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RAISE A GLASS

Paul Newman chats with us on how to impress your wedding guests with on-trend drink alternatives. 

We all love a good wedding, but I remember the days when you’d arrive at the ‘do’ only to be greeted with a choice of warm sherry or at best, a crystal punch bowl full of cheap red wine, stewed fruit and tasteless orange juice, masquerading as house punch.

Wedding guests demand much more nowadays, and not just a glass of proper fizz; I expect hosts to rip up the rule book and try and cater for all trends and tastes from low-alcohol, no-alcohol, cask, craft to boutique, provenance, healthy and green. With a little thought, you really can bring new things to the table.

For a lovely alternative, why not offer guests a pink Frosé. This is the wine equivalent of an ice slushy and is guaranteed to be a big hitter in 2018. Simply take your favourite rosé wine, add a touch of strawberry syrup, blend with ice, garnish with frozen strawberries and serve. Perfect for summer weddings.

Thinking of keeping the Millennials happy? I suggest offering a chilled red wine. The fabulous, unique vino non-collapso Alasia Brachetto D’Acqui from Italy is a fragrant and seductive, sweet, lightly fizzy red and only 5.5 per cent alcohol, so no need to ask your guests to pace themselves on the potent pinot.

A good wine merchant will stock this and I found it in the Cork of the North’s portfolio. Beer cocktail... yes, you heard me right! Simple, versatile, off-the- wall and great for your hipster wedding guests. This unusual and not too pricey alternative will intrigue your guests, unlike the 1980s boring punch bowl. Start with your favourite beer, add lemonade, pineapple, apple juice and go heavy on fruit and ice, ladle into some nice beer glasses for a great on trend tipple. Obviously, a few slugs of vodka maybe an option for those who prefer a little more of a kick.

Judgemental guests like me can be a pain, so show us you really tried. We wont complain about the dry chicken or the burnt potatoes just as long as you keep the drinks offering interesting.

Paul Newman is a hospitality consultant Twitter:@MrPaulNewman