Looking for summer wedding cocktail ideas to serve that are unique, refreshing, and something that guests haven't seen at the half dozen weddings they attended earlier this summer? These cocktail ideas are the perfect fit for late summer weddings. Whether you're getting married at a farm, backyard, the beach, or a fancy hotel, these drinks are sure to surprise and absolutely delight your guests.
Created by some of the best wedding venues and restaurants in Rhode Island (a seaside destination wedding state that knows how to do summer weddings right), these cocktails are not your run-of-the-mill gin and tonic. They're creative, they're fun, and they will undoubtedly be a conversation starter during your cocktail hour and well into dinner.
Serve these late summer cocktails as part of a full bar offering, or serve them as a signature cocktail alongside beer and wine. Ask your bartending service to use them for inspiration (including all the ingredients for the more complicated ones that could cause super long lines at the bar), or DIY the simpler ones yourself.
No matter what you do, just make sure your wedding planner or maid of honor knows to bring these drinks directly to you during the wedding. It's easy to get talking to guests, and never make it to the bar. Trust me — whichever of these liquid treats you decide on, you are not going to want to miss it!
1. A summertime thirst quencher
Nothing says summer wedding like a refreshing lemonade on a hot day. This cocktail, appropriately called "Front Porch Swing," from Harbor Lights Country Club is the perfect "adult" lemonade with sweet tea vodka as a main ingredient.
Ingredients: Deep Eddy Sweet Tea Vodka, lemonade, lots of ice
2. A fun twist on an old classic
Daiquiris are another summertime favorite — especially if you're having a beach wedding. Turn the old classic up a notch by using a surprising ingredient like ginger mint in this cocktail from Gracie's in Providence.
Ingredients: Rum, ginger mint, cane syrup, and lime
3. A notch above
Ginger beer is popping up all over the place these days, and here's a fun drink made with gin and ginger beer. Aptly called the "Gin-gerly," it's another impressive creation from Gracie's. Also, ginger beer is a great mixer to have on hand as it takes your bar up a notch beyond the standard soda mixers.
Ingredients: Farmer's gin, salad burnet syrup, cardamom water, fresh lemon juice, cucumber, and ginger beer
4. Farm to Cocktail Glass
This watermelon radish cocktail from 22 Bowen's in Newport stands out from the crowd because it's so farm fresh. Who knew radishes were oh so drinkable? It's perfect for a farm wedding where one won't be surprised to find fresh produce on their plate... or in their beverage.
Ingredients: Tequila, sour, cilantro, watermelon radish, honey
5. Get fancy with flowers
Edible flowers are another fun way to make a drink more exciting, and make your bar more bountiful. This cocktail — appropriately called "Yup, I'll Have Another" from Gracie's — is perfect for a refreshing summer drink with its lemon vodka and colorful floral garnish. As an added bonus, it makes for a great picture.
Ingredients: Crop Meyer lemon vodka, Giffard Pamplemouse, fresh lemon juice, simple syrup, edible flower garnish
6. A smooth operator
Rum (and even more rum) means fun in the sun with this unique cocktail, the "Smooth Diplomat" from The Dorrance. But don't let all that rum fool you — this is one impressive specialty drink for a discerning crowd.
Ingredients: Diplomatico Reserve Rum, Velvet Falernum, Don Q Coconut Rum, Lemon, Banana Spice Syrup, Tiki Bitters and Angostura
7. A popular choice
Here's another cucumber and ginger beer combo, but this one's for the vodka drinkers out there. The "Up & Cumber" from The Dorrance is a drink that will put a refreshing kick in the dog days of summer. Vodka's always a popular choice, so it's one liquor you'll want to have plenty of on hand.
Ingredients: Crop Organic Cucumber Vodka, St. Elder, Lime, Simple Syrup and Regatta Ginger Beer.
8. A sprig goes a long way
If you've been on Pinterest lately, you know that sprigs of herbs are a popular choice to include in place settings at weddings, and they can do double duty by garnishing drinks. Here's another nature-inspired cocktail, the "Low Brush" from Harbor Lights Country Club, that's great for a farm or garden wedding.
Ingredients: Stoli Vanilla, fresh lemon, and rosemary syrup.
9. The Too-Much-Summer-Fun Cure
If you're having a brunch wedding, why not include a bloody? Or save this one for your post-wedding Sunday brunch. To really knock this drink out of the park, top with an oyster like they do at the Matunuck Oyster Bar. It's an appetizer and drink in one!
10. Take it to the beach
There's still plenty of time for beach fun during the late summer, and this cocktail from Harbor Lights Country Club, "Sea Spray," makes sure guests enjoy every last bit of seaside fun at your wedding. It's sweet and salty — just like the very best beach day.
Ingredients: St George Dry Rye Gin, grapefruit, lemon, dash Peychaud's, and a sweet and salty rim
Images courtesy of: Harbor Lights Country Club, Gracie's/JWessel Photography, 22 Bowen's, The Dorrance, and Matunuck Oyster Bar.
Cocktail credit: Gracie's recipes courtesy of Kristi Dukoff.