25 top signature wedding cocktails, recipes & insider tips


three cocktails on a wooden board

Wondering what drinks to offer at a wedding? Nothing will get your guests into the party SPIRIT like some signature wedding cocktails!

Now, don’t get us wrong – we love wine at weddings – frankly, who doesn’t? But there’s something special about cocktails. Something fun, glam, and a little bit extra – but in a really good way!

Prezola is the UK’s favourite wedding gift registry, so it’s safe to say that we know a thing or two when it comes to weddings. But what you may not know is that we also know our way around a cocktail shaker – just check out our huge range of barware and cocktail glasses if you don’t believe us!

Today, we’re talking all about signature wedding cocktails. How to pick them, what to call them, when to serve them and more. Plus 25 essential cocktail recipes to get you started!

wedding drink platter tray

What is a wedding signature drink?

This is simply a cocktail (or cocktails) that a couple chooses to serve at their wedding. And before you start wondering how to create a signature cocktail for your wedding, you really don’t have to be a master mixologist to make it happen. Most signature wedding cocktails are just regular classic cocktails that have been given a cute new name to tie into the wedding theme. The ‘Mr & Mrs Margarita’, the ‘I Do Daquiri’… you get the picture.

When to serve wedding cocktails?

Of course, you could have your signature cocktails available all day. But we’d advise sticking to a specific cocktail hour (or two!). Cocktails are time-consuming to prepare, which makes them a pricier option than your average glass of beer or wine.

And, depending on what you choose, they have the potential to be boozier too. So, for the sake of your budget and your guests’ heads the next morning, it may be best to put a time limit on them.

There's a couple of times that are ideal for serving your wedding cocktails, the first is after your ceremony- it's a great way to get your guests mingling and in the mood for the rest of the celebrations. Our favourite time is after the evening meal, it's the perfect sign to your guests that the evening celebrations are kicking off. Espresso Martini, anyone?

How to calculate drinks for a wedding?

So, how much booze will you need for your big day? The usual advice is to allow 2 drinks per person for the first hour of your drinks reception, then one per hour after that. So, if you’re serving wedding drinks for the first 2 hours of your reception, you should allow for 3 cocktails per person.

If you’re serving a wedding breakfast, allow half a bottle of wine per person with the meal. You may also choose to add a glass of fizz on top of this for toasts. Then revert to the 1 drink per person per hour rule for the rest of your party. Some guests will of course drink less than this and others will drink more… it usually evens out!

What are good wedding cocktails?

Allow us to make some suggestions! Whether you prefer a vodka, rum, gin, whiskey or tequila base, you’ll find something to love in our selection of 25 signature cocktail recipes. Try them at home - they are super easy - and serve your favourite at your wedding!

Vodka wedding cocktails

We think vodka cocktails make fantastic wedding reception drinks. Vodka’s neutral flavour means that it can pair perfectly with pretty much anything while letting all your other flavours shine through. So, while punchier spirits like whiskey can be an acquired taste, vodka is a real crowd-pleaser – perfect for a winning wedding cocktail!

1. Sex on the beach

Let’s start with a classic – fruity, flirty, and dangerously delicious. It’s also a nice long drink, perfect for sipping at summer weddings.

½ oz vodka

1 oz peach schnapps

Orange juice

Cranberry juice

Build in a highball glass filled with ice by adding vodka and peach schnapps and topping off with equal parts orange juice and cranberry juice.

sex on the beach

2. Classic cosmopolitan

If you’re looking for a cool wedding cocktail for your chic city wedding, you can’t go wrong with a Cosmo! I mean, if it’s good enough for Carrie Bradshaw…

1 oz Vodka

¼ oz triple sec

¼ oz lime juice

Dash of cranberry juice

1 lime wheel

Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker filled with ice and shake vigorously. Strain into a cocktail glass and garnish with a lime wheel.

Classic cosmopolitan

3. Moscow mule

If you’re planning signature cocktails, we think this one makes a great groom’s drink. It’s a bit spicy, a bit zingy, it’s a great one to wake people up and get them ready to party!

Juice of ½ a lime

1 part vodka

3 parts ginger beer

1 lime wedge

1 sprig of mint

Place the lime juice in a copper mug and add the desired amount of ice. Add the vodka and top with ginger beer. Garnish with the lime wedge and, if desired, a sprig of mint.

