Take a Sip and Enjoy These Tasty 2024 Wedding Cocktail Trends

Did someone say AI-generated drinks?
2024 Wedding Cocktail Trends That Demand Your Attention
Photo: Lovisa Photo, Chandra's Collection, Anna Delores Photography, Getty Images,Design: Tiana Crispino
chapelle johnson the knot associate editor
by
Chapelle Johnson
chapelle johnson the knot associate editor
Chapelle Johnson
Associate Editor
  • Chapelle writes articles for The Knot Worldwide. She covers all things wedding-related and has a personal interest in covering celebrity engagements and fashion.
  • Before joining The Knot Worldwide, Chapelle was an editorial intern for Subvrt Magazine.
  • Chapelle has a degree in English writing from Loyola University New Orleans.
Updated Dec 13, 2023

Whether it's an alcohol-based drink or the newest adaptogenic bev, serving the right libations can make or break your celebration. This is why we believe engaged couples should be up to date on the latest wedding cocktail trends (and other nuptial shifts). According to The Knot 2023 Real Weddings Study, to-be-weds pay an average of $2,400 for alcohol and bar services for the wedding day. This may seem like a lot, but many couples view it as a worthy cost because of the story they can tell through their drinks and the joy they get from seeing their loved ones break it down on the dance floor. But with so many different types of liquor, mixers and garnishes to choose from, you might not know how to start crafting your cocktail menu. Check out the top cocktail trends of 2024 we can't wait to see at happy couples' weddings.

Think you know everything there is to know about the wedding cocktail world? Think again. Check out these trendy cocktails of 2024 so you can go to your desired bartender confidently.

1. Interactive Cocktail Experiences

    Bartender making a blue and black cocktail.
    Photo: Maksym Fesenko | Shutterstock.com

    Next year's weddings will be all about pumping up guest experiences, which is why this will be one of the most popular cocktail trends of 2024. Kim Hanks, a long-time event planning expert and Owner of Camp Lucy, tells us more. "Couples are looking to make their wedding celebrations more engaging, and interactive cocktail experiences are on the rise. This could include DIY cocktail stations, where guests can customize their drinks, or interactive mixology demonstrations by skilled bartenders. This trend adds an element of entertainment and personalization to the wedding."

    2. Espresso Infused Drinks

      Espresso martini cocktail surrounded by coffee beans.
      Photo: Africa Studio | Shutterstock.com

      The night-luxe aesthetic is known for its display of expensive tastes in clothes, drinks and food. Think: sleek all-black outfits, dirty martinis and oysters. With the rise of this Sex and the City-esque aesthetic came the popularity of the espresso martini. Matthew Landes, Founder & CEO of Cocktail Academy, gives insight into what has made this drink so loved. "The espresso martini was the perfect solution to the post-quarantine epidemic. This was a challenge to staying out late and drinking night owls who had their wings clipped during months of shelter-in-place orders and early nights. What better antidote than the stiffness of a martini and boost of espresso, paired with the upgrade of quality coffee liqueurs?"

      Nathan Canan-Zucker, Professional Bartender and Digital Marketing Specialist at Barr Hill Distillery, believes espresso martinis are here to stay and make great additions to any wedding. "Coffee flavors pair beautifully with so many things beyond just vodka. I look forward to seeing more bartenders putting their own spin on the classic recipe." We suggest talking with your bartenders about what creative takes they can put on your wedding espresso martini. Serve this delicious drink at the end of the night to wake your guests up before your wedding exit, at your wedding shower or at postwedding brunch. Hanks, who's also the Co-Founder of Whim Hospitality, suggests you consider espresso martinis as alternatives to morning cocktail classics like mimosas, bloody marys and bellinis.

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      3. Prewedding Ceremony Drinks

        We definitely think serving drinks (alcoholic or non-alcoholic) before the ceremony is one of 2024's best cocktail trends. It promotes a chill vibe at the top of the affair and cools guests down if you're having an outdoor ceremony in the heat. "Offering drinks before the wedding ceremony will persist as couples recognize the benefits of creating a relaxed and convivial atmosphere from the start. It sets a positive tone for the celebration and allows guests to mingle and enjoy the surroundings before the formalities begin," Hanks explains.

        4. Wedding Mobile Bars

          Who doesn't love drinks on the go? Instead of having one designated area for bartenders to serve drinks, consider hiring a mobile bar service for a more fluid feel. And yes, we know this isn't a new trend, but it's making a big comeback. "The resurgence of mobile bars is driven by the desire for a creative and dynamic drinking experience. Mobile bars can be customized to fit the wedding theme and provide a sense of novelty. To-be-weds appreciate mobile bars' flexibility and versatility, allowing them to bring the bar to different venue areas and enhance the overall guest experience," Hanks adds.

