St. Simons Wedding Planner :: Island Destination Weddings | southern cocktails
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We Likey: Makers Mark (Signature Drink Inside!)

peach bourbon smash cocktail

:: The Peach Bourbon Smash ::

 

We’re all for a good cocktail, especially a nice Southern cocktail for a signature drink!

We received a beautiful bottle of Makers Mark to sample, and WOW!  Makers Mark is a Kentucky bourbon with a soft, smooth flavor—what is so special about Makers is that the flavor stems from the root of winter wheat in the mash as opposed to rye.

 

You would expect bourbon to be hard; but this smooth, full bodied and very flavorful.  I love the bottle, which looks like melted wax own the sides; I almost was sad to break the seal.  FYI, Makers Mark has a wonderful rich history of being a family owned distillery and that unique wax seal is created by hand.  Each bottle is hand dipped!

Known as “the” bourbon for young sophisticates, it’s good clean, and in my opinion, very good mixed in a cocktail.  I enjoyed it in a whiskey sour and also loved it in this great Southern Cocktail:

Bourbon Peach Smash

  • Muddle 2 pieces of fresh Georgia peach, 2 lemon pieces, and 2 to 3 mint leaves in 1 ounce of simple
  • syrup in the bottom of a mixing glass
  • Add 2 ounces of Maker’s Mark Bourbon and shake
  • Strain into an old-fashioned glass filled with crushed ice
  • Garnish with a mint sprig

 

If you ever get a chance to try it, you will definitely like it– even if you aren’t a boubom

 

Southern Food for Your Wedding

When brides come here to Coastal Georgia for their destination weddings, they are looking to incorporate some of the Southern beauty into their event vision.  Extending that vision to your menu is no different.  You can add special twists to your menu while enhancing the charm of southern fare.

 

Many couples choose to treat their guests to very elaborate meals to reflect their celebration.  One of the biggest staples in southern food is fried chicken, which can be done elegantly and uniquely for an unforgettable experience for your palate.  While most guests don’t expect to eat with their hands at weddings, this Lemon-Brined Fried Chicken by chef Thomas Keller  of Ad Hoc sounds delectable and well worth it!  The chef said that they only did friend chicken twice a month (every other Monday), but have now increased the frequency and expanded the menu due to the demand.  For those  looking for the real “down home taste”, opt for the buttermilk fried chicken recipe by Emeril.   If you’re looking for an intimate and engaging style reception, as your caterer or venue to provide the food in “family style service”.  Your servers will provide platters for each table of food, of which guests make their own plates and pass to each other.  It is similar to a buffet, since the caterer will keep the platters full, but guests aren’t forced to leave their table.  The key to serving something so simple is to amp up its presentation and taste.  With chefs Emeril and Keller’s recipes, we’ve got taste covered.  When served family style, look for platters, bowls, and other service items that are reflective of event vision.

photo by Jennie Chen

Here in the Golden Isles, every year we have the Shrimp and Grits festival on Jekyll Island with chef demonstrations, concerts and so much more.  So needless to say, Shrimp and Grits are big in southern coastal cuisine.  There are several great recipes like this one by Tyler Florence and or this one by chef Eric Kelly.  With the many variations and serving styles (i.e., as a shooter, amuse bouche, or as a side or entree), the possibilities are endless.

 

Instead of rolls, opt for the Southern foodie favorite:  cornbread!  Cornbread can appeal to so many of your guests with variations of recipes like Paula Deen’s Vidalia Cornbread (seen above), Emeril’s Cast Iron Honey Cornbread, or this amazing recipe for jalapeno cornbread.  Can’t make a decision?  Offer them all!

 

Being an avid John Grisham fan, I distinctly remember reading about his protagonist in A Time to Kill eating fried dill pickles (seen above)  and I thought, “gross”!  A few days later I went to the House of Blues in L.A. with my family and tried some. Pure Heaven.  Since we don’t eat a lot of fried foods, these are some of the few things I will occasionally prepare.  Looking for something a bit more healthy?  Try Joe Vitale’s Fried Green Tomatoes with Bacon Vinaigrette and Warm Frisée.  Both would make for great food at your cocktail hour along with these Southern Cocktails.

There are so many other great ideas out there, by some of your favorite well known chefs like Louis Osteen’s Charleston Cuisine, Paula Deen’s Kitchen Classics: The Lady & Sons Savannah Country Cookbook and The Lady & Sons, Too!,  Patti LaBelle’s LaBelle Cuisine: Recipes to Sing About is phenomenal.  Her Over the Rainbow Macaroni and Cheese is the TRUTH.  We’re talking real mac and cheese, honey—the kind hat is not fixed in a pot but comes out of the oven.  And don’t forget Emeril’s Potluck: Comfort Food with a Kicked-Up Attitude.  These are just a few ideas to get you started.  Be reflective of your area—serve up local hot sauces and seasonings like Maryland’s Old Bay with your food, or garnishes, preserves, and drinks from the local area.  Food can inspire so much for the rest of your event vision, so go with what you love.

Southern Cocktails

One of the perks of a grand party is the food and drinks.  With a lot of destination weddings here on Jekyll Island, St.Simons Island and Savannah, I have found more brides and grooms wanting to incorporate the area’s rich Southern culture into their menus.  The fun part (read= my most favorite part) is the choosing the cocktails!  Adding playful touches and substitutions can make a signature drink reflective of your event and your personalities.

Mint julep :: Make It Fabuluxe: Make it mint julep martini by adding vanilla vodka and creme de menthe.  Garnish with green sugar and float a spring of mint at the top.

Frozen Peach Champagne Cocktails :: Make It Fabuluxe: Create designs inside each glass with raspberry syrup.

Mississippi Punch :: Make It Fabuluxe: Make it bubbly!  Add club soda to kick it up a notch.

Scarlett O’Hara :: Make It Fabuluxe:  Add a dash of Peach Schnapps to really bring out the Georgia goodness!

Whiskey Sour :: Make It Fabuluxe:  Turn your whiskey sours in to slushes for your hot outdoor southern wedding  by boiling lemonade and orange juice concentrate with 7 cups of water (double boiler) and 2 cups of sugar.   Once the sugar has dissolved, mix together with whiskey and freeze for two hours. Let stand for 30 min at room temperature and scoop into cocktail glass.

Milk Punch :: Make It Fabuluxe:  Serve with delectable cookies large enough to fit/sit on the rim of the highball glass.

Firefly Sweet Tea Vodka :: This has become a hit at all Southern cocktail parties, since sweet tea is the official non-alcoholic beverage of the South.  Firefly is made with 70 proof vodka, which makes it easier and smoother than regular vodkas.  Make It Fabuluxe: Mix with lemonade to make an Arnold Palmer with a little more kick.

Do you have a favorite Southern cocktail of your own?  Tell us about it!