Toast the happy couple with a special cocktail with flavors that lend themselves to a sense of place. 

When it comes to wedding planning, there are myriad details to check-off of to-do lists, from florists to musicians to dresses and tuxes. There are some fun things on the lists, too, like cake tastings and choosing the right caterers. And then there are signature cocktails.

Over the past dozen years or so, couples have gone one step further to create the receptions of their dreams by creating signature cocktails that blend their favorite flavors or give a sense of place if theirs are destination weddings.

“Weddings are all about connection and creating lasting memories,” said Michael C. Esposito, Founder and Managing Partner of Snake Oil Cocktail Co. “In 2010, we started to get an influx of couples wanting to share their story through drinks.

“We like to learn how the couple met and what types of food and drink experiences are important to them. We love working on weddings which mesh cultures or tell a very distinct origination story through travel where we can bring in fruit, herbs and liquor that is meaningful and delicious.”

As far as signature wedding cocktail trends, Esposito and his team are seeing requests for interactive experiences, like the use of smoke, changing colors, and cocktails that have messages written on top of them or monogrammed ice.

“We started a company called Cocktail Graffiti where we can customize any image on the top of a couple's cocktail,” said Esposito. “This has been really fun because it's another way that the couple can bring their guests into their world.”

Beyond monograms, he said the team’s favorites are playful weddings, like when they put images of a couple’s puppies on the top of a cocktail, or another couple’s signature drink that told the story of how they met through a collage of images. They can even use cocktails as a creative way to share table assignments.

Esposito said another trend starting to take hold is fresh cocktails that have bright, natural colors, rather than those with darker spirits like whiskey, rye and bourbon.

“The push now is for a year-round, spring-colored cocktail experience with bright citrus flavor expressions using gin, tequila and mezcals,” he said.

At the end of the day, though, it all comes down to what the couples envision for themselves.

“Designing bespoke cocktails is a lot of fun because it is an exciting and unifying part of a couple's wedding planning process, since it is one of the few areas where everyone in the wedding party is invited to get involved,” said Esposito.

Here, we feature cocktails created to highlight their ALHI destinations and make for a fun toast to the happy couple, sip by tasty sip.

Colonial Williamsburg Resorts

Whether couples choose to celebrate their love for each other in the classic elegance of a ballroom, or outside surrounded by nature, Colonial Williamsburg Resorts in historic Williamsburg, Va., makes wedding dreams come true. A toast to the happy couple is made better still with the Catcher & the Rye, a cocktail that features a specially chosen whiskey from nearby Copper Fox Distillery. Copper Fox Williamsburg Inn Barrel Select is reserved for special events like weddings and served at the Inn’s Restoration Bar.

Catcher & The Rye

  • 1.5 oz Copper Fox Williamsburg Inn Barrel Select
  • 1 oz Bowmore 12-year Scotch
  • 0.5 oz Amaro y Arroyo
  • 3 drops lavender bitteres

Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass, add ice and stir.

Pour into a cold martini glass, garnish with lavender.

Grand Fiesta Americana Coral Beach Cancún

Surprise your guests with a Mexican twist on a classic cocktail when you serve an Oaxaca Spritz at the Grand Fiesta Americana Coral Beach Cancún. The bubbly and cool cocktail blends the smoky flavor and aroma of Mezcal with an exotic herbal flavor from Chartreuse and the effervescence of Champagne.

Oaxaca Spritz

  • 4 oz raspberries
  • 1.5 oz Mezcal Espadín
  • 0.5 oz Yellow Chartreuse
  • 0.5 oz ginger syrup
  • 0.25 oz natural lemon juice
  • Champagne
  • Sprigs of thyme and rosemary for garnish

Place the raspberries in a cocktail shaker and macerate.

Add Mezcal, Chartreuse, lemon juice, ginger syrup, ice and shake.

Serve in a Balloon Glass, add ice and fill with Champagne.

Garnish with thyme and rosemary.

Intercontinental New York Barclay

When it comes to choosing the perfect cocktail to serve at a wedding in New York City, the mixology team at Intercontinental New York Barclay took inspiration from the hotel's timeless charm and sophistication, as well as its commitment to sourcing ingredients locally and sustainably. The Bees Knees Cocktail is thought to have emerged during the Prohibition era, when bathtub gin was all the rage. Adding spoonfuls of honey to such bitter alcohol certainly would have helped to mask the harshness, and when mixed with the lemon would create a more appealing and sweet concoction. For Bees Knees Cocktail, hotel The Intercontinental New York Barclay sources honey from its very own rooftop beehives.

Bees Knees Cocktail

  • 2 oz Beefeater Gin
  • 0.75 oz fresh lemon juice
  • 0.5 oz Barclay Rooftop Honey Syrup*

*Honey syrup is a mixture of equal parts honey and water.

