wedding trend: signature cocktails

The Caribbean Cocktail Revolution

One of the hippest trends in weddings right now is signature cocktails. Michelle Pino has contributed this recipe based on the knowledge and trends she has learned while working at Skana Spa in Upstate NY. When Michelle isn’t working you will find her baking, crafting, reading a magazine or catching up on her favorite TV shows. Below, she shares her experience with signature cocktails. 

I was at a wedding a few months ago and aside from the obvious happy family memories being made, I'll confess: my favorite part of any wedding is the chance to indulge in fancy, signature wedding cocktails. I've always felt they were too much work to make at home, so I leave the heavy lifting to a trusty bartender with a professional blender and cocktail shaker!

It was a really fun wedding theme - island tropics - and everyone who worked it wore Hawaiian shirts and cute island print dresses.  They couple had a small destination wedding, but then had a larger reception back at home for everyone to attend.  By far my favorite “themed” treat was something the bartender called the “Signature Drink” of the wedding: the Caribbean Cocktail. Yum!

It was so easy! I couldn't believe I'd been avoiding such a small amount of work and planning that would satisfy me at parties, not to mention impress my guests. Visions of cocktail nights with the girls, theme nights - tropic, like the wedding, or a thousand others I suddenly couldn't wait to attempt.

The day after the wedding, I gathered my supplies (I didn't bother with the fancy cocktail shaker – I read that any jar with a good, tight lid would work the same) and got right to work. With only a couple of bad batches, I soon got the hang of it and produced a perfect wedding cocktail in my own kitchen.  There are lots of recipes available for great signature cocktails on the internet, but here is one taken from the experts of the Turning Stone Resort, a Central New York wedding venue.  I hope everyone reading enjoys this recipe and throws a Tiki party of their own!

Caribbean Cocktail:


1/2 ounce unflavored vodka (any brand will do: personal preference)

1/2 ounce melon flavored liqueur (Midori all the way!)

1/2 ounce peach schnapps (It's a girly drink!)

1/2 ounce blue curacao (Did I not mention this drink is a fun aqua color?)

1/2 ounce pineapple juice (Use fresh if possible; otherwise, a can is fine!)

1 dash carbonated lemon-lime beverage (This sweetens it a lot, which I enjoy, but if you don't, you can use club soda or sparkling water)

Optional garnish:

1 Fruit wedge (lime, lemon, pineapple, etc.)

2 Maraschino cherries


Pop all the ingredients except for the garnishes and carbonated liquid in your jar or cocktail mixer and shake it like a Polaroid picture. Serve over ice and pour in soda a dash at a time until your taste buds soar. Garnish as desired - I also endorse cute paper umbrellas and plastic swords!