If you're getting married abroad (or even if you're not, but think your cocktail hour could use a little exotic edge), here's an intoxicating idea: Consider incorporating locally made spirits into your drink list -- maybe as an ingredient in a signature sipper or to spritz up a classic cocktail. Read on for three liquors that will infuse your big day with a sense of place. If you want to play bartender and test them out first, I've also included some great recipes.
Having a blast at your wedding, and working in some local culture? We'll drink to that.
Sint Maarten/St. Martin: Guavaberry liqueur
This half-French, half-Dutch Caribbean isle is known for its guavaberries -- small, cranberry-size fruit islanders are mad for, using them in jams, pies, and even their own boot-legged hooch.
"Guavaberry Colada" recipe from Sint Maarten Guavaberry (shown above):
Put ice in a blender, add 2 oz Sint Maarten Guavaberry, 1 oz cream of coconut, 3 oz pineapple pieces or pineapple juice. Blend well. Garnish with a pineapple slice, toasted coconut, and fresh nutmeg.
Similar to rum, Brazil's most popular booze (pronounced ka-SHA-sa) is the main component in the country's national cocktail, the caipirinha. It's made from sugarcane, which lends it a distinct, earthy sweetness.
You've heard of tequila, but how about its close cousin mezcal, which packs a smoky, fiery punch? Though this spirit has been around for years, right now it's experiencing a pop-culture resurgence with bar-slash-art-spaces dedicated to it, articles written about it, and even celebrities coming out with their own versions of it.
"Brisa de Oaxaca" recipe from Del Maguey Mezcal created by Pablo Moix from LaDescarga in Los Angeles:
Shake 1 oz Del Maguey Vida (shown above), 1 oz Yellow Chartreuse, 3/4 oz lime juice, 1/4 oz orange juice, and 1 barspoon of sugar in a cocktail shaker, and strain into a coupe glass. Garnish with a lime wheel.
Thirsty yet? Maybe I'll cover beers next week!