Moscow mule

4. Mr Funk

If you’re looking for fun names for wedding cocktails, this one is just crying out to be renamed after the groom. Also, just look at those ingredients… it’s like a pimped-out prosecco!

1 oz peach vodka

1 oz cranberry juice

Sparkling wine, to top

1 lemon twist

Place the vodka and cranberry juice in a rocks glass filled with ice and stir. Top with sparkling wine and garnish with a lemon twist.

Mr funk

5. Blue lagoon

Here’s another one that makes coming up with new wedding cocktail names a breeze… ladies and gents, allow us to present: Something Blue!

1 part vodka

1 part blue curacao

4 parts lemonade

Splash of lime juice

1 lemon slice

1 maraschino cherry

Place the vodka and blue curacao in a cocktail shaker filled with ice and shake it like a polaroid picture. Place the desired amount of ice in a mason jar and strain the mixture into it. Top with the lemonade and a splash of lime juice. Garnish with a slice of lemon and maraschino cherry.

blue lagoon cocktail

Gin wedding cocktails

It’s fair to say that gin has enjoyed a real renaissance in recent years. And with its fresh, botanical flavours it’s not hard to see why! When it comes to your wedding reception drinks, a refreshing gin cocktail is guaranteed to go down a storm.

6. The ramble

Fresh and fruity, the ramble puts a raspberry-flavoured twist on its more famous, blackberry-based cousin, the bramble. We love this one for a country garden wedding in spring.

2 oz Plymouth gin

1 oz lemon juice

4-5 raspberries

¾ oz simple syrup

Place the gin and lemon juice in a cocktail shaker with no ice, shake until combined, and strain over ice in a rocks glass. Muddle the raspberries and simple syrup with a cocktail muddler and pour the mixture over the top of the drink.

The ramble cocktail

7. Negroni

Ah, the Negroni… the Italian stallion of wedding cocktails. Definitely one for the more sophisticated palate, this grown-up drink works perfectly when paired with something sweet and fruity.

1 oz Campari

1 oz sweet vermouth

1 oz gin

1 orange twist

Place the cocktail ingredients in a rocks glass filled with ice, stir until combined, and garnish with a twist of orange.

negroni cocktail

8. Mason jar gin & tonic

Gin and tonics are perfect for wedding reception drinks – they’re popular, super quick to make, and so easy to jazz up! You could even set up a DIY gin and tonic station with different types of gin, tonic water and garnishes.

2 oz gin

A handful of rosemary leaves

4 oz tonic water

1 lime wedge

1 sprig of rosemary

Place the gin and rosemary leaves in a cocktail shaker filled with ice, shake vigorously, and then strain into a mason jar filled with ice. Add the tonic water and garnish with the sprig of rosemary and lime wedge.

gin and tonic cocktail

9. Salty mutt

You’d be forgiven for thinking that a salt rim is just for tequila cocktails… but why let tequila have all the fun! This salty, sweet, citrussy concoction is absolutely bursting with flavour.

Salt, for the rim

1 part gin

1 part grapefruit juice

1 part cranberry juice

1 grapefruit wedge

Wet the rim of a rocks glass and dip it into the salt. Place the gin, grapefruit juice and cranberry juice in a cocktail shaker filled with ice and… SHAKE SHAKE SHAKE! Strain into the rocks glass and garnish with the grapefruit wedge.

salty mutt cocktail

10. Bees knees

It’s got honey AND lemon… this wedding cocktail is practically a health drink!

2 oz London dry gin

¾ oz lemon juice

¾ oz honey syrup

1 lemon twist

Place the ingredients in a cocktail shaker filled with ice and shake vigorously. Strain into a chilled coupe and garnish with the lemon twist.

bees knees cocktail

Whiskey wedding cocktails

Whiskey tends to be one of those love-it-or-hate-it kind of spirits. But that certainly doesn’t mean it doesn’t make great cocktails for a wedding. The trick is to team it up with a lighter, fruiter wedding cocktail option to keep all your guests happy.

11. Classic old fashioned

You can’t go wrong with an old fashioned on your wedding bar menu! It’s that perfect combination of sweet, smoky and boozy.

