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Destination I Do
Monday, March 30, 2020

Destination-Inspired Cocktail Ideas

Words by Be Inspired PR

Finding the perfect cocktail for your destination wedding seems like a simple task, but hop on Pinterest and you'll likely find yourself overwhelmed with options. The good thing is, you don't always have to be the one to make the decision. In fact, Be Inspired PR spoke with two cocktail enthusiasts and a Hawaiian resort - all who will inspire you to choose your destination wedding's cocktail with confidence.

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Sarah Kuhlberg is the Creative Director of Colette's Catering located in Orange County, California. Kuhlberg says, “Trying new food and cocktails is a must when traveling! When picking a cocktail, gravitate towards what the locals are drinking, whatever the native spirit is, ask for fresh or bright juices and look around for some great insta-worthy moments. Also, it doesn’t hurt to ask the bartender to make their specialty drink, chances are they will create something unique.” A few drinks Colette's Catering offers that nod to the bright, floral essence of Orange County are:

La Brunch Bellini 
Ingredients: Sparkling Rose Wine, Pear, Pomegranate Juice PINK

Citrus Sparkler 
Ingredients: Strawberry Vodka, Pink Lemonade, Moscato Float

Figtini
Ingredients: Vanilla Vodka, Fig Jam, Orange Liqueur  

Our second cocktail connoisseur is Hodde Bros Beverage Co. The founder, Darci Kendall, shares a cocktail creation story from one of their real wedding experiences. "One of our couples had their heart set on getting married in Cuba," Kendall says. "The new travel restrictions made it difficult for their guests to easily join them, so they decided to bring the flavors and hospitality of Havana to their Cabo wedding. We were inspired by the vibrant colors, flowers and native spirits of the island, ultimately landing on three specialty cocktails for the menu that we think should be certified Cuban classics:

Hibiscus Tequila Sour
Ingredients: Blanco Tequila, Fresh Lime Juice, Simple Syrup, Egg Whites, Dried Hibiscus Flowers


"The first was a Hibiscus Tequila Sour, served tableside in a pour-over style. The tequila is filtered through dried hibiscus flowers (which can be found all over the island) creating a vibrant pink color, then shaken with fresh lime juice, simple syrup and egg whites.  The final product is a silky, frothy cocktail with beautifully balanced elements of sweet and tart...just like love!"

Chi Chi Lina
Ingredients: Vodka, Fresh Pineapple Juice, Cream of Coconut, Spirulina. Mango Cocktail Pearls, Dried Pineapple, Bougainvillea

"Our next cocktail, the Chi Chi Lina, is one of our favorites.  It brings in tropical fruit flavors found on the island -- including pineapple, coconut and mango -- into a fun frozen adult slushie.  Built off of the traditional Tiki Chi Chi recipe, this variation includes fresh pineapple juice, cream of coconut, a pinch of spirulina (a known superfood) for that Havana teal color, plus mango cocktail pearls for a boba-esk punch of flavor.  When drinking this cocktail, it's appropriate to cheers to the couple's health!"

Clarified Milk Punch
Ingredients: Cuban Rum, Overproof Rum, Bourbon, Cognac, Black Tea, Bitters, Lemon, Pineapple, Cinnamon, Clove, Star Anise, Milk, Bougainvillea Ice Sphere]

"The final cocktail was a Clarified Milk Punch, with a Cuban rum base instead of the traditional brandy or bourbon.  This delicious drink requires intense passion, dedication and about 48 hours to create. But it's time well spent when you taste this boozy libation that goes down easy and packs a punch.  Here's the best part!  Because of the chemical process, this cocktail goes through, it can be saved for over a year in the fridge. So, forget about freezing your wedding cake.  Save a bottle and open it on the first anniversary instead!"

And last, but certainly not least is the Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa, putting their own Hawaiian spin on a classic tropical cocktail. They’ve completely elevated the classic Mai Tai experience to create...

The Sandbar – a unique spin on the classic “Mai Tai”
Ingredients: fresh-squeezed orange and pineapple juice, macadamia nut syrup, Kohana white rum, a float of Diplomatico dark rum, lime, and a boozy chocolate dipped pineapple garnish!

The moral of the story is, don't worry about being the perfect mixologist. Consider asking your caterer to either pair their existing cocktails with your destination appropriately or request that they curate a custom cocktail just for your wedding. Once that's done, we highly recommend kicking off your shoes and grabbing a drink!

Photos courtesy of (in order of appearance): Jillian Rose Photography (1st & 3rd); Julieta Amezcua (2nd) & Sheraton Mau Resort & Spa (4th)

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