How To: Spice Up Your Drinks Menu

Bedford Soda and Liquor’s Jason Clark shares seasoned advice on how to add some flavour to your big-day beverage range.

  • Story by Photo Stephen Tilley

Bedford Soda and Liquor’s Jason Clark shares seasoned advice on how to add some flavour to your big-day beverages range.

For six of Jason’s special wedding recipes, see our Groom’s Guide – free with every issue of New Zealand Weddings Winter 2014!

Can cocktails be seasonal?

100 per cent yes. It’s good to pick the right drink to suit the weather and the ingredients that are available.

What is one cocktail you’d serve at a late afternoon summer wedding?

I love tall, refreshing soda-style drinks, particularly for weddings – I’d go for a premium natural fruit syrup, a shot of booze, some fruit citrus topped with soda and some fresh mint.

How many cocktails  should you serve – one option (signature) or multiple options?

It can be nice to have two – one for immediately after the ceremony when the bridal party is getting photos taken (something fruity, refreshing and a little bit fancy so people can toast you with something nice). Then people tend to go onto their beer and wine, but after dinner is a great time to offer a second cocktail.

What spirit would you recommend for wedding cocktails?

You can’t go wrong with vodka – it’s neutral so you can put it with so many different flavours. But for something more exciting, try gin or a light rum – premium gold or a spiced option.

Are there any new alcohols around at the moment that are on trend?

The new Sipsmith Summer Cup is from a small craft London distiller – it’s sort of their own version of Pimms. It’s a really nice herbal fruit-based gin liqueur. You can just have it with lemonade if you want, or you can try mixing it with a variety of fruits and a strawberry fruit syrup for sweetness.

What’s your tipple of choice?

It all depends on the time, the place, the moment. I love having a glass of red with my dinner but when it comes to spirits, gold rum is my favourite. It’s so diverse and gives you so many options – daquiris and mojitos made with rum, through to mai thais and rum on the rocks. I do like gin when I’m having refreshing, fruitier options. And then I like whiskey at the end of the night, whether it’s a quality bourbon or a single malt. I’m not hard to please!

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