Pinch of sugar

1 strip of orange peel

Splash of water

2 drops of bitters

2 oz bourbon

1 maraschino cherry

Place the sugar, orange peel, water and bitters in an old-fashioned glass and muddle. Fill the glass with ice, add the bourbon, stir, and garnish with the maraschino cherry.

old fashioned cocktail

12. Mint julep

If you’re on the hunt for unique wedding reception drinks, this one’s an oldie but a goodie… and as an added bonus, your breath will be minty fresh for your big ‘you may now kiss the bride’ moment!

4 torn mint leaves

1 tsp powdered sugar

Splash of water

2 oz makers mark bourbon

1 sprig of mint

Place the mint leaves, powdered sugar and water at the bottom of a glass and muddle. Fill the glass with cracked ice, add the bourbon, stir gently and garnish with the sprig of mint.

mint julep cocktail

13. Sweet tea punch

What’s better than iced tea on a hot summer’s day? … Iced tea that’s been spiked with bourbon, that’s what!

1 lemon slice

2 mint leaves

1 part bourbon

4 parts sweet tea

2-3 lemon wheels

Place the lemon slice, mint leaves and bourbon in a mixing glass and muddle. Place ice in a mason jar and strain the mix into it. Top with the sweet tea and garnish with the lemon wheels

sweet tea

14. Whiskey sour

As cocktails for a wedding go, a whiskey sour is a great shout. It’s always a popular choice and it’s SO easy to make, which means shorter waits at the bar and more time on the dancefloor. It’s a win-win!

2 parts whiskey

1 part lemon juice

Splash of water

Pinch of sugar

1 Maraschino cherry

Place the ingredients in a rocks glass filled with ice, stir and garnish with the maraschino cherry.

whiskey sour

15. Makers mule

Another fantastic wedding cocktail that’s quick and easy to make, the Maker’s Mule replaces the vodka (from the classic Moscow version) with whisky… it’s a BIG yes from us!

1 ½ parts makers mark bourbon

Splash of lime juice

Ginger beer to top

1 Lime wedge

1 sprig of mint

Place the bourbon and lime juice in a copper mug filled with ice. Fill with the ginger beer and garnish with the lime wedge and sprig of mint.

makers mule cocktail

Tequila & mezcal wedding cocktails

Tequila is the ultimate party spirit. If you need something that’s going to wake everybody up after that heavy wedding breakfast and speeches that might have dragged on a little … tequila is your gal.

16. Tequila sunrise

If you’re looking for memorable wedding signature cocktails, we love a tequila sunrise! Definitely not your everyday kind of drink, it’s colourful, it’s retro and it’s goddamn delicious.

1 part tequila

Dash of lemon juice

Orange juice to top

Splash of grenadine

1 maraschino cherry

1 orange slice

Place ice in a glass and add the tequila and lemon juice. Stir, top with the orange juice and add the splash of grenadine. Do not stir, instead allow the grenadine to slowly filter down through the orange juice and tequila. Garnish with the maraschino cherry and orange slice.

tequila sunrise cocktail

17. Classic margarita

Who doesn’t love a margarita?! We think they make great cocktails at weddings. One thing’s for sure - you can guarantee they’ll get the party started! They’re also super easy to prep in pitchers to save your bar staff time on the day.

Salt for the rim

2 parts silver tequila

1 part triple sec

1 part lime juice

1 lime slice

Wet the rim of the margarita glass and dip it into the salt. Place the tequila, triple sec and lime juice in a cocktail shaker filled with ice and shake until chilled. Strain into the glass and garnish with a slice of lime.

margarita cocktail

18. Tequila sparkler

Give your wedding champagne a cheeky tequila twist with this one… if nothing else, it’s guaranteed to liven up the speeches!

1 part tequila

Splash of lime juice

3 parts champagne

1 lime wedge

Place the tequila and lime juice in a champagne flute, top with the champagne and garnish with a lime wedge.

tequila sparkler cocktail

19. Think pink

If one of your wedding colours is pink, we think this one would make a great addition to your wedding bar menu!

