’re hoping for something strong and spirit-forward or a light and fruity spritzer, there are plenty of wedding cocktails to choose from on your big day. Below are some of our favorite choices for wedding cocktails (as well as a few tips and tricks to make them your own).

18 Popular Wedding Cocktail Recipes

#1 Moscow Mule

This classic cocktail recipe mix of vodka, ginger beer, and lime is not only a popular pick, but also lends itself to a lot of versatility. For something more customized, consider adding berries, hibiscus, or even some St. Germain. Those who prefer darker spirits can opt for a Kentucky Mule or Dark ‘n Stormy instead.

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ oz vodka
  • 4 oz ginger beer
  • ½ oz lime juice
  • Lime wedge for garnish (optional)

#2 Manhattan

This signature cocktail recipe is great for guests who prefer a more spirit-forward libation. While typically made with rye or another American whiskey (such as bourbon), feel free to get creative with your whiskey of choice. Irish whiskies, Scotch, and other blended options make some great alternatives. You can even add a dash of orange bitters to really bring out the citrus notes.

Ingredients:

  • 2 oz bourbon or rye
  • 1 oz sweet vermouth
  • 2 dashes of Angostura bitters
  • Orange peel
  • Maraschino cherries for garnish (optional)

#3 Margarita

The ultimate crowd pleasers, margaritas are a clear favorite at weddings (particularly amongst tequila lovers). While a classic margarita is made with lime, you can make one from almost any fruit. Try playing around with infusions (such as pineapple juice and jalapeno) or create a fun salt station where your guests can make something that suits their personal tastes.

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ oz tequila
  • ¾ oz lime juice
  • 1 oz orange liqueur (typically Grand Marnier, Cointreau, or Triple Sec)
  • Salt for the rim

#4 French 75

The perfect fit for a classy affair, this Prohibition-era sipper will appeal to even the most cocktail-averse guests. While typically served with gin, some cocktail connoisseurs prefer swapping the base spirit with Cognac. Served in a Champagne flute, this drink is a great alternative to the classic Champagne toast. Feel free to add a lemon twist for some extra flair.

Ingredients:

  • 1 oz gin
  • ½ oz lemon juice
  • ½ oz simple syrup
  • 2 oz Champagne

#5 Mimosa

The simplest of all brunch cocktails, the mimosa is a great option for morning weddings or early festivities. Because of its simplicity, there are a lot of creative ways you can make the mimosa your own, including swapping the orange juice with a grapefruit or guava alternative. You can also consider a Bellini with peach nectar and prosecco if that’s more your vibe.

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 oz Champagne
  • 2-3 oz orange juice

#6 Bees Knees

Another light and citrusy selection, this cocktail is well-loved by many and makes a refreshingly sweet addition to any reception. Consider it as a cooler alternative to a hot toddy or a fun substitute for a Tom Collins. For creative folks, lavender simple syrup, blood orange, and elderflower liqueur all make great add-ins.

Ingredients:

  • 2 oz gin
  • 1 oz lemon
  • ½ oz honey syrup
  • Lemon twist for garnish (optional)

#7 Old Fashioned

For those who appreciate a good spirit-forward cocktail, the classic Old Fashioned is a great one to lean on. While traditionally made with bourbon, you can always swap spirits with brandy, Scotch, or rye. Add a bit of orange zest, a cocktail cherry, or even dried rosemary to keep it fresh and seasonal.

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ oz bourbon
  • 1 sugar cube
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters
  • Orange peel and/or a cherry for garnish (optional)

#8 Mojito

For an outdoor, summer affair, there are few drinks as refreshing as a minty mojito. Feel free to play around with different types of rum and add berry infusions (such as fresh strawberries or blackberries) to satisfy the fruit-forward crowd. For those who prefer whiskey over rum, the Mint Julep is a great alternative with a similar flavor profile.

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ oz rum
  • 1 oz lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons sugar or simple syrup
  • 5-8 mint leaves (muddled)
  • 4 oz club soda

#9 Paloma

Similar to the margarita (though slightly less common), the Paloma is a fun, fruit-forward drink that works for a variety of occasions. The simplicity of the drink makes it easy to add some fun twists, whether it be some agave nectar or a flavored salt rim. Fresh grapefruit juice adds a bit of zest, while the soda route is best if you’re craving something bubbly.

