Serving creative drinks not only makes your cocktail hour feel more personalized, but also sets the stage for a memorable reception.
Mocktails have gotten more creative. According to Matt Landes – the founder and CEO of Cocktail Academy – serving “mocktails” and non-alcoholic and low-alcohol drinks is becoming moreAcademy" and more commonplace.
With some couples considering more intimate ceremonies and virtual celebrations, sharing drinks of any kind with loved ones has never been more fun and flexible. “People drink cocktails because there’s an experience to it,” Landes says.
Whether you’re in need of some inspiration or looking for advice on how to cater to different tastes, you’ve come to the right place. Stay tuned for tips on mastering the “mocktail” balance.
To keep things simple (and flexible), Landes says to have a pre-made concoction ready that the bartender can easily pair with a spirit. "Sparkling watermelon lemonade with Tequila Don Julio is the perfect refreshment for summer weddings." You can always leave the tequila out and let guests request to have it added if they choose. "That way you have a festive serve available for any guest’s drinking preferences."
“Pebbled ice has such an effect on people,” Landes says. By adding elements like pineapple, mint and edible flowers to a drink made with fresh juice, you’re creating something elevated and relatable. “It’s the best way for anyone to drink a fun mocktail.”
Creativity is key when it comes to making exciting drinks. “Mocktails” aren’t the only option anymore, as the world of spirits has evolved to include alcohol-free alternatives to help balance out some of your favorite drinks.
“Seedlip is distilled like a spirit but is non-alcoholic,” Landes says. “You get this really great, tart mouth feel just by adding some honey and club soda.” If you’re working with a classic cocktail recipe book, consider adding soda water wherever it calls for two ounces of alcohol, or add some Seedlip if you’re looking to balance against a spirit profile.
Putting your own local spin on the classics can be half the fun. "Consider buying some tasty, craft tea from a local company and creating upscale Arnold Palmers," Landes says. Not only are they simple to make, but they also look great in mason jars and combine well with Ketel One Vodka for those guests who are looking for a little variety. “These drinks should be just as fun as anything else."
Whether you’re looking for a lighter-alcohol option for your big day or simply want to provide a refreshing alternative to wine, Ketel One Botanical is the way to go. "At 30 percent ABV and about 40 percent fewer calories than a glass of wine*," Landes says, "a botanical spritz creates a lower-guilt, Instagram-worthy serve when topped with farm-fresh garnishes."
While creativity is encouraged, Landes shared a couple of his favorite alcohol-free cocktail recipes to help get you started. While the honey fizz resembles a French 75 with less sugar, the East Side is a great, vegetal option that more closely resembles a classic gimlet.
*Based on Ketel One Botanical Spritz 73 calories per serving and the average glass of white wine at 120 calories per serving.