Curating cocktail hour can be tricky. Between hors d’oeuvres, décor and the open versus cash bar debate, we’ve made your cocktail selection easy by handpicking five Virginia-based creations to kick off your reception. Say “I do” to these fruity, bubbly and stormy mixers that are sure to appease the palates of wine, beer and whisky drinkers alike.
Whether your ceremony is on the beach or in the mountains, this classic cocktail will leave wedding guests refreshed and relaxed. Mixed with Virago Spirits’ Four-Port Rum, the golden liquor offers a dirty take on a traditional silver mojito. The Four-Port Rum is a tropical combination of aged rums from Barbados, Jamaica, Nicaragua and Panama and breathes fragrant notes of vanilla, coconut, fig and crème brulée. Muddled mint and a dash of sugar cut the rum with naturally sweet tastes.
3/4 ounces of fresh lime juice
2 tsp. raw sugar
9–10 mint leaves
2 ounces Four-Port Rum
Stir together lime, sugar and mint and leave to rest at the bottom of a glass. Add rum, top with ice and fill the remainder of the glass with club soda. Stir gently before garnishing with lime and mint.
Morning, noon or night, Blood Marys are a crowd-pleaser. This tasty tipple is spicy, savory and most importantly, boozy. It also features a vodka crafted with 100% Virginia wheat from Smithfield-based Blue Sky Distillery.
2 ounces tomato juice
1 1/2 ounces Dog Star Vodka
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
3/4 tsp. horseradish sauce
3 dashes Tabasco sauce
1 pinch of salt
1 dash freshly ground pepper
Combine tomato juice, Dog Star Vodka, Worcestershire sauce, horseradish sauce, Tabasco sauce, salt and pepper in a stirring glass. Pour Bloody Mary mix over ice and garnish with celery and olives.
Bubbly and fruit-forward, a pour of Sparkling Punch makes a refreshing cocktail for summer and fall weddings alike. Michael Shaps’ Méthode Sparkling 2014 is crafted with 100 percent riesling grapes and boasts citrus aromas and familiar tastes of vanilla and toast on the tongue. The punch’s addition of fresh fruits brings flavor and color to each glass.
1 1/2 cups orange juice
1 1/2 cups pineapple juice
1 bottle of Michael Shaps Méthode Sparkling 2014
1 cup of raspberries
8 rosemary sprigs
Combine fruit juices and Méthode Sparkling in a chilled punch bowl. Garnish with raspberries and rosemary sprigs and serve.
This Southern take on a French classic is brimming with Virginia savors. The Southern 75 swaps gin for bourbon and introduces the hoppy addition of a locally made Indian Pale Ale. The caramel notes and hoppy nature of O’Connor Brewing Company’s El Guapo Agave IPA blends well with the hints of vanilla, spice and oak that arise from A. Smith Bowman Distillery’s Virginia Straight Bourbon Whiskey.
1 1/2 ounces Bowman Brothers Virginia Straight Bourbon Whiskey
6 ounces El Guapo Agave IPA
3/4 ounce fresh lemon juice
1/2 ounce Sugar Cane KISS simple syrup
Pour beer into chilled glass. Combine bourbon, lemon juice and simple syrup in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake and strain bourbon mixture over beer, and garnish with a lemon twist.
Red Farmhouse Sangria
Pop the cork on this red libation and your cocktail hour is ready to go. Bursting with dark sweet cherries, orange and lime, Chateau Morrisette’s Farmhouse Sangria is ideal for bucolic celebrations and pairs deliciously with grilled hors d’oeuvres.
1 bottle Chateau Morrisette Farmhouse Sangria Red
Optional garnishes—cinnamon sticks, pineapple, orange slices, strawberries, grapes
Pour Farmhouse Sangria over ice, and garnish with your choice of fruit.