Build Your Own Martini Bar: Glam Wedding Ideas on a Budget

Save on the drinks budget and look super classy in the process! DIY a make-your-own Martini bar for your wedding reception. A fun and glam alternative to the open bar. 😉 Check out these ideas and these trending Martini recipes.

Save on your wedding alcohol budget. Make-your-own martini bar for an ultra glam wedding reception.

Save on your wedding alcohol budget. Make-your-own martini bar for an ultra glam wedding reception.

Hosting an open bar is pretty expensive when compared to offering a few signature drinks. Let your guests mix, shake and mingle while enjoying your make-your-own Martini bar. 😉 Add a few signs with martini recipes to the tables and let them enjoy their creations during cocktail hour. We’ve added lots of recipes on this article, so take your pick.

Here are a few tips and ideas to build your own Martini bar:

  • Hiring a barman to help prepare and mix the drinks will cost you a bit more but it will also offer some added entertainment.
  • Remember to serve some nonalcoholic, or “mocktail” options, your guests will thank you.
  • Consider adding some personalized cocktail napkins bearing clever phrases like “When life hands you lemons, make Lemon Drop Martinis”, “Keep Calm and Drink a Martini”, “We like it Shaken, but not Stirred”, or a take on Sex and the City “Classy & Fabulous”.

Let’s go over what you need to build your DIY Martini bar, how much to buy and some of the most popular and trending cocktail recipes to choose from. Cheers!

What You Need for a DIY Martini Bar: The Basics

Just six simple and easy-to-find elements turn a regular bottle of vodka or gin into the make-your-own martini bar of your dreams. Your guests will love the ability to create their own drinks and you’ll love not having to throw down the cash for multiple kinds of alcohol.

  1. Vodka and Gin. You want to cater to all your guests and some swear that a true martini has to have vodka and others will not even sip a respectable martinis unless it’s made with gin.
  2. Vermouth. A must for any martini bar. You cannot create a Martini without vermouth.
  3. Cocktail shaker. Be true to the Bond style and let your guests shake their martinis if they so desire.
  4. Martini mixing glass and stirrers. Usually, Martinis are served stirred. Let your guests mix their own on mixing glasses where they will stir their cocktails to perfection.
  5. Martini Garnish. Olives, cocktail onions, olive juice, lemon slices, citrus rind, maraschino cherries, and any other additions you’d like to put in your cocktail. Citrus garnishes will be more fragrant and olives and onions will give it a more savory flavor.
  6. Ice. Most martinis are served up (in a cocktail glass without ice), but you will need ice both to keep your bottles cool (especially the vermouth) and to throw in with the other ingredients while stirring.
Cocktail hour may be quite entertaining with this martini bar service with signature drinks. Can't wait for that first icy sip!

Cocktail hour may be quite entertaining with this martini bar service with signature drinks. Can’t wait for that first icy sip!

How Much to Buy to Build your Martini Bar for a wedding Reception

In order to know how much you will need to build your martini bar make a list of all the ingredients needed for each type of Martini you will be offering. Multiply times 3 (the average number of Martini’s per person during 4 hours) and then multiply again by the number of guests. It wasn’t so hard, was it?

Build your make-your-own martini bar. Don't forget the garnish!

Build your make-your-own martini bar. Don’t forget the garnish!

Popular Martinis

A Martini consists of Gin or Vodka which is shaken or stirred in a mixer with ice, and then poured in to a chilled glass which contains vermouth, and then garnished with an olive or a lemon twist. (Add a pearl onion and you have a Gibson). The more vermouth, the “wetter” the Martini and the less vermouth concocts a “dry” martini.

The most popular martinis are the Dirty Martini, Dry Manhattan, Dry Martini, Fifty-Fifty Cocktail, Gibson, Gimlet, Gin Martini, and the Manhattan. Check out these classic and popular martini recipes and pick a couple for your martini bar! Enjoy!

Build a custom Martini Bar for your wedding reception and save on the drinks budget. Find out more on the biog!

Build a custom Martini Bar for your wedding reception and save on the drinks budget.

Dirty Martini Recipe

A twist on the classic dirty martini. But don’t worry, we haven’t changed the recipe: Only how it’s served! This dirty martini recipe makes 3-4 shots depending on the size of your shot glasses.

Dirty martini shots. Check out the recipe!

Dirty martini shots.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 oz Olive brine or olive juice
  • 1 Olives
  • 4 oz Vodka or gin
  • 1 splash Water

Mix all the ingredients (except the olive) in a cocktail mixer with 2 ice cubes.

