How to Create a Signature Cocktail for Your Wedding

Boston Harbor Hotel catering managers Michael Boivin and Cortney Hurley offer their take.

courtesy of Boston Harbor Hotel

Photo by Mikhail Glabets courtesy of Boston Harbor Hotel

Forget the monogrammed luggage or towels. You and your future spouse deserve your own cocktail, something that really has your name all over it. Perhaps it’s a tropical blast that’s a nod to your upcoming honeymoon destination. Or maybe it’s a warmed slicked back number that calls out to shared love of roaring fires and ski slopes.

Michael Boivin and Cortney Hurley, catering managers at the Boston Harbor Hotel, do more than 100 weddings a year. Here’s their take on how to craft your very own signature cocktail.

Where do you start in determining a couple’s signature wedding cocktail?

When thinking about signature cocktails, we always work with the couple to create a drink that reflects them individually or as a couple—and is something their guests will enjoy drinking. We find it is often less about the actual theme of the wedding and more about the bride and groom. The season often plays a large part, as does the size of event, but most importantly the couples’ personality and their story.

How much of the couples’ dynamic should go into it?

One hundred percent! The most successful signature cocktails—and the most memorable—are those that truly reflect the couple—from who they are and where they’re from, to how they met and what they enjoy most about each other.

What’s the process?

First, we find out what beverages they like to drink and see if there’s a story behind a specific beverage that comes to mind. We love to find something really meaningful to the couple. Where are they honeymooning? What were they drinking when they got engaged? We then bring in our beverage team to create a selection of signature cocktails for the couple, which they can sample at their tasting and decide what fits them best.

How else can a couple add a little bit of “them” into the drink?

There are so many creative ways couples can infuse themselves into their signature drink, from custom straws and stir sticks to garnishes and specific ingredients.  The options really are endless and we love coming up with new and playful ways for the custom cocktail to really reflect the couple.  Highlighting ingredients or tastes from a specific geographic location with meaning to the couple is always fun. For example, a sweet tea-infused cocktail for a wedding couple with Southern ties.

What’s the most memorable drink you’ve concocted?

One of the more memorable is a wedding where the groom was planning the honeymoon as a surprise to the bride. He arranged for the signature cocktail served at their wedding reception to be tropical, with a custom stir stick inscribed with “Meet me in Bora Bora.” This was how he broke the news to his bride of their Tahitian honeymoon.

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