Special to GigMasters from mixologist H. Joseph Ehrmann of Elixir in San Francisco

At GigMasters we know it takes two things to make a great party, great entertainment and great refreshments. Unfortunately, it can often seem like your budget makes you choose between the two. That's why one standard piece of wedding advice is to forgo a full bar in favor of a few specialty drinks. Mixologist H. Joseph Ehrmann can help you do just that with these tips.

1. Create a drink a lot of people will enjoy, don’t stray too far from basic formulas.

2. Serve something unique but still widely enjoyed, take a classic formula and add a flavor modifier to make it a bit different. Such as adding St. Germain to the classic Bourbon Sour or making the common Collins with Bols Genever and a touch of Royal Combier Liqueur.

3. Make sure the cocktail glass is one that is easy to hold and is comfortable in the hand, like a highball or a double old fashioned. Sometime people are scared off of cocktails because they don’t want to carry a precarious glass with them as they party.

4. Name the drink in a way that will either honor the couple or make your guests laugh. Perhaps tie the title of the cocktail to an Alma Mater, a special event or the couple’s favorite vacation spot from their courtship.

5. Use a spirit that everyone knows and is familiar with, like vodka or bourbon. Gin and tequila tend to scare the less adventurous cocktail drinker and divide people due to their unique flavor profiles.

Adding these unique touches to your special day will make your guests feel welcome and cheerful to toast to your future in style.

Looking for a great bartender in your area? Check out GigMasters' new bartender listings.