Put it in a frozen martini glass and the olive on a wooden stick.

How to Make a French Martini

Add some delicious fruit to your cocktail with the original 1980s McNally’s recipe.

French Martini is made with Chambord, vodka, and pineapple juice. Check out the recipe on the blog.

French Martini is made with Chambord, vodka, and pineapple juice.

Ingredients

  • 1 Raspberry or a lemon twist
  • 60 ml fresh Pineapple juice
  • 1 Handful Ice
  • 15 ml Chambord liqueur
  • 50 ml Finlandia vodka

Shake ingredients with ice and strain into martini glass. Garnish with raspberries. Oh La La!

The Perfect Manhattan: A Classic Cocktail

The Manhattan is 2 oz. Rye or Bourbon; 1 oz Sweet Vermouth and a few dashes of Angostura bitters stirred, strained into a chilled glass and garnished with a cherry. For the Dry Manhattan substitute the Sweet Vermouth with Dry and garnish it with a lemon twist.

The Perfect Manhattan is one of several ways to enjoy this classic cocktail. This recipe serves 2.

Master the Perfect Manhattan with this recipe. Prefer your Manhattan with sweet vermouth and a cherry or dry with a lemon twist? Or maybe you want it Perfect

Prefer your Manhattan with sweet vermouth and a cherry or dry with a lemon twist? Or maybe you want it Perfect! Master the Perfect Manhattan with this recipe.

Ingredients

  • 2 Lemon, twists
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters
  • 1 oz Dry vermouth
  • 4 oz Rye or blended whiskey
  • 1 oz Sweet vermouth

Swirl the ice to chill. Add the whisky, vermouth and bitters. Stir with a bar spoon until the contents are ice cold. Fill two martini glasses and garnish them with a lemon twist.

Trending Martini Recipes for your Martini Bar

Let’s review a few recipes for the Martini cocktails that are trending this year.

Purple Dragon Martini

You will need 3oz vodka; 1 1/2oz cranberry juice; 1/2oz blue Curacao liqueur; 1/2oz sweet and sour mix; 1/2oz of 7-Up and 2-3 ice cubes.

Mix all ingredients in a blender or food processor for 20 to 30 seconds on high speed. Salt the rim of your martini glass, pour and enjoy!

Purple Dragon Martini. Doesn't it look gorgeous?

Purple Dragon Martini. Doesn’t it look gorgeous?

Triple Berry Martini Recipe

The Triple Berry Martini tastes great, is beautiful, and easy to prepare. Mix 1 cup Pomegranate juice; 2 small chunks of dry ice; 3 oz of Chambord black raspberry liqueur; and 3 oz of Strawberry vodka. Shake and serve on a chilled Martini glass and garnish with a strawberry.

Triple Berry Martini tastes great and it looks even better.

Triple Berry Martini tastes great and it looks even better.




Jalapeño Peach Martini Recipe

For a Jalapeño Peach Martini you will need 2oz good quality vodka; ½ oz of dry vermouth; 2oz of peach nectar; and 6 thin slices of fresh jalapeño. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add all ingredients, shake gently for about 10 seconds. Pour through the strainer into a chilled martini glass.

Jalapeño Peach Martini. Try one and you're hooked!

Jalapeño Peach Martini. Try one and you’re hooked!

Blue Lemon Martini Recipe

Ingredients 3 ounces of gin; 1/2 ounce dry vermouth; 1 teaspoon Blue Curaçao; 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice. Add all the ingredients to shaker which has been half filled with ice. Shake until chilled, strain and pour into martini glasses.

Blue lemon Martini recipe. A perfect fit for beach, modern or industrial weddings.

Blue lemon Martini recipe. A perfect fit for beach, modern or industrial weddings.

French Pear Martini

Simple and sophisticated, the French Pear Martini has a light, floral taste. This delightful drink features pear vodka, St. Germain, and sparkling wine. This recipe serves one.

The French Pear Martini can work for any celebration style from formal dinner to brunch weddings.

The French Pear Martini can work for any celebration style from formal dinner to brunch weddings.

1 Superfine sugar

1 Champagne

1 1/2 oz Pear vodka

1 1/2 oz St. germain elderflower liqueur

Rim a cocktail glass with superfine sugar. Pour the liquors into a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake well and strain into the prepared glass. Top with Champagne.

