From the bar to beauty, wedding day advice from the professionals.
Illustration by Dana Cooper.
What are the must-have liquors and mixers for a Bermudian reception?
Obviously no Bermudian bar would be complete without Gosling’s Black Seal Rum and Gosling’s Stormy Ginger Beer to make the classic Dark ‘n Stormy. That said, there are clearly many other key spirits and mixers necessary to complete a full open bar aimed to impress. At least one quality vodka would be required, such as Ketel One, Belvedere or Tito’s, as well as a gold rum such as Gosling’s Gold or Mount Gay Eclipse. At least one Scotch whisky—the most popular being Chivas Regal 12 year—plus an American whiskey which can only be Jack Daniels. A good Canadian whisky like Seagram’s V.O. would certainly have some followers, as would a quality gin such as Bombay Sapphire or Hendrick’s. This selection covers the basic minimum of the most popular spirits likely to be asked for. Depending on how complete you would like the bar to be and to ensure nothing is omitted there are other key spirits that could be considered, such as Patron Tequila and Hennessy Cognac. Outside of this would be liqueurs, which would be the smallest component and not necessarily a must but more of an individual choice. Some popular liqueurs that your guests may request are Southern Comfort, Dekuyper Blackberry Brandy, Di Saronno Amaretto and Kahlua.
Your question was about must-have liquors and mixers, but a beer offering or two would also be required. Without a doubt , Corona—and to offer some choice I’d recommend Stella Artois and Bud Light. The base mixers not to be without are ginger beer, Coke, ginger ale, tonic water and club soda. Any others, like Sprite, orange and diet soda would depend on the needs of children and specific guests. I would also stock orange, pineapple and cranberry juices. The orange and pineapple, at minimum, will be used to make some rum swizzle which follows the Dark ‘n Stormy as a must for a Bermudian bar!
How can I save costs but still have a tasteful open bar?
One of the best ways would be to offer just beer and wine. Wine is very popular and there are many inexpensive options. You could simplify it by offering only one white and one red wine, but an option of two whites and two reds would be better. There are a number of great producers that offer quality wines at very affordable prices including Two Vines, Columbia Crest, Woodbridge Mondavi, Santa Carolina and Wente. If you still wish to offer liquor as well, then you could substitute some of the more popular brands with brands that are not as well-known (through advertising) but are none-the-less quality products. The pricing for these brands, such as Grant’s Scotch, MacArthur’s Scotch and our own bottling of Muskova Vodka and Crystal Gin, is considerably more affordable.
Expert: Mark Harrington, Senior Sales Manager, Gosling’s Limited