Liquor

We Stocked Our Own Wedding Bar — Here’s What We Learned — Homemade Weddings

When my now-husband and I were planning our wedding, we had two big goals: save as much money as possible, and still throw a kick-ass party that didn't feel cheap or chintzy. (So original, right?) With those things in mind, we decided early on what was worth splurging on (like the food and the reception space) and what wasn't (like paying someone else to stock our bar).

After booking our amazing caterer and our trendy Brooklyn venue, we were given a few different options for providing alcohol to our guests. We could buy a full-service bar package from the venue, pay our caterer to take care of everything, or buy the booze ourselves.

Eager to cut costs anywhere we could — and, if I'm being honest, to micromanage yet another aspect of our special day — we jumped at the chance to stock the bar ourselves. Our caterer would provide bartenders and take care of most of the logistics, but purchasing the drinks was up to us.

It was a great decision — we personalized our drink menu, served everything we wanted (and nothing we didn't), and saved a ton on markup and fees — but it wasn't without challenges.

Here's what we learned along the way, and in hindsight, about DIY-ing our own wedding bar.

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Recipe: Strawberry Mojito Pitcher — Easy Pitcher Drinks

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

Strawberries, on their own, are the taste of summer. Add them to a mojito and you have a berry good drink. The red berries leach their sweetness into the pitcher as they're muddled, acting as the ideal contrast to all that mint and rum. Now, batch that recipe up so that it'll fill your favorite pitcher and you have the makings of a fresh and fruity crowd-pleaser. If you thought regular mojitos were refreshing, this one is doubly so.

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How To Make the Ultimate Frozen Margaritas — Drinks Lessons from The Kitchn

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

My love for a margarita knows no bounds — I love a very classic fresh lime juice and tequila over the rocks margarita just as much as I love the sweet pitchers that our favorite Tex-Mex restaurant serves up. Frothy blended margaritas have a distinct appeal on a warm patio in the middle of summer — icy cold with a strong flavor that melts into a refreshingly mellow drink that keeps you from drinking too much.

On a mission to recreate what I love about a blended margarita without using sour mix or a can of limeade concentrate, I discovered an ice cube tray was the secret ingredient to making a blender margarita taste just as good as a fresh one with all the laid-back ease and hospitality the pitcher varieties offer.

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How To Make the Ultimate Frozen Margaritas — Drinks Lessons from The Kitchn

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

My love for a margarita knows no bounds — I love a very classic fresh lime juice and tequila over the rocks margarita just as much as I love the sweet pitchers that our favorite Tex-Mex restaurant serves up. Frothy blended margaritas have a distinct appeal on a warm patio in the middle of summer — icy cold with a strong flavor that melts into a refreshingly mellow drink that keeps you from drinking too much.

On a mission to recreate what I love about a blended margarita without using sour mix or a can of limeade concentrate, I discovered an ice cube tray was the secret ingredient to making a blender margarita taste just as good as a fresh one with all the laid-back ease and hospitality the pitcher varieties offer.

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Recipe: Triple Coconut Poke Cake — Easy Dessert Recipes

(Image credit: Maria Siriano)

Calling all coconut-lovers! If you're a looking for a special dessert for this weekend's festivities, this coconut poke cake won't let you down. With a coconut cake base, homemade coconut pudding (featuring homemade coconut cream!), and shredded coconut over a layer of fluffy white frosting, it's coconut sweetness through and through. It's also the perfect make-ahead dessert, as the cake really needs plenty of time for the pudding to permeate, flavor, and tenderize the cake — a good 24 hours is ideal. So make this today, and tomorrow you'll be cutting squares of tender coconut cake.

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The Easiest Way to Clean Up Wine Stains — Cleaning Lessons from The Kitchn

So you threw your friend a cocktail party for her birthday? That's so sweet of you! And someone spilled all the booze? Or some of it? That's not sweet at all! Luckily, you can easily clean it up, as long as you handle the spill smartly, says Donna Smallin Kuper, a certified house cleaning technician and author of The One-Minute Cleaner. Here's what you should do.

Note: These techniques will work on all sorts of boozy stains including spills of whiskey, scotch, red wine, or other dark liquids. Oh, and in the future you might want to consider a white wine and Champagne party instead — both of those things are a lot less likely to stain!

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