Cocktail Renaissance

A New Wave in Drink Trends

Vow of Love Cocktail: Dried strawberries and the scent of roses will leave romance on your wedding guests' minds.
Colin Miller

How Yusef Austin, cocktail architect, is stirring up the bar.

Bitters, tinctures and bespoke concoctions tailored to the guest are just a few indicators that we are living in an exceptional era of specialty drinks. Premier cocktail architect Yusef Austin, who first met Colin Cowie at an event in Miami years ago, is leading the charge, crafting unique drinks for events and parties like no one has ever tasted before.

The secret to Yusef’s delectable success: experimenting with flavors that make guests not just enjoy but be surprised. He creates flavor combinations that pique their curiosity and, ultimately, make them come back for more. His love of mixers, from exotic syrups to herbs or tinctures, rivals his appreciation for all spirits equally. Whether it is champagnes, tequilas or rums, they are all mediums for his imagination.

We asked Yusef to give us the trends that are shaking up the bar for your wedding:

Hire More Than Bartenders

When you’re hiring a drinks staff, it is important to differentiate between the bartenders who serve mixed drinks and the artisan, commonly dubbed a mixologist, whom you can hire to invent cocktails for your occasion.

Yusef recommends: Bartenders sling vodka sodas or beers, and are there to make a quick buck. A mixologist or cocktail architect is a craftsman. I think about infusions, glassware, color, garnishes and building a cocktail that leaves your senses thirsting for more.

Know What A Mixologist Can Do

Justifying yet another vendor to hire for your wedding can be hard to swallow—until you taste one of their master concoctions. There’s no question that a bar curated by a mixologist will ratchet up your wedding guest’s pleasure principle.

Yusef recommends: Hire a mixologist who is able to tailor drinks based on the client’s needs and wants. I always have a tasting with a client so we can narrow down what to serve to about three cocktails and a shot for each party.

Limit The Number Of Specialty Drinks

While there seems to be infinite possibilities of drink concoctions to serve your guests, it is important to carefully edit your selection so it isn’t overwhelming.

Yusef recommends: Serve three to four cocktails and a shot max! It does not matter how many people are going to attend. This keeps it clean and manageable.

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