In a cocktail shaker filled with ice add gin, lemon juice and honey syrup.

Shake until chilled (about 15 seconds) and double strain into a coupe.

Garnish with a lemon twist.

Kempinski Hotel Cancún

The margarita is known for its refreshing taste, combining the tangy flavors of fresh lime juice with the subtle sweetness of orange liqueur and the bold kick of tequila. This blend, like the Margarita Kukulkán served at Kempinski Hotel Cancún, perfectly captures the vibrant and diverse culinary traditions of Mexico, where the margarita is more than just a cocktail: it embodies the spirit of celebration and joy that permeates the country's cultural fabric.

Margarita Kukulkán

  • 1 oz tequila añejo Don Julio
  • 1.5 oz Grand Marnier
  • 1 oz fresh lime juice
  • 0.75 oz fresh mandarin orange juice
  • Salt for rim
  • Cherries for garnish
  • Mandarin orange wheels for garnish

Add tequila, Grand Marnier, lime juice and mandarin juice to a cocktail shaker filled with ice; shake until well-chilled.

Strain into a rocks glass over fresh ice.

Garnish with a cherry, a mandarin wheel and salt rim.

Mayfair House Hotel & Garden

Love is in the air at Mayfair House Hotel & Garden in Miami’s Coconut Grove neighborhood. Here, a one-of-a-kind Eden blends with timeless architecture to create a world all its own, an idyllic setting for couples to say their “I dos.” When the vows are sealed with a kiss, toast the happy couple with a glass of the tropical flavors found in the hotel’s Love Punch.

Love Punch

  • 8 oz Banks 5 Island Rum
  • 3 oz coconut cream
  • 3 oz raspberry syrup
  • 4 oz guava puree
  • 12 oz sparkling rosé
  • Raspberries for garnish
  • Halved strawberries for garnish
  • Edible orchids for garnish

Add first four ingredients to a glass punch bowl; top off with sparkling rosé.

Lightly stir and agitate to mix the bubbles from the sparkling wine into the punch.

Add ice and garnishes.

Ladle the punch into individual serving glasses.


In Pennsylvania’s Laurel Highlands, Nemacolin shakes up wedding cocktails by offering signature cocktail flights for the bride and groom, with a twist. On the lighter side, the resort’s French 75 flight features the classic blog with raspberry mint and blackberry rosemary variations. An Old fashioned flight starts with the classic and adds Canadian and Oaxaca-Jalisco twists, all of which can be smoked for added drama. Local cocktail ingredients are plucked from Robin’s Holistic Garden on-sight, and the honey is sourced from less than a mile away.

French 75 — Classic

  • 0.5 oz Hendrick’s gin
  • 0.25 oz fresh lemon juice
  • 0.25 oz simple syrup
  • Dry sparkling wine
  • Lemon peel for garnish
  • Edible flowers for garnish

Add all ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice; shake.

Fine strain into a small flute; top with dry sparkling wine.

Garnish with lemon peel and edible flower.

French 75 — Raspberry Mint

  • 0.5 oz Hendrick’s gin
  • 0.25 oz fresh lemon juice
  • 0.25 oz simple syrup
  • Raspberries
  • Mint leaves
  • Dry sparkling wine
  • Mint leaf bouquet for garnish
  • Edible flowers for garnish

Add all ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice; shake.

Fine strain into a small flute; top with dry sparkling wine.

Garnish with raspberry, small mint bouquet and edible flower.

French 75 — Blackberry Rosemary

  • 0.5 oz Hendrick’s gin
  • 0.25 oz fresh lemon juice
  • 0.25 oz simple syrup
  • Blackberries
  • Rosemary
  • Dry sparkling wine
  • Rosemary bundle for garnish
  • Edible flowers for garnish

Add all ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice; shake.

Fine strain into a small flute; top with dry sparkling wine.

Garnish with raspberry, small mint bouquet and edible flower.

Old Fashioned — Classic

  • 1 oz Four Roses small batch bourbon
  • 0.25 oz Demerara sugar syrup
  • Dash of angostura bitters
  • Dash of cherry bitters
  • Expressed orange peel for garnish
  • Luxardo Maraschino Cherries for garnish

Add all ingredients into a mixing glass with ice; stir.

Pour over king ice cube.

Garnish with orange peel and cherries.

Old Fashioned — Canadian

  • 1 oz Pendleton Canadian whiskey
  • 0.25 oz real maple syrup
  • Dash of angostura bitters
  • Dash of black walnut bitters
  • Cinnamon stick for garnish
  • Luxardo Maraschino Cherries for garnish

Add all ingredients into a mixing glass with ice; stir.

