Wedding Reception Cocktails: The Summer Edit

Creating the right cocktail list for a summer wedding is like any other choice – it comes down to what the happy couple like, want and of course, their budget. But it is a place in the wedding plans where you can add some real style, glamour and fun. Liz Taylor from the Taylor Lynn Corporation has been planning wedding days for over 30 years and shares the inside track on how to create the perfect summer wedding cocktails.

Firstly, your collection of summer wedding cocktails needs to embrace the warmer weather, seasonal ingredients and lighter culinary choices. Include exciting options for the tee-totallters, growing in number now, and curate a collection of cocktails that is interesting, imaginative and tempting.

Low Alcohol, High Taste

As the sun gets warmer the number of daytime parties rise. This summer cocktails are getting simpler, with fewer ingredients that most well-stocked bars can shake up with their own signature twist. For day time drinking, lower alcohol cocktails using vermouth and sherry are growing in popularity, because they have all the taste without the consequences. If you’re looking for somewhere to start, try an Adonis, which is a gorgeous Martini using sherry instead of gin.

Chilled Cuban Classic

When the temperature starts to rise (we hope!), nothing beats a frozen drink. The Cuban-favourite, strawberry daiquiri, with its rum base, is the most well-known and still the best. Served in a chilled glass, it is a delicious and refreshing choice that makes the most of our seasonal strawberries.

Cocktails Brewed not Shaken

The words beer and cocktail aren’t seen together in the same sentence. But with the rise of the artisan brewer, beer cocktails are becoming increasingly popular and can make a wonderful punchy, long-drink on hot summer days. We like the Cerveza Nicola which mixes Peroni beer, vodka and Campari. Remember when making a beer cocktail that shaking any fizzy drink is not going to end well, so unless you want to end up spending your party cleaning – stir and don’t shake.

A Savoury Treat

For years cocktails were always the sweet-toothed choice, but not anymore. Savoury cocktails are becoming increasingly popular, boosting their flavour with herbs, vegetables and salt, rather than syrups and fruit. We love the Rosemary Salty Dog, which combines grapefruit juice and gin served in a salted-rim glass and garnished with a sprig of rosemary.

Great British summer

The first taste of sun and all shops push Pimm’s to the front of the store. Brits love it and no summer cocktail list would be complete without it. To mix-up the perfect punch, fill a jug with ice and mix in one-part Pimm’s to two parts lemonade. Give it a good stir and then add segments of orange, lemon, strawberries, cucumber and sprigs of mint. To keep your drinks extra-cool, refrigerate your jugs or glasses an hour before mixing and serve straight away. Alcohol free iced tea is a great alternative; served in recycled jam jars!

Italian Inspired

On a recent trip to Italy, I discovered that when it comes to staying cool, the locals like to mix cocktails with prosecco which has led to an increasing trend in sparkling cocktails. Aperol Spritz – a combination of Italian aperitif Aperol and prosecco with a dash of soda, is still high on the list of favourite wedding cocktails to drink this summer. A chic and cosmopolitan alternative to Pimms and lemonade.

Secondly, think outside the glass. Expertly blended spirits and fruits. Chilled to perfection. And served with the theatrical flair that captured both the imagination and taste-buds. Cocktails are a key part of the design of your wedding day. Adding drama and fun, whether they contain alcohol or not. So how you present the cocktail is just as important as what it contains……you firstly feastwith your eyes!

If the weather is good, think about cocktails al fresco. Set that summer ‘festival’ vibe with cocktail stations and music under the setting sun. Take the ‘beer tent’ to a new level!

Flames and Dry Ice

Opt for professional mixologists to add flair to the day. Personalities with expert knowledge and a creative passion; adding the theatre. Table-side mixologists opening a bag of spirted tricks. Blending a cocktail of choice as you dine. Personal. Bespoke. Fun.

All Aboard!

Costumed servers adding to the theme of the day. A rotating carousel bar bringing the fairground to the wedding party. Glasses hanging from elegant filigree bird cages. Or miniature trains criss-crossing the bar – on time cocktail service is a must. Infuse the bar design and service with fun.

Teapots to Tin Cans

Let your imagination run riot. Refreshing Moscow Mule served in copper cups for a rustic inspired wedding. Stylish vintage weddings with cocktails poured into delicate china cups from pretty tea pots. Soup cans reinvented and branded for the big day; now a perfect cocktail glass. Coke bottles filled with cola inspired cocktails. Vodka Lemonade offered in pretty glass jars.And for that fairground feel (indoors or out), try a plastic bag filled with chilled vodka cocktail and a gold fish (plastic of course) – grab from the bar and drink with a straw.

Lastly, sometimes gorgeous simplicity is the answer. Chilled champagne infused with fruits and syrups. Divine. Enjoy!

TLC In a Nutshell

Liz Taylor has more than 30 years experience in event planning and set up TLC Ltd over 20 years ago. Headquartered in Manchester, it has grown to become one of the leading event organisers in the UK and now works right across Europe planning and curating luxury weddings, corporate event management, product launches and parties. Find out more about TLC at

What do you think? (5 seconds feedback)

We'd love to hear you thoughts about this article. It takes less than 5 seconds but helps us a lot!