Host a "focus group" party for your wedding cocktails and food

Updated Oct 12 2015
Guest post by Allpowerful
By: Kendall - CC BY 2.0
By: KendallCC BY 2.0

Our bar plan for the wedding is to serve beer, wine, white sangria, and a signature cocktail. I found this recipe and tried it last week.

Unfortunately, it tasted exactly like cough syrup. Clearly we needed to do extensive experimentation. To avoid alcohol poisoning, we invited many friends over and had the best impromptu party ever!

I made three white sangria recipes and let them chill and soak up the fruit flavors while we tested punch. We ate cheese and crackers and pita with hummus and our favorite food in the world, toum (whipped garlic), and when we got really drunk moved on to mini pizzas and tacos.

By the time we got to the sangria, we were pretty tipsy, but luckily one of the couples we invited are avid wine people and were able to offer much advice about what kind of wine to use. Extra helpful because I almost never drink white wine myself — I'm a red girl.

We all agreed about which recipe was best: Pinot Grigio, apple liqueur, sugar, lots of chopped strawberries, green grapes, and apples, and a few slices of lemons and limes.

Friends who will all be at the wedding but don't know each other well got to hang out ahead of time. We used all sorts of gifts from my Cocktail Hour shower last month. It was all totally spontaneous and fun and also completely productive! We have our drink plan settled and one more thing crossed off the to-do list!

I strongly recommend hosting such a party if you have recipes to test.

  1. I love this idea so much that I'm trying to figure out what other events you could do focus groups for… perhaps a birthday party focus group feels like overkill? But perhaps not?

    • Baby shower focus group for sure. Or Xmas cookie exchange? Graduation party. If the birthday party is going to be big, then totally a focus group. But if it's small, maybe not so much since it could just be a double party. Then again… partying twice for the same event can be awesome if spaced out a bit.

  2. This is a terrific idea. I can see this being a great excuse to party with your wedding party and other friends so everyone gets to know each other before the wedding. Throw in experimenting with which booze is most delicious and yeah, I'm sold.

  3. Holy crap. A bunch of my friends have just gotten engaged and I'm toootally going to suggest we have "focus group" parties. More booze and food with friends for me!

  4. I LOVE this. We're doing beer/wine and a cocktail for our nuptials. We don't know what the cocktail will be yet, so this is a great way to try a bunch of options and have everyone decide!

  5. I love this idea! We did something similar. We will have Cidre from France, but didn't want to decide on the type all by our lonesome selves, so we took a coupke of different bottles to my Matron of Honour's place and had a 4-people Cidre tasting.

    It was fabulous, but we don't remember which bottle was best because we were pretty hammered by the last one 😀

    • Yes! I actually ended up going with a different white sangria. The most important thing I learned is that unlike red sangria, for which you can use really cheap, bad wine, it matters what you use for white. Luckily, we found a cheap wine that worked just fine. Charles Shaw Pinot Grigio (found at Trader Joe's.) For each bottle of wine, add 3T sugar, 1 cup white grape juice and about 1/2 cup each chopped apples and strawberries and halved green grapes.
      Be sure to let it sit for at least 4 hours (over night is fine!) to soak up the fruit flavors! This ended up being easier to make in bulk than the one using apple liquor.

  6. Our signature cocktail was an even bigger hit. We call it "Love Bug Juice"
    1 cup gin
    1/4 cup limoncello (lemon liquor)
    1 1/4 cup lemonade
    1/2 cup pomegranate juice
    1/3 cup fresh lemon juice

  7. I've been toying with the idea of having a signature cocktail or two instead of a full bar. Now I know how we'll choose them. Thank you. This party is going to be awesome.

Join the conversation

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

No-drama comment policy

Part of what makes the Offbeat Empire different is our commitment to civil, constructive commenting. Make sure you're familiar with our no-drama comment policy.

Biz owners & wedding bloggers

Please just use your real name in your comment, not your business name or blog title. Our comments are not the place to pimp your website. If you want to promote your stuff on Offbeat Bride, join us as an advertiser instead.