          5. Adaptogenic Wedding Drinks

            Green cocktail with marijuana leaf in it.
            Photo: Spender1 | Shutterstock.com

            An adaptogenic drink is an alcohol-free cocktail of plant and herbal ingredients like CBD and ginseng. Some adaptogenic beverage producers assert it increases a person's energy, is an alcohol replacement or helps with relaxation. This unique wedding cocktail trend has gradually become popular with people who want to try a sober lifestyle while drinking something that can loosen them up. Wondering how you can incorporate adaptogenic drinks at your wedding? Hanks says she loves how couples are having late-night coffee bars at their receptions. "[They offer] cappuccinos, lattes and cold brews infused with CBD to go along with a late-night snack of burgers or breakfast tacos. It's a great way to infuse the crowd with extra energy and fun vibes to dance the night away."

            6. Wedding Aperitivo-Based Drinks

              An aperitivo cocktail for 2024
              Photo: nelea33 | Shutterstock

              An aperitivo or apéritif is typically a dry alcoholic beverage that's served as a pre-dinner drink to open up or stimulate a person's appetite. The popular Aperol spritz is a perfect example of an aperitivo. "This year was the Spagliato, but look for 2024 to be about the Garibaldi or Americano," Landes, who has an extensive background in the luxe hospitality industry, says. But why are aperitif cocktails gaining more notoriety? We assume couples want to treat their gets to something light and refreshing, which is perfect for summer weddings, (or a little bitter) to open their guests' palates up to the different treats they'll be offering throughout the wedding weekend. Aperitivos come in numerous taste bud-tingling flavors, so have fun creating your wedding cocktail recipe with your bartender.

              7. Unique Wedding Mocktails

                The gradual normalization of tasty and fun non-alcoholic drinks is one of our favorite trending cocktails of 2024. Social drinking isn't only for people partaking in alcohol now. Hanks speaks on how mocktails' popularity benefits your sober or "sober curious" guests. "Dry bars are sprouting up in many populous cities throughout the US and abroad. There are so many great-tasting non-alcoholic drinks, ranging from celebrity-owned to organic small-batch options found at your local store. This makes socializing sober an easy option to choose during the wedding season." Canan-Zucker urges couples to respect guests' decision not to drink alcohol and encourage responsible consumption at their weddings—while offering "something other than just soda or water." By offering well-crafted wedding mocktails, you make all your guests feel included and free to join in the celebration.

                8. Wedding Cocktail Towers

                  You probably know all too well about the glorious champagne tower, but what if bubbly isn't your thing? Luckily, there's an option for you. Striking cocktail towers composed of one's favorite libation are taking the current 2023 cocktail trend to different heights. Hanks offers a few ways you can go about your wedding cocktail tower. "Dirty martinis, old fashions and other classic cocktails add a touch of sophistication. To make the cocktail tower unique, couples can incorporate personalized touches like custom garnishes, themed glassware or even interactive elements, such as allowing guests to choose their preferred ingredients for a tailored cocktail experience."

                  Landes strongly suggests to-be-weds don't DIY this trend and instead leave the setup to the pros so you keep the party spill-free. Landes also tells us that Pinch Food Design has a cool cocktail tower fountain you should check out too.

                  9. Secret Cocktail Menu

                    You've probably heard of secret menu items for different food chains like Chipotle and Dairy Queen, but what about incorporating this idea into your wedding cocktail menu? Secret drink menus, typically with one or two signature cocktails, can be a clever way to have fun with your guests. We've heard of couples spreading the word to their wedding party members and then letting it trickle down to their guests or putting a hint about the secret menu at the bottom of their wedding website. "The secret cocktail menu creates an organic word-of-mouth buzz in the crowd. A 'if you know you know' type of thing, which adds a fun element to the event and gets people talking," Hanks explains. No matter how you get the word out there, Landes thinks secret bar menus are great because "when you break off the bar as a separate moment, the bar becomes an experience and no longer just an amenity."

                    10. AI-Generated Drinks

                      AI inspired cocktail recipes for your wedding in 2024
                      Syda Productions | Shutterstock

                      We know how this sounds, but we aren't asking you to replace your bartender with a robot. Landes says AI-generated drinks are a 2024 wedding cocktail trend for getting a little help with your recipes using ChatGBT, which is a large language model that provides detailed answers based on instructional text prompts. Don't know what you want your signature drink to be? Tell ChatGBT your favorite drinks and what ingredients you like and ask them to create an impressive cocktail for your celebration.

                      Remember, this is an AI-powered helper. The program doesn't have a palate or know what cocktails are supposed to taste like. This means you might have to edit your prompts to have less simple syrup or more jalapeños, for example. Use this tool for inspiration and take your new ideas to your bartender to make something magical.

                      11. Sustainable Wedding Drinks

                        Sustainable reception cocktails for your 2024 wedding
                        Photo: Antonina Vlasova | Shutterstock

                        We love to see to-be-weds taking action by incorporating sustainable practices into their wedding planning. "Sustainability is a growing concern, and couples are increasingly opting for wedding cocktails that feature local and sustainable ingredients. This trend aligns with the broader movement towards eco-friendly weddings. Expect to see cocktails incorporating locally sourced spirits, fruits and herbs, reflecting a commitment to environmental responsibility," Hanks predicts. This is one 2024 cocktail trend we hope isn't a fad and last for years to come.

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