5 DIY Cocktail Recipes For Your Summer Wedding

By Maria Yeonhee Ji

The provision of delicious cool beverages is fundamental for a successful summer wedding. So why not use your upcoming wedding as an excuse to dabble in mixology and venture into the delightful world of cocktails? We’ve brought you this curated selection of recipes for five incredible cocktails from the far reaches of the world. Give them a whirl - not only might you find the perfect drink to supply at your wedding, you might also stumble on your new summer beverage of choice (and a secret talent at cocktail making). 

1/ THE GIMLET

A timeless drink based on gin and lime juice, the gimlet is one of the easiest cocktails to prepare at home. Traditionally, it was made with a 1:1 gin to bottled lime juice, however contemporary recipes call for more alcohol and less juice in this cocktail that could easily become your go-to drink this summer. 

cocktail, summer, wedding, DIY

Image sourced from The Answer Is Always Pork (cover image credit left to right: Life as a Strawberry, Wedding Forward, Holly and Flora)

INGREDIENTS 

5 cm slice of peeled cucumber - cut into eighths
10 mint leaves
1.5 teaspoons of light agave nectar or simple syrup
1 lime, juiced
45 mL gin
Ice

INSTRUCTIONS

Muddle the cucumber, mint, and agave nectar in a cocktail shaker until the cucumber no longer offers resistance.
Top up the cocktail shaker with ice, then pour in the gin and lime juice. Place the lid on the shaker and shake for approximately 20 seconds, or until the cocktail is thoroughly chilled.
Strain the mixture into a martini glass. 
(Optional) Garnish with a small sprig of mint.

2/ MOJITO

One of the most popular summer cocktails, the mojito is a perfect drink for a hot summer day. Rum made effervescent, with an added kick thanks to the lime juice and mint, makes for the perfect drink to sip on throughout wedding celebrations, especially considering the mojito’s relatively low alcohol content. 

cocktail, summer, wedding, DIY

Image by Daniel Krieger Photography

INGREDIENTS 

45 mL white rum
30 mL lime juice, freshly squeezed
90 mL club soda
2 teaspoons sugar
3 mint sprigs, freshly picked
Ice cubes

INSTRUCTIONS

Place the lime juice and 2 mint sprigs into a tall glass. Muddle the mint gently, taking care not to shred or crush the leaves. 
Add the sugar and club soda into the glass. Stir gently.
Fill up the glass with the ice cubes. Add the rum. 
Top off the glass with club soda, and stir before serving.
(Optional) Garnish with a small sprig of mint.

3/ MAID IN CUBA

A modern classic invented by bartender Tom Walker, the Maid in Cuba is a drink that won the Bacardi Legacy Global Cocktail Competition in 2014. The absinthe-rinsed glass adds sophistication to the flavour, making it an interesting alternative to the mojito or daiquiri. 

cocktail, summer, wedding, DIY

Image by Farideh Sadeghin

INGREDIENTS 

7.5 mL absinthe 
50 mL rum (Bacardi Carta Blanca light rum recommended, but alternative white rum may be used)
22.5 mL lime juice, freshly squeezed
15 mL sugar syrup (2:1 sugar to water)
7 mint leaves, freshly picked
2 slices of peeled cucumber
Splash of club soda

INSTRUCTIONS

Pour the absinthe into an ice-filled glass. Top this glass with water and leave to stand. 
Without muddling the cucumber, shake the other ingredients (excluding the soda) with ice. 
Discard the contents of the glass (absinthe, water, ice). The glass will now be coated with absinthe. 
Strain the cocktail shaker’s contents into the glass. 
Top off the glass with a splash of soda to give the drink some lift. 
(Optional) Garnish with a slice of cucumber. 

4/ THE PENICILLIN

Invented by Australian Sam Ross at the prestigious Milk & Honey Bar in New York, the penicillin is a great option for those looking for something less sweet (but still refreshing). A smoky, spicy drink that has established itself as a household favourite all over the world, there are several variations on the original recipe - here’s one to try this summer. 

cocktail, summer, wedding, DIY

Image by Daniel Krieger Photography

INGREDIENTS 

For the honey syrup
1 cup honey
1 (2.5 cm) piece of ginger, peeled and thinly sliced 

For the cocktail 
60 mL of any single-malt or blended scotch (lightly peated)
7.5 mL of Islay scotch
22 mL lemon juice, freshly squeezed
3.75 mL honey syrup
11 mL sweetened ginger juice
Candied ginger for optional garnish

INSTRUCTIONS

Prepare the honey-ginger syrup by combining the honey, ginger, and 1 cup of water in a saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to medium and allow the mixture to simmer for 5 minutes. 
Chill honey-ginger syrup mixture overnight. Strain in the morning (discard the solids). 
To make the cocktail, combine the blended scotch, lemon juice, and honey-ginger syrup in a cocktail shaker. Fill the shaker with ice, and shake for approximately 20 seconds, or until ingredients are thoroughly mixed. 
Strain the mixture into a glass with one large ice cube. Double straining with a fine tea strainer can help remove smaller pieces of ginger.  
Top the glass off with Islay scotch. 
(Optional) Garnish with candied ginger.

5/ SANGRIA

A punch of Spanish origins, sangria is an alcoholic beverage for all occasions - a summer wedding is simply another (great) excuse to enjoy this invigorating drink. With seasonal fruits to flavour the wine, there’s no other cocktail that quite captures the essence of summer. The following recipe is for sangria with strawberry notes, but this ingredient can be easily substituted with other favourite fruits. 

cocktail, summer, wedding, DIY

Image by Jim Scherer Photography

INGREDIENTS 

750 mL red wine (medium-bodied wine such as garnacha or merlot recommended)
1 cup of ruby red grapefruit juice
Lime juice (from 2 limes), freshly squeezed
¼ cup of sugar
Strawberries and lime slices for optional decoration

INSTRUCTIONS

Chill wine, grapefruit juice, lime juice, and fruit garnish in the refrigerator for a couple of hours. 
Combine the red wine, grapefruit juice, and sugar. Stir thoroughly. Allow to chill for another 2 hours to allow the flavours to develop.
Place ice inside glass pitcher; pour the matured mixture over the ice. 
Squeeze freshly squeezed lime juice over the mixture.
(Optional) Garnish with strawberry and lime slices, and serve.



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