Ingredients:

  • 2 oz tequila
  • 2 oz grapefruit juice or soda
  • ½ oz lime juice
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#10 Gin & Tonic

Few cocktails are as classic and accessible as the G&T. While the traditional G&T is made of one part gin and three parts tonic, the perfect gin-to-tonic ratio is completely dependent on the individual. The simplicity of the G&T lends itself to a wide variety of options for customization, such as adding fruit or botanicals that really bring out the flavors of the gin. Using flavored gin or tonic water is another simple way to mix it up.

Ingredients:

  • 1-3 oz gin
  • 3-4 oz tonic water
  • Lime wedge for garnish (optional)

#11 Whiskey Sour

Exactly how it sounds, the whiskey sour is the perfect fit for those craving something on the tart side. With a fine balance of whiskey and lemon, the cocktail is fairly spirit-forward (and best prepared by a bartender who knows how to work with egg whites). Consider this a citrusy alternative to an old-fashioned or mint julep.

Ingredients:

  • 2 oz bourbon
  • 1 oz lemon juice
  • ¾ oz simple syrup
  • 1 egg white

#12 Martini

Few cocktails are as iconic as James Bond’s signature drink, making it the perfect pick for a black-tie affair. While the classic martini was made with gin, many bartenders have adopted a modern twist by opting for vodka instead. Consider playing around with flavored vodka or fun garnishes, such as edible flowers and other botanicals.

Ingredients:

  • 3 oz gin or vodka
  • ½ oz dry vermouth
  • An olive for garnish

#13 Aperol Spritz

Much like the French 75, the Aperol spritz is a great option for those who favor sparkling wine over a more spirit-forward cocktail. The zesty, orange flavor is great for summer celebrations, while the bright hue adds a fun visual element. If you’re getting married in the off-season, it’s worth considering alternatives such as a cognac, apple cider spritz, or rhubarb spritzer.

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ oz Aperol
  • 2 oz prosecco
  • 1 oz club soda

#14 Gimlet

The sweet and citrusy cousin to the martini, a classic gimlet adds a touch of class while still being endlessly refreshing. While traditionally served with gin, there are no spirits restrictions when it comes to the gimlet. In addition to swapping gin with flavored vodka, basil, elderflower, and rosemary all make great inclusions.

Ingredients:

  • 2 oz gin
  • 1 oz lime juice
  • ½ -1 oz simple syrup (to taste)

#15 Negroni

If you find yourself loving Manhattans or the bittersweet, spiced notes of Campari, then the negroni may be for you. The botanical flavors of both the gin and vermouth are complemented by the mix of cherry, clove, and cinnamon that are often found in the Italian aperitif. While an acquired taste, the negroni is a great addition to any bar (particularly when paired with other, lighter options).

Ingredients:

  • 1 oz gin
  • 1 oz Campari
  • 1 oz sweet vermouth
  • Orange peel for garnish

#16 Daiquiri

If you’re someone who loves rum, but may be overwhelmed by the mint flavors of a mojito, then a daiquiri may be just the thing for you. More of a family cocktail than a singular drink, the daiquiri pairs well with a wide variety of summer-inspired flavors, including strawberry, peach, lemongrass, coconut, and more.

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ oz white rum
  • 1 oz lime juice
  • ½ oz simple syrup

#17 Irish Coffee

As the weather cools, offering Irish coffee is a great way to warm your guests throughout the reception. Try adding a whipped cream station, or let guests pick their spirit of choice. Hot toddies and hot buttered rum are a couple of other warm drinks that make great alternatives, particularly if coffee is not your cup of tea (no pun intended).

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ oz Irish whiskey
  • 1 oz cream
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar or maple syrup
  • 3-4 oz hot coffee

#18 Bloody Mary

While traditionally a brunch libation, the bloody Mary complements a wide range of celebration styles, making it a fun alternative to the classic wedding cocktail. This is the perfect pick for couples who want an engaging cocktail station, allowing guests to select from an abundance of additions, ranging from bacon to cilantro and other herbs.

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ oz vodka
  • 3-4 oz tomato juice or tomato-vegetable cocktail mix
  • 2 dashes of Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ oz lemon juice (optional)
  • 1 dash of hot sauce (optional)
  • 1 stalk celery and/or green olives for garnish

Cocktails are uniquely personal, which is why it’s important to put some thought into what you want to choose for your big day. In addition to keeping your guests and seasonality in mind, make sure to choose drinks from wedding vendors that really resonate with you as a couple. After all, you’re likely going to want something tasty to sip at your wedding venue and reception.

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