sidecar copy

Summer is definitely the season for icy cocktails. Light and refreshing, these 10 classic cocktails can help inspire your signature drink(s) for the bar at your reception--whether you choose to improve upon them, or leave a standard to shine.

Above, the elegant sidecar was invented pre-Prohibition, and was one of the cocktails that defined the next decade. A mix of cognac, triple sec, and lemon juice, this would be perfect for a coastal wedding during the summer.

Of course, nothing is more classic than an old fashioned (below). It's a little retro and will make you feel like a character on Mad Men, in the best possible way.  It's a very unfussy drink (we prefer ours with bourbon, but rye is just fine too) that is universally popular.

old fashioned copy

A cocktail with a similar flavor profile is a manhattan. This recipe (below) is for a "perfect" manhattan, meaning that there are equal amounts of sweet and dry vermouth. Try it with both, and then with just sweet, to see which one you like better.

manhattan copy

Whiskey sours often get a bad reputation because of cheap and artificial mixers. But with real sweet and sour mix, this drink is just about the best thing on a planet to drink on a patio after a really warm day.

whiskey sour copy

There is so much more to love about a dark and stormy than its name (although, it is reason enough).  A mix of dark rum and ginger beer (below), this is a fairly budget-friendly cocktail because you don't need top shelf dark rum for this to be delicious.  As with most of these cocktails, note the large ice cube in this one. Using either a large round or square cube will keep drinks cooler for a longer amount of time, and not dilute them as quickly.

Dark-And-Stormy copy
fruity frozen margarita copy

Some of the previous cocktails are certainly a bit distinguished. And now we have a few for those that prefer their drinks with a heavier dose of fun. Above, make frozen margaritas with all different fruit flavors. For a beach or tropical wedding, go with a mai tai (below, left). If you are going to serve Moscow mules, find a place that will rent the copper mugs (below, right) that make them extra magical.

mai tai copy
Moscow Mule copy

This fruity hurricane is mixed with passionfruit syrup. Extremely refreshing, but they go down really easy, so take caution.

hurricane copy

If you are having your wedding in the South, you might want to consider a brunch wedding before the weather gets unbearable. We think these minimalist Bloody Mary cocktails will do just the trick!

bloody mary copy

Credits: Five O' Clock Cocktails   |   Spirited Alchemy   |   Garnish with Lemon   |   Fogged In Lounge   |   The Effortless Chic   |   Sugar & Charm   |   This Girl Walks Into a Bar   |   Camille Styles   |   Stir & Strain   |   Chasing Delicious