Forget about serving drinks garnished with dried-up lemon slices and pink maraschino cherries.
If you want to stage a wedding cocktail hour that will impress your guests, try this: Serve champagne in flutes garnished with edible diamonds, martinis in glasses rimmed with chili-lime sugar, or a custom cocktail with a chocolate swizzle stick dusted with flakes of real gold.
Those are among dozens of couture garnishes sold by Dress the Drink, a Las Vegas-based company with a retail outlet at the Vermont Wedding Salon in Stowe.
The garnishes were marketed to bartenders when the company was founded in 2008. Their appeal quickly spread to event planners looking for unique and exotic touches for weddings and other special occasions.
The line includes rimming sugars, jewels that can be dropped into drinks, and a dizzying selection of swizzle sticks dusted with everything from exotic herbs and spices to gourmet chocolate, edible flowers and precious metal flakes.
A jar of rimming sugars — about 50 servings — costs $7.25. Sugar diamonds — available in a dozen flavors, as well as unflavored — cost $12.50 for 20.
The company’s line of organic flowers dipped in sugar and other coatings is also popular.
“Bakers use them in cakes,” said Eric Lane, owner of the Vermont Wedding Salon. “They can also be used in drinks. Some float, some sink, depending on what you want. It’s really wild.”
Dress the Drink works with a “mixology” team from Luxurious Wedding, a high-end wedding accessories retailer, to tailor its garnishes. Mixologists can dress drinks that show up in bartenders’ guides or, for $250, they will create a custom drink to suit your wedding theme or colors.
One bride wanted a rustic drink to go with outdoor wedding. A mixologist created the “birch cocktail,” a chocolate-vanilla martini rimmed with crushed edible cocoa flowers and garnished with a chocolate swizzle stick topped with a glazed edible viola (a flower).
The custom drink was a hit: Wedding guests licked their lips and the rims of their glasses, said Adrienne Meredith, owner of Luxurious Wedding.
“The flavor explodes in your mouth because it’s so compatible with the garnishes used,” Meredith said.
The bride also used the swizzle sticks and edible violas to decorate gourmet cupcakes served during her dessert hour.
Right now, Dress the Drink’s most popular products are its edible diamonds, organic crystallized violas, glazed pansies and swizzle sticks with edible silver flakes.
Vermont Wedding Salon — a full-service special event services and products outlet in Stowe’s lower village — sells a selection of products from Dress the Drink. The salon can order anything from the company’s line and work with Luxury Wedding to create custom cocktails. It can be reached at 802-760-6776.