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12 Options for The Perfect Specialty Cocktail

By Rebecca Padgett Frett


There’s something about a cocktail that just hits different on a sunny day in Florida. Whether cucumber cool or fruity-fresh, a Florida-centric libation is the ideal way to infuse a bit of the sunshine state-of-mind year-round. 

Customized cocktails at weddings have long been popular and aren’t going away anytime soon. Why would they? When thinking about your couple’s cocktail consider these refreshing and innovative drinks that are sure to please the palates of your guests.

1. Watermelon Cucumber Cooler

Photo by Jen Can Cook

Slightly sweet and super cool. A welcome refreshment from the dance floor.

1 ½ oz. gin

½ oz. simple syrup

½ oz ounce watermelon juice

¾ oz. lime juice

1 ½ oz. soda water

2 slices of cucumber

Combine gin, simple syrup, watermelon juice, and lime juice and shake. Pour into a glass and top with soda water. Garnish with cucumbers.


2. Strawberry Basil Smash

Tastes fresh from the garden. Great for a bridal shower as well.

1 ½ oz. single malt scotch whiskey

3 strawberry slices

3 basil leaves

¾ oz. lemon juice

½ oz. simple syrup

Combine and shake liquids, pour over ice and garnish with strawberry and basil.


3. Limoncello Sunrise

Ideal for a beachside sunset wedding.

1 oz. limoncello

3 oz. orange juice

splash of grenadine

orange slice


Combine and shake liquids, pour over ice and garnish with orange slice and cherry.


4. Moscow Mule Margarita

Photo courtesy of Oh My Creative

Two classics combine for the ultimate summer feeling.

1 oz. lime juice

3 oz. ginger beer

1 ½ oz. tequila

½ oz. Cointreau

½ oz. simple syrup

salt for rim

Salt rim the glasses. Combine lime juice, tequila, Cointreau and simple syrup. Shake, top with ginger beer, stir.


5. Bourbon Peach Sweet Tea

A sweet Southern specialty that will make you want to find a front porch to sit on.

2 oz. bourbon

2 oz. peach preserves

1 oz. lemon juice

1 ½ oz. sweet tea

dash of Aperol

sprig of thyme

lemon slice

Combine all liquids and peaches, shake, pour in a glass garnished with thyme and lemon slice.


6. Fruity French 75

A classy classic with a fruity finish.

1 ½ oz. gin

¾ oz. lemon juice

½ oz. simple syrup

2 oz. dry sparkling wine

1 lemon rind

a couple blueberries, strawberries or both

Combine gin, lemon juice and simple syrup and shake. Pour in champagne flute and top with sparkling wine. Garnish with lemon rind and add in fruit.


7. Rosemary Grapefruit Cooler

Photo by Greg DuPree / Health Magazine

Is there anything better than summer citrus and herbs?

2 oz. vodka

4 oz. grapefruit juice

½ oz. rosemary simple syrup

sprig of rosemary

Combine liquids, shake, pour and add sprig of rosemary


8. Rosé Spritzer

Summer’s favorite wine must make an appearance at your wedding.

3 oz. Rosé wine

2 oz. soda water

1 oz. Aperol

optional garnishes: rosemary, thyme, berries

Combine liquids, shake and garnish with your favorite extras.


9. Dark & Stormy

The opposite of what your wedding day weather will be — but still a great drink!

2 oz. dark rum

3-4 oz. ginger beer

½ oz. lime juice

lime garnish

Combine, shake, garnish with lime, enjoy.


10. Hemingway Daiquiri

Photo courtesy of Spruce Eats

Everyone’s favorite beach bum writer’s preferred beverage.

2 oz. white rum

¾ oz. fresh grapefruit juice

½ oz. lime juice

¼ oz. simple syrup

Shake all ingredients and strain into chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with grapefruit twist.


11. Blueberry Lemon Mule

Don’t forget your copper mug for this grownup lemonade.

1 oz. Deep Eddy lemon vodka

1 oz. vodka

1 oz. ginger beer


Shake, strain, add in blueberries. Extra points if you muddle them.


12. Spicy Mandarin Margarita

Turn the A/C up in the room and the heat up in your drinks.

2 oz. tequila

1 oz. lime juice

1 oz. mandarin juice

1 chopped serrano pepper

Tajin for the rim

Put Tajin seasoning on the rim. Chop pepper, avoiding seeds. Combine liquids and pepper, shake, pour into pre-rimmed glass.

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