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Libation Celebration

Cheers to the newlyweds

Wedding bells are ringing and champagne flutes are clinking — it’s time to celebrate and toast to the love shared by the happy couple.

Options are plentiful when deciding which libations to offer. Open bars may not be a thing of the past, but traditions are shifting and something new is on the horizon.

“Open bars are expensive,” Sky Nobles, owner of Fizz & Foam, based in Tallahassee said. “Weddings have shifted away from getting guests drunk in favor of creating a memorable experience.”

Fizz & Foam works closely with each couple to determine the best fit for their special day. Rather than hosting an open bar with plentiful choices and free-flowing booze, couples are opting for a more personal and intimate selection of crafted cocktails.

“Every time we serve a cocktail on tap, it is so fun for the party when it’s named after the bride or groom,” Nobles said. “Whether it’s ‘Blushing Bride,’ ‘Grinning Groom’ or named after a family pet, and even if grandpa only drinks whiskey on the rocks, he and all the other guests will want to try the special drink.”

Nobles offers some suggestions for settling on a key menu of a few signature cocktails. She likes to focus on seasonal drinks with locally sourced ingredients that make each drink a truly special experience.

If you’re stuck on what type of drinks to provide, Nobles says you can’t go wrong with a margarita.

“People want to be more than ordinary, so it’s not just a margarita anymore — it’s a pineapple mango margarita,” she said. “The flavors are getting more complex, not in a difficult way, but people want a three-dimensional drink.”

Photo courtesy of Fizz & Foam

Prosecco, Nobles adds, is also starting to become a popular replacement for champagne. The differences are subtle, but Prosecco boasts a sweeter flavor with more robust bubbles.

Bar services, like Better Together Beverage in Santa Rosa Beach, owned and operated by Christine Tarpey, will walk you through every step of the way and guide you toward a unique and personalized menu that is sure to please the crowd.

“I love making drinks pretty,” Tarpey said. “Garnishes are a great way to enhance and personalize a drink.”

Tarpey works with bakery garnishes — sprinkles, colored sugar crystals and the like — for a fun drink addition. She uses all parts of fruit, such as the crowns of pineapples, cutting the leaves with craft scissor patterns creating beautifully elegant beverage decor. Smoke bubbles are also a popular way to elevate both flavor and experience.

When developing your menu, consider key drinking moments where a specialty crafted cocktail will elevate the event: the toast to the bride and groom, the couples’ first sip together and the kickoff to the reception.

“When you’re picking cocktails for your menu,” advised Tarpey, “as much as you want to please every person attending, it’s all about the wedding party.”

Prosecco or champagne is a classy way to toast. The first sip can be done with a signature cocktail developed specifically to celebrate the love between the newlyweds. A rum, vodka punch or a margarita will get everyone in the mood to dance the night away.

Consider, too, the importance of incorporating wedding day favorites during key anniversaries to aid your sensory memory. The featured bride and groom cocktail is a great way to bring the memories flooding back with a single sip whether it’s the first year or the 50th.

Feature image courtesy of Jessica Steddom

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