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10 Warm Weather Wedding Cocktails

Keep your guests cool and refershed at your warm weather wedding.
Keep your guests cool and refershed at your warm weather wedding.
Pixland/Thinkstock

Ah, the weather is warming up, the sun is shining and the flowers are blooming. You know what that means: Wedding season will soon be in full swing. Whether it's a beach destination or just your hot hometown, spring and summer weddings are a great chance to get together with family and friends and enjoy some cool cocktails.

Weather is one of the most important considerations for your wedding, and the time of year and location will pretty much determine the temperature. So your food selections at a warm weather wedding should be light and refreshing, and your cocktail choices should be no different. Keep reading for 10 delicious warm weather wedding cocktails.

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The white wine spritzer is a classic staple of the warm weather wedding and will satisfy everyone from your boozy cousin to your almost-a-teetotaler grandmother. There are various combinations for this refreshing and light cocktail, but they all pretty much start with a light white wine, typically pinot grigio or sauvignon blanc, and some kind of bubbly seltzer water. From there, you can add lemon or lime, or even strawberry slices. Traditionally, the spritzer is served over ice, but you can also ice it in a shaker and then strain the drink for a frothy alternative that won't get watered down.

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A pink lemonade can really coordinate with the wedding colors.
A pink lemonade can really coordinate with the wedding colors.
iStockphoto/Thinkstock

A tall glass of fresh-squeezed lemonade is practically synonymous with summer. Add a little vodka and you have yourself a refreshing cocktail. For your wedding, you should stay away from the bottled alcoholic lemonades and make your own fresh version, instead.

Start with some homemade lemonade made from fresh-squeezed lemons and add sugar to cut the tart flavor. Lemonade is very versatile, so from there you can get creative, adding vodka or gin, seltzer water, orange juice, triple sec, amaretto, peach liqueur, Crème de Menthe, or any other various flavorful libations. Before the big day, try out some different combinations until you find one you love.

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Try these recipes:

There aren't many cocktails that are more refreshing during the summer time than a tart, salty margarita. Because they're a perennial warm weather favorite for many people, it's a good move to put this on your cocktail must-have list. There are literally hundreds of variations on the margarita, but you can count on tequila and lime. Sour mix is one way to go, but nothing beats a margarita made with fresh-squeezed limes. If you want to give it your own twist, add a little cilantro to your cocktail for extra flavor, rim a glass with salt and serve over ice.

Try these recipes:

  • Organic Margarita
  • Spicy Margarita with Chili Salt
  • Virgin Margaritas with Lime Salt

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A cucumber will add a unique touch to your wedding bar.
A cucumber will add a unique touch to your wedding bar.
DCL

Cucumbers make a cool addition to any summer salad, and they'll do the same for a cool cocktail. There are many ways you can use cucumbers in a drink, but here's one version that's sure to keep your guests nice and cool. To make a pitcher, muddle together two sliced, unwaxed cucumbers, three sliced limes, one cup of mint leaves, and a half cup of sugar. Add two cups of either vodka or gin and refrigerate. After about an hour, fill the rest of the pitcher with ice, seltzer water and some thick slices of cucumber and serve over ice.

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For warm weather weddings, a simple champagne punch is best kept in an oversized punch bowl filled where people can serve themselves. There are many recipes, but sparkling wine and some kind of fruit juice will be your base. One popular version includes orange juice and peach schnapps along with sparkling wine and slices of fresh orange floating in the bowl. Make an ice ring using a Bundt cake pan to keep the punch nice and cool for your guests. To prevent your punch from getting too watery, freeze a ring of juice instead of water. You can also offer a variety of garnishes on a platter beside the bowl so each guest can add their own preference and personal touch.