The Ostentatious Pornstar Martini

The Pornstar Martini is a Vodka based drink with fruity, sweet and sour cocktail ingredients and a vanilla aroma. One of the trendiest martini drinks this year, here’s the recipe for those who love passionfruit!

Pornstar Martini or Passionfruit Martini. Find out how to make one in minutes.

Pornstar Martini or Passionfruit Martini. Find out how to make one in minutes.

Ingredients

1 shot glass of Brut Champagne

1 tbsp Lemon juice, fresh

1/2 tbsp passionfruit syrup

1/2 tbsp Sugar syrup

1 measure | 25ml | .8fl oz passionfruit liqueur

3 Fresh passionfruit

Fill a Martini glass with crushed ice to chill. Add in the passion fruit, sugar syrup, passion fruit liqueur, and lemon juice into a shaker and shake the cocktail. Empty your Martini glass and strain in the drink, then garnish with the passion fruit. Serve with a shot glass of Brut Champagne.

Discover what Martinis are trending today: Pornstar martini.

Discover what Martinis are trending today: Pornstar martini.

Espresso Martini: Shaken, Not Stirred

The Espresso Martini was created in London’s Soho in the 80’s and with modern day’s obsession with coffee it is as popular as ever. you will need 50ml vodka; 35ml coffee liqueur; 25ml espresso; and ice.

Pour the vodka, coffee liqueur and espresso into a cocktail shaker. Now add some ice to the shaker and close it. Shake it until the ice breaks. Strain the martini into a martini glass through a sieve to create the foam. Garnish with a few coffee beans and serve.

Espresso Martini. shaken not stirred.

Espresso Martini. shaken not stirred.

Are you ready to build your make-your-own Martini bar for your wedding reception? 😉 Or would you like to see a few more recipes?

Salted Caramel Martini Recipe. 2 parts Rum Chata, 1 part caramel flavored vodka, sea salt or table salt. Rim glass with caramel. Shake ingredients with ice and strain into salted martini glass *optional* drizzle caramel in bottom of glass.

Salted caramel Martini. Make this into a Mocktini and all your guests will be delighted.

Salted Caramel Martini Recipe: 2 parts Rum Chata, 1 part caramel flavored vodka, sea salt or table salt. Rim glass with caramel. Shake ingredients with ice and strain into salted martini glass *optional* drizzle caramel in bottom of glass.

Disney's Godiva chocolate Martini. Sinfully magical. 1 Chocolate syrup; 1 Ice, cracked; 1 oz Creme de cacao, dark; 1 oz Godiva chocolate liqueur; 1 oz Stole vanilla vodka; 1 oz Frangelico.

Disney’s Godiva chocolate Martini. Sinfully magical.

Disney’s Godiva Chocolate Martini: 1 Chocolate syrup; 1 Ice, cracked; 1 oz Creme de cacao, dark; 1 oz Godiva chocolate liqueur; 1 oz Stole vanilla vodka; 1 oz Frangelico.

Extra-Dirty Martini.

Extra-Dirty Martini.

S'Mores Martini. Super yum! Marshmallows and Graham crackers. Who knew you could eat a drink!

S’Mores Martini. Super yum! Marshmallows and Graham crackers. Who knew you could eat a drink!

The caramel apple martini is a simple fall inspired cocktail made with salted caramel vodka, sour apple liqueur and apple cider.

The caramel apple martini is a simple fall inspired cocktail made with salted caramel vodka, sour apple liqueur and apple cider.

Jack Frost cocktail for winter weddings! Vodka, pineapple juice, blue curacao and cream of coconut create the most delicious, beautiful and festive cocktail!

Jack Frost cocktail for winter weddings! Vodka, pineapple juice, blue curacao and cream of coconut create the most delicious, beautiful and festive cocktail!

The Perfect Lemon Drop Martini. Remember to only use table or kosher salt and water for the glass rim (no margarita salt or lime, please!)

The Perfect Lemon Drop Martini. Remember to only use table or kosher salt and water for the glass rim (no margarita salt or lime, please!)

Martini Royale. Just the name Martini has a classy ring about it, but adding Prosecco makes it even more decadent.

Martini Royale. Just the name Martini has a classy ring about it, but adding Prosecco makes it even more decadent.

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Photography credits: mantitlement, Ginger Wroot, Barb Kievel, domesticfits, Blonde Vision, heinstirred, hookersandbooze, A Cocktail Life, The Hopeless Housewife, Kamie Oliver

2 replies
  1. Cyndia
    Cyndia says:

    So delicious!!! Planning on making some of these martinis this weekend for a small party!!!

    Reply

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