6 steps to Creating a Signature Cocktail Menu for your Indian Wedding

6 steps to Creating a Signature Cocktail Menu for your Indian Wedding

A signature cocktail menu might be overdone for some, but it can be a nice way to really amplify the fun factor for your guests at your events (especially the cocktail hour). Not to mention it’s a great conversation starter.

Guests love it when they have something to talk about that’s not only the bride’s dress (ok, the bride’s dress is going to be amazing, we know that, but this is something different to talk about!) A uniquely wonderful signature cocktail menu is easier thank you think to create. You’ll have aunties talking about their “Vur-geen” (virgin) drinks and everyone wanting more cocktails!

Follow these steps and you’ll be on your way to creating a memorable cocktail menu that [you and] your guests will love. Oh, and this is a great place to involve your fiancee in the “wedding planning process.” He’ll probably be better than you at making the selections (no hard feelings).

Step 1:  First, decide if you want one, two, or even three cocktails – if you’re doing just one cocktail, it could reflect you, the couple. If you’re doing two, if could reflect you and the groom separately.  And then if you do three, the third cocktail could be in honor of your dog or a pet if you have one, or even a place to use a non-alcoholic/virgin cocktail (kids might like this option too).

Step 2: What events will have custom cocktails? The cocktail hour at the reception is an ideal option to have custom cocktails since guests are ready to party and have a cocktail at that point. But if you have a Sangeet, Raas/Garba, or Welcome Night before the wedding day, custom cocktails might be a fun way for guests to break the ice with each other. You could even incorporate any theme from your event into the cocktail names and flavors.

Step 3: Once you’ve decided on which events you’ll have the custom cocktails, choose what drinks you and your fiancee like. You can start with the liquor that you both like or with actual cocktails that you both like. Make a list for yourself and for your fiancee. If you choose a base, like Vodka, think about what goes with that.

Or, list out some options. Vodka could go with Cranberry juice, Ginger Ale or Ginger Beer, OJ. When making selections, think about making each drink have its own unique flavor element. Yours might be sweet and tart while your fiancee’s might be strong.

A summary of my favorites:

  • Pimm’s Cup (Pimm’s liquor, mint, cucumber, lemon, orange, Lemon/lime soda)
  • The White Cosmopolitan (Vodka, St. Germain, White Cranberry Juice, Lime)
  • Blueberry Mojito (White Rum, blueberries, lime, club soda, mint)
  • Sparkling Sangria (Sparkling wine, brandy, mixed fruit, lime, lemon)
  • Ginger Fizz (Prosecco, ginger syrup, tangerine slices)
  • French Gimlet (Gin, St. Germain, lime)
  • Champagne & Fruit  (Champagne + any fruit that tastes good in there)
  • Passion Fruit Punch (Passion fruit vodka, Orange Juice, Pineapple Juice, Club Soda)
  • Non-Alcoholic (Any combination of 1-2 Fruit Juices + Sparking Tonic/Club Soda)

Here are some thought starters for drink ideas:

There are so many ideas online -if you have an idea in mind, like “vodka ginger cocktail,” google it – you’ll find dozens of recipes just for that one type of cocktail. From that point, you can figure out an additional component to add like mint, lemon juice, etc. You’ll find that some sites have 6+ ingredients to their cocktail recipe.

Avoid those if you can.  The more complicated the drink, the more likely it might not taste like what you might want it to taste like at the actual event (they’ll be different bartenders at each bar).  Select a few options for each cocktail….then onto the next step.

Step 4: Once you’ve decided on some your custom cocktail recipes, make and try the drinks! Your venue should be open to doing a cocktail “tasting” with you, but if they aren’t, turn it into a fun date night! Take a night off from actual wedding planning and use it to perfect your custom cocktail menu.

In a way, you are wedding planning so you don’t have to feel guilty about taking a night off. 🙂  If you don’t feel like making the cocktails, take the recipes to your favorite bar and have a date night out! Or, get some friends together to help vote on and judge your drink recipes.

Step 5:  This is the most important step and my favorite! Name your cocktails. It’s more fun to name your cocktail than to call it the “Bride’s cocktail” or call it based on your name “Satya’s Cocktail”…mmmm yummy.  Think of something that represents you and your fiancee – where you met, a common interest, your interest and his interests together, two sports teams you both like, etc – the possibilities are endless. Be creative!

Step 6:  Now it’s time to market your drinks. You want your guests to know that these custom cocktails are available at the bar. Guests love custom cocktails because it takes the guesswork out of having to figure out what to drink. Yes, uncles like Gin & Tonic, but many other people love when you make the decision easier for them, or if the decision is already made for them – all they have to do is choose option A or option B. Done!

Create an actual physical menu that explains each custom cocktail option. If you have Microsoft Powerpoint, you can easily make the menu using that software. Check out the Resources page for tips on how to create and print the menu. If you have a wedding logo, this is a perfect place to add it. Now you have menus at each bar to promote you drink menu.


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