DIY Wedding Tips from the Pros: How To Create a Signature Reception Cocktail

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Recently engaged and hoping to plan a wedding that's both creative and unique without breaking the bank? Well, you're in luck! Because this month, we are planning on revealing some of the best (top secret) wedding planning tips — all sourced from the pros! We'll be starting with a small yet impactful way to keep your reception chic yet budget friendly. 

One portion of the celebration that can drink up the budget in a hurry is the reception bar. We have all been to weddings where the open bar lasts for hours, the top shelf liquor seems to disappear within minutes, and before the night's end, the deposit the couple's been saving for months for their starter home still turns into the final payment for the bar tab. What?! 

So, how about this: instead of offering a full bar, consider featuring a curated selection of the bride and groom's favorite wines and craft brews paired with a simple cocktail. Bring the signature cocktail out to start the evening off right, or reserve it as a complement to the formal toasts. By following this method, you will be able to limit the amount of the budget spent on liquor while still offering your guests something special and out of the ordinary. 

This week, I headed into the mountains of Silver Plume, Colorado to learn from custom bitters creator Shae, of Dram Apothecary, and local handcrafted spirits guru Stephen, of Peak Spirits, how to create a signature cocktail. Check out their step by step tutorial on how to create the signature "Two of Cups" cocktail, aptly named for the tarot card which signifies marriage and the union of lovers. 

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What You Need

Ingredients

Instructions

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Step 1: Pour champagne into a pitcher or punch bowl, and add the gin, simple syrup, and lemon juice. 

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Step 2: Lightly bruise the lemon balm and add it to the pitcher. Slapping the leaves of the Lemon Balm between the palms is a good technique for extracting the aromatic oils. Fresh Lemon Balm can usually be found at farmer's markets or in the yards of grandmothers and herbalists. 

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Step 3: Stir gently and serve, adding 5 shakes of DRAM Honey Chamomile bitters to each glass. 

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Step 4: Garnish with a leaf of Lemon Balm and enjoy! 

Well, there you have it folks! A classy way to entertain your wedding guests while keeping the liquor budget in check. If you're planning a trip to Denver soon, be sure to make a stop at Dram Apothecary's headquarters, The Bread Bar, and then hop over to take a tour around Peak Spirits' organic farm distillery in Hotchkiss. From one martini lover to the next, I can honestly say their lavender infused organic gin is to die for! 

Thanks, Stephen & Shae!

(Images: Kathryn Bacalis)