Try these recipes:

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Strawberries are often overlooked on the cocktail scene in favor of lemon- and lime- based drinks, but they can add a delightful, refreshing element to your wedding bar. In a tall glass, add vodka, dry vermouth, lemon juice, simple syrup, seltzer water and pureed strawberries. Mix it all together and you have a delicious and refreshing summer cocktail your guests will love. Make sure you give it all a good shake before you add the seltzer, then strain the chilled drink over ice, adding a fresh-sliced strawberry to the rim for a colorful and tasty garnish.

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The mint julep is a classic icy cocktail that will have your guests lined up at the bar. One of the beauties of the mint julep is just how simple it is. All you need is some bourbon, ice, sugar, and the belle of the ball, fresh mint. Take about a teaspoon of sugar and five or six mint sprigs and place them in a short cocktail glass. Muddle the two together lightly and then add the ice on top, then add your favorite Kentucky bourbon. Other versions include a pre-mixed simple syrup in place of the sugar.

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Nothing says summer quite like a cold mojito.
Nothing says summer quite like a cold mojito.
©iStockphoto.com/Ivan Mateev

The mojito may have its roots in Cuba, but it has become a big hit in the United States over the years. Like most cocktails, there are many different fruity variations on the original recipe, but for a classic take, simply use the basic ingredients: white rum, sugar, mint leaves, lime juice and sparkling water. In Cuba, the tradition is to use spearmint, and a simple syrup mix is commonly made from pure cane sugar. Mojitos can either be made to order or pre-made in pitchers for convenience. Just remember, making them to order allows a good shake, making the drink as frothy and refreshing as it should be for your wedding.

Try these recipes:

  • Emeril's Mojito
  • Orange-Basil Mojito
  • Ugli Fruit Mojito

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If you've ever walked the beaches of the Italian Riviera, then you've likely done so with a refreshing, peachy Bellini in your hands. This Italian staple is a great way to add a little international flare to your warm weather wedding. There are variations on the Bellini, but they all include either a fresh peach puree or peach schnapps, along with some prosecco, an Italian sparkling wine. Some other additions could include lemon juice, and raspberry or cherry juice to give it a pinkish hue. Traditionally, white peaches are used, although you should feel free to use your favorite variety.

Try these recipes:

  • Mango Bellini
  • Lychee Lovers Bellini
  • Framboise Bellini with Prosecco

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Sometimes, fancy cocktails filled with fruits, veggies and exotic liquors need to take a back seat to the ultimate refresher, the old-fashioned gin and tonic. Just take some gin, pour it in a glass with some tonic water and ice and add a squeeze of fresh lime. The good news is that gin can really vary in taste depending on what kind you get, ranging from piney to those containing floral notes. Test out some different gins before your nuptials, or provide a gin and tonic station with a variety of flavors that your guests can sample themselves.

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Sources

  • "Bellini Cocktail." Gourmetsleuth.com. March 3, 2012. http://www.gourmetsleuth.com/Recipes/Cocktails-Alcohol-402/Bellini-Cocktail-221.aspx
  • "Citrus White Wine Spritzer." Foodnetwork.com. March 3, 2012. http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/rachael-ray/citrus-white-wine-spritzer-recipe/index.html
  • "Drinks containing Lemonade." Barnonedrinks.com. March 3, 2012. http://www.barnonedrinks.com/drinks/by_ingredient/l/lemonade-621.html
  • "Happy Hour: Cucumber Cocktail." Yumsugar.com. March 3, 2012. http://www.yumsugar.com/Happy-Hour-Cucumber-Cocktail-754163
  • "Mint Julep." Esquire.com. March 3, 2012. http://www.esquire.com/drinks/mint-julep-drink-recipe
  • "Mojito." Foodnetwork.com. March 3, 2012. http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alex-garcia/mojito-recipe/index.html
  • "Strawberry Cooler." Imbibemagazine.com. March 3, 2012. http://www.imbibemagazine.com/Strawberry-Cooler-Recipe
  • "Summer Cocktails." Marthastewart.com. March 3, 2012. http://www.marthastewart.com/274560/summer-cocktails/@center/276959/cocktail-hour#/257353

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