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.
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.
- 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.
- Vermouth. A must for any martini bar. You cannot create a Martini without vermouth.
- Cocktail shaker. Be true to the Bond style and let your guests shake their martinis if they so desire.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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?
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!
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
1 Superfine sugar
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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Photography credits: mantitlement, Ginger Wroot, Barb Kievel, domesticfits, Blonde Vision, heinstirred, hookersandbooze, A Cocktail Life, The Hopeless Housewife, Kamie Oliver