Wedding Guys' Wednesdays: Craft Cocktails

It all begins with four simple words, “Will you marry me?” And with that question, your life is forever changed. You are no longer a “me,” but a “we.” It is no longer “my dreams, my family, my future,” but “our dreams, our family, our future.” A wedding is the beginning of a new chapter in your life.

But before you walk (or dance) down the aisle, you need to figure out a lot of details.

Enter The Wedding Guys™, Matthew Trettel and Bruce Vassar, recognized internationally as leading authorities on wedding celebrations. Their fun, energetic personalities, keen eye for detail, and passionate love for all things wedding gives couples a fresh new approach to wedding planning.

The Wedding Guys bring years of industry knowledge and trend-forward expertise to Twin Cities couples through their Signature Weddings, Twin Cities Bridal Show, and Unveiled – The Ultimate Wedding Planning Event. They associate and collaborate with leading international couture bridal gown designers—keeping a pulse on fashion trends—while actively working with trendsetting artisans, designers, couturiers, and producers who are leaders in their respective fields.

They will take you from “to-do” to “I do!” in a new eight-part series, “Wedding Guys Wednesdays.” They’ll share fashion advice, answer common questions about ceremony and reception etiquette, and provide the ‘inside track’ to planning your own signature wedding. Along the way, there will be contests and ticket giveaways to the Twin Cities Bridal Show Sept. 21 at the St. Paul RiverCentre.

Signature Drinks Take a Backseat to Craft Cocktails

The craft movement in general has grown in popularity in recent years—when something is handmade with care (vs mass-produced), there’s a sense of authenticity. It’s special. It means more. These handmade touches add personality and a unique look, often becoming a highlight of a wedding. Introducing guests to artesian elements or a local artist’s work creates a lasting impression.

Beverages are no different. The craft distillery phenomenon is certainly at its peak with brewpubs and distillers becoming the local go-to for unique variations. So—on one of the biggest days of your life—consider serving cider, local wine, and microbrews to your guests.

“Signature drinks” are taking a backseat to the almighty crafted cocktail, trending for 2014. A far cry from the pre-ordained signature drink, the mixology movement is about an admiration for the ingredients, original recipes, and finding new ways to highlight flavors through beverages. Taking center stage at the cocktail reception, the mixologist becomes part of the show. Mixology is not just about the science of fresh and flavorful cocktails; it’s also the art of mixing. Good mixologists can captivate crowds with their entertaining drink-mixing process.

If you’ve experienced the magic of a mixologist in a nightclub or special event, you know what we’re talking about: the mixer can be a fresh locally grown fruit or a delightfully muddled ginger cucumber base with a splash of champagne and drops of an exotic elixir—dispensed right in front of you.

Flavored ice cubes or hand-carved ice, misting essences, gin connoisseurships, hard ciders, dispensed slushy cocktails, locally made ryes and bourbons, and handcrafted beer and local wine are playing leading roles in today’s cocktail parties. Like chefs who are part culinary designer, part devout foodie (passionate about high quality, sustainable foods and the origin of every ingredient), today’s mixologists are more than mere pourers of beverages. They are known for growing their own herbs and tending home gardens; some even making their own tonics and bitters. The cocktail is becoming an extension of the kitchen so to speak. It’s a culinary art form of the liquid kind.

Interesting garnishes are the signature of the mixologist. Think sprigs of rosemary or burnt orange slices. If you want to introduce the hottest garnish, we recommend bacon. We are seeing it everywhere. This would pair perfectly with a bacon-infused liquor such as a whiskey, bacon, and maple cocktail. Anything garden-fresh—like rhubarb—is all the rage with a designed cocktail such as the Rhubarb Bellini, Rhubarb Fizz, or Rhubarb Sour.

Whether simple or complex, craft cocktails are made with a lot more care than your usual mixed drinks and deliver a much more satisfying experience.