Pour over king ice cube.

Garnish with cinnamon stick and cherries.

Old Fashioned — Oaxaca-Jalisco

  • 0.5 oz Casamigos Añejo tequila
  • 0.5 oz Illegal Mezcal Reposado
  • 0.25 oz agave syrup
  • Dash of angostura bitters
  • Dash of orange bitters
  • Citrus peel for garnish
  • Luxardo Maraschino Cherries for garnis

Add all ingredients into a mixing glass with ice; stir.

Pour over king ice cube.

Garnish with citrus peel and cherries.

The Royal Sonesta New Orleans

Bananas Foster is as synonymous with New Orleans as Mardi Gras, jazz and beignets. Taking inspiration from the classic dessert, mixologists at The Royal Sonesta New Orleans reimagined the sweet treat into a cocktail featuring locally-distilled whiskey from Seven Three Distilling Co. and locally-made bitters from El Guapo. The result? Flavors that are undeniably New Orleans.

Bananas Foster Manhattan

  • 2 oz Seven Three Distillers Tremé Alchemy Single Barrel Whiskey
  • 1 oz Giffard Banane du Brésil
  • 12 dashes El Guapo Polynesian Kiss bitters
  • 2 dashes Fee Brothers Black Walnut bitters
  • 0.5 oz house-made salted caramel syrup
  • Brûléed banana slice for garnish

Stir together ingredients in a cocktail mixing glass. 

Add ice and stir with a bar spoon for 30 seconds until cold.

Strain the drink into a stemmed cocktail glass; garnish with brûléed banana slice.

The Stephen F. Austin Royal Sonesta Hotel

Deep in the heart of Texas is Austin, a city with a vibrant spirit and rich Tex-Mex heritage. The team at The Stephen F. Austin Royal Sonesta Hotel appreciates that spirit and heritage, and took it upon themselves to create a cocktail that captures the city’s energy, love for bold flavors and its diverse influences. The Two Tie the Knot does just that, blending masculine and feminine flavors, like smoky Mezcal and the florals of an elderflower liqueur. Wedding guests can customize their cocktails by adding Mezcal and flower water to suit their tastes.

Two Tie the Knot

  • 0.75 oz Blanco Tequila (Milagro Silver)
  • 0.25 oz St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur
  • 0.5 oz fresh lemon juice
  • 0.25 oz simple syrup
  • Mini-bottle of Mezcal (0.125 oz Ilegal Smoky Mezcal)
  • Mini-bottle of flower water (0.125 oz of even ratio mix of rose water and orange flower water)
  • Izze Sparkling Grapefruit Soda
  • Orange peel knot for garnish

Add tequila, elderflower liqueur, lemon juice and simply syrup into a cocktail shaker filled with ice; shake quickly.

Strain out chilled mixture into a Champagne flute.

Top with sparkling grapefruit soda; garnish with orange peel knot.

Turtle Bay Resort

Fresh ingredients, from seed to service, are a part of Turtle Bay Resort’s ethos, and that includes its cocktail program, too. Taking inspiration from the resort’s North Shore location on O’ahu, and its own 469-acre, on-property farm, Kuilima Farm, the culinary team created its signature cocktail: Turtle Baysil Mule.

Turtle Baysil Mule

  • 1.5 oz Elyx Vodka
  • 1 oz ginger syrup
  • 0.5 oz. strawberry purée
  • 4 Kuilima Farm basil leaves
  • 0.5 oz fresh lime juice
  • Soda water

Muddle basil in shaker.

Add strawberry, lime, ginger syrup and shake.

Pour mixture over ice in a glass; top with soda water.

The Loren at Pink Beach

Bermuda’s pink sand beaches set the scene for a romantic beach wedding and celebration, especially at The Loren at Pink Beach with its uninterrupted ocean views that meet the horizon. The hotel’s indoor and outdoor spaces can accommodate up to 200 guests or find a spot that’s as intimate as the couple desires. Whichever they choose, couples can toast each other and their lives together with The Tickled Pink, a cocktail that features a gin with aromatic undertones of hibiscus, mine and blood orange, and the color of which complements the pinks in the sand and sky.

The Tickled Pink

  • 1 oz Bermuda Pink Gin
  • 0.5 oz Cocchi Rosa
  • 1 oz fresh lemon juice
  • 1 oz raspberry puree
  • 0.5 oz sugar syrup
  • 1 oz egg white

Add all ingredients into a cocktail shaker.

Shake without ice for 10 seconds to emulsify.

Strain into another shaker.

Fill second shaker with cubed ice; shake for 10 seconds.

Pour into a cocktail glass; serve.

Note: The cocktail should have a lovely foam.

Learn more about Destination Weddings by ALHI and subscribe to our newsletter.