by Thomas Doane
The date is set. The wedding party has been selected. The custom invitations have been sent out. It seems that, finally, all the details of my wedding are starting to fall into place. Planning such a big event can be taxing. There is, of course, a lot of emotion involved–my fiancé and I will be declaring that we love each other deeply enough to shoulder each other for the rest of our lives—which makes weddings meaningful. But I think all the customization you do is what makes weddings fun.
Weddings are constantly being redefined and refreshed. Traditions come, go and change. It’s always interesting to see how the couple makes the event their own. My fiancé is consumed by the seating arrangements because she believes whom someone sits with drastically affects how much fun they have. I care more about the bar because I think what someone drinks will drastically affect how much fun they have. We are both right. We agree that the ultimate goal is that our guests to have a wonderful time. Sharing the joy of two people who love each other is something everyone should support and we want our reception to be a blast. I find that joy behind the bar.
I started tending after college, on the prowl for something I was passionate about. I somehow landed a spot at a resort hotel. It was a classy joint but still relaxed and such a great atmosphere that I stayed around for a few years. I quickly became adept at mixing tropical drinks. Because we were a beachy place I was always slinging coconut, citrus, pineapple, anything you’d want to have in your hand by a pool. We were lucky enough to have some couples come back for years and they always seemed excited to see me behind the bar.
I have made many drinks in my time but two that I love (and you should love) will be served at my wedding–Margaritas and Sex on the Beach. Now, I know less secure men balk at the talk of fruit drinks; but I’ve served some of my best (and strongest) cocktails shaded under tiny umbrellas. Tropical drinks are nothing to sneeze at and if you follow my method they’ll be some of your favorites too. Below are my adaptations but you can find many of the “official” recipes for cocktails at the International Bartenders Association.
1 1/2 oz. tequila
1 oz. triple sec or Cointreau
1 oz. of lime juice
Make as much as you please, but the proportions should follow the list above. The quality of your ingredients is the main determiner in your final cocktail. The tequila should be 100% agave, I know this gets pricey but it is worth it. I prefer Triple sec to Cointreau, its bitter cousin, which is also made from orange peels. If you wanted to make a flavored margarita (raspberry, strawberry, pom, etc.) you can do this by substituting the triple sec for the appropriate liqueur. The lime juice is self-explanatory; use a fresh lime, trust me. One lime will get you 1-1½ oz. of juice.
You should combine all of the ingredients in, mix with ice and pour in a glass with ice and a salted rim. Frozen margaritas (the same recipe, just in a blender) are popular to combat hot days but the chill makes it hard to actually taste the drink so I generally avoid them.
Sex on the Beach
1 oz. vodka
½ oz. peach schnapps
1 oz. cranberry juice
1 oz. orange juice
This is a really popular one and if you have all four ingredients it’s simple to make. Some bartenders try to layer this drink; stacking the ingredients and not mixing. This does make the drink look like a sunset but the resulting taste isn’t prime. Throw all ingredients into a shaker with ice, mix and pour over ice into a highball glass, garnish with anything tropical; I prefer a pineapple.
Relationships, I have learned, are all about compromise. My fiancé and I have made many compromises in the last months of planning. She knows that if not chained down I’d slip right behind the bar once I hear a bottle open. I’ll try to stay in my seat. But at the very least I know that my recipes will be back there and all our guests will have a fantastic time.
Author Bio: Thomas Doane is one of Belts and Bangles fabulous contributing authors. He believes in that beauty doesn’t come easily, but it can come cheaply. Stay tuned for more tips and tricks about natural beauty solutions from Thomas Doane.