Pink Himalayan sea salt for the rim

2 oz silver tequila

1 oz fresh lime juice

1 oz fresh ruby red grapefruit juice

3 oz sparkling rosé, plus a small splash

¾ oz simple syrup

1 oz orange liqueur

1 lime wedge or twist

Wet the rim of a rocks glass and dip it into the salt. Place the cocktail ingredients, except for the small splash of rosé in a cocktail shaker filled with ice and shake vigorously. Strain the cocktail into the glass, garnish with the twist of lime and top with the splash of rosé.

think pink

20. Mason jar paloma

This one’s got a real zing to it – we love it as a summer wedding cocktail.

1 part tequila

3 parts grapefruit soda

Splash of lime juice

1 lime slice

Add the tequila and grapefruit soda to a mason jar filled with ice. Add the lime juice, stir and garnish with the lime slice.

paloma cocktail

Rum wedding cocktails

We love rum wedding cocktails for destination weddings. They work perfectly for seaside venues too. It’s that laid-back little taste of the Caribbean that’s guaranteed to get the party started!

21. Mojito

You can’t go wrong with a classic mojito. And if you’re thinking about personalised cocktail names, this one works SO well… Mrs Smith’s Mojito… insert your married name here!

1 tbsp sugar

Juice of ½ a lime

1 cup crushed ice

2 oz white rum

6 oz club soda

10 mint leaves

3-6 mint sprigs

2-3 lime wheels

Add the sugar and fresh lime juice to a Collins glass and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Add one quarter of the crushed ice, then take 10 mint leaves, rub them over the rim of the glass, then tear each one in half and add them on top of the ice.

Stir again. Add the rum, club soda and remaining ice. Stir one last time, then add a few mint sprigs and lime wheels for garnish and enjoy. Stick the lime wheels into the drink itself for a little extra visual flair.

mojito cocktail

22. Piña colada

If you like piña coladas (and getting caught in the rain) why not serve them at your wedding?! We think it’s the perfect wedding cocktail for a destination wedding!

1 part white rum

1 part cream of coconut

3 parts pineapple juice

½ cup of ice

1 pineapple chunk

1 maraschino cherry

Place the cocktail ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth. Pour into a rum cocktail glass and garnish with the pineapple chunk and maraschino cherry.

pina colada with pineapple wedding cocktail

23. Dark & stormy

We love this as the groom’s signature cocktail… and if you’re after fun cocktail names, you could rename it the Tall, Dark & Handsome (if the gent in question fits the description of course!)

2 oz Dark rum

4 oz ginger beer

1 lime wedge

Place the rum and ginger beer in a rocks glass filled with ice, stir until chilled and garnish with the lime wedge.

dark & stormy cocktail

24. Runaway rum runner punch

There’s got to be some cheeky cocktail names in there somewhere… The Runaway Bride, anyone?... no, perhaps not. Still, this fruity classic makes a great wedding cocktail!

1 part spiced rum

2 parts orange juice

1 part cranberry-raspberry juice

Fill a punch bowl with ice, add the rum and orange juice and then top with the cranberry-raspberry juice. Do not stir, serve immediately.

Runaway rum runner punch cocktail

25. Tropical storm

Another fantastic option for a destination wedding or seaside venue, we love the tropical vibes of this one. It’s the perfect wedding cocktail to get you hyped to spend your Prezola honeymoon fund!

1 part white rum

1 part dark rum

1 part passion fruit syrup

Juice of ½ a lemon

Splash of grenadine

1 lime wedge

Place the ingredients in a cocktail shaker filled with ice and shake vigorously. Strain into a Hurricane glass and garnish with the lime wedge.

tropical storm cocktail

Bonus: invent your own wedding cocktail!

If you're a dab hand at mixing cocktails, why not have a go at creating your own? Not feeling so brave? Add a cocktail masterclass to your Prezola wedding gift registry and learn how to be a top mixologist for all those post-wedding cocktails!

P.S. If you’ve enjoyed our list of wedding cocktails, they can all be found in The Encyclopedia of Cocktails: Over 1,000 Cocktails for Every Occasion. It’s the perfect coffee table book for cocktail lovers. Add it to your gift registry now and you can spend the rest of your lives working through the recipes together in boozy wedded bliss!

Happy cocktail mixing!