Cocktail reception: The cool brother of champagne reception

The classic champagne reception is somehow part and a must-have event at every wedding. If you are looking for a cool alternative to get your guests in the mood for the party? How about a cocktail reception? We’ll show you how to bring a little savoire vivre to your party and tell you our favourite recipes!

Photos: muttimachmal


A Cocktail reception is not about getting drunk. It’s about winding down after the ceremony and exchanging thoughts. So party music doesn’t fit here very well. To give your reception a classic, lounge-like feel, we recommend a quiet background: Chanson, lounge music, jazz, trip hop or chill-out electro… but also a live acustic guitar interlude or a saxophonist complete the frame perfectly!


Receptions usually don’t take place directly in the wedding hall or your main celebration location – rather in front of your location or in an adjoining room. Don´t worry too much about the decoration. It should be cosy! Provide some seating: Sofas provide a cosy atmosphere and offer older guests a place to rest. A reception is usually held standing up – this ensures movement and interaction of the guests. And that’s what it’s all about!


Of course there should always be something to nibble on with the alcohol. Classically snacks are suitable. If you want to break new ground, you should consider bar snacks. And we are not talking about peanuts and pretzels. Everything goes well with cocktails: Antipasti of all kinds, mixed olives, salted almonds, mini falafel, small quiches… Have the ham be freshly sliced in front of your guests! Or choose unusual types of popcorn, such as parmesan parsley. The possibilities are endless – but they should suit you and the drinks. But also a salty bar (the counterpart to the famous candy bar) is wonderful with cold drinks.

Which drinks?

Too much selection confuses the guests and is a challenge for the barman. Make it easy for your guests and offers three drinks which cover different tastes. Something fruity sweet, a bitter drink and something sour is a good choice. Please don’t forget to offer a non-alcoholic alternative and water to go with it. Cocktails contain a lot of alcohol. You don’t want your guests to tip over right from the start.

Preparation is everything

Many cocktails have to be prepared fresh and are therefore less suitable for a reception. After all, all guests should be served quickly and without long waiting periods. Caipirinhas or daiquiris have to be fresh, e.g. because of the high proportion of ice cubes they contain. However, there are a number of drinks that you can prepare (have prepared) and which can to be served quickly.


Keep it simple! Most classic cocktails look beautiful and are simply garnished with a fresh lemon or orange zest. That´s enough and smells wonderful. Choose small glasses for your drinks. This way your guests can try their way through your selection without feeling the effects of the drinks too quickly. Small cocktail stations are a real highlight for the guests (and for you – because you can’t relax more)! Fill your cocktails into small decorative bottles. This way your guests can serve themselves.

Unsere Cocktail Recommendations:


The Negroni is a classic cocktail that is often served with an aperitif. It’s a very strong cocktail, which is why you should serve it only in small glasses… but it’s incredibly round and balanced. Simply a true all-arounder. Not without reason the Negroni is officially second on the list of “The World’s Best Selling Classic Cocktails”.

2 cl red Vermuth
2 cl Campari
1-2 cl Gin

Mixes all ingredients in the glass with ice, squirts it off with lemon zest and put it in the glass.

Wedding tip:
Mixes all the spirits in advance, fills them and puts them in the fridge. On your big day, put a few ice cubes in a glass, fill in some Negroni and put some fresh zest on it. Voila!

Photos: muttimachmal

Aperol Schuhmann´s

Although only created in 1991, the Aperol Schuhmann’s is yet a fruity classic. The creator of this drink is the most famous barman in Germany: Charles Schuhmann. The drink is tart but thanks to the orange juice it is fruity and refreshing.

2 cl lemon juice
1 cl Lime Juice
4 cl Aperol
4 cl orange juice

Shaked all the ingredients vigorously with ice cubes and then fill the drink into a glass while you strain the ice.

Wedding tip:
This drink is perfect to prepare! Once shaken it can be bottled and then left cold to wait for its use. Filled in small bottles with a swing stopper, the guests can serve themselves as they please! And it looks real beautiful, doesn’t it?

Author: Daya Paterek

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