I'm Lisa Kirk, a wife, mama, writer, and founder. Since 2010, Something Pretty has been home to my favorite memories, reflections, and inspirations. Thanks so much for reading!

Cocktails with La Petite Coquin


Oh, do I have a treat for you today!

I have so many favorite bloggers for all different reasons–maybe they make awesome inspiration boards, maybe they post weddings that are right up my alley, etc, etc. Then there are some blogs that I read for every reason–gorgeous pictures, unique posts, and of course, writers with the sweetest personalities. Lena of La Petite Coquin is one of those “every reason” bloggers, and every time I read her blog, I wish I could hang out with her in real life. If Lena and I hung out, I can guarantee you one thing…it would be at a fabulous classic cocktail bar! She posts tasty drink recipes every Friday, so I loved chatting with her about something that is quickly becoming a wedding staple–the signature cocktail.

{First, please introduce yourself! :)}
My name is Lena-I’m a girl who loves weddings, cocktails and the classics, and I bring those things together on my blog, La Petite Coquin. While I’ve long been a fan of a perfectly crafted cocktail, and am lucky enough to share my life with a very talented bartender who makes me a drink whenever I ask nicely, I only started sharing a weekly cocktail on my blog about a year ago. Cocktails aren’t for everyone, but they sure put a smile on my face come Friday!

{How do you come up with all the fabulous cocktails featured on La Petite Coquin?}
I’m often inspired to share the cocktails John is serving at Heaven’s Dog, the San Francisco Pre-prohibition era bar where he mixes and shakes, and where you can find me twirling on a bar stool at least once a week. Cocktails, just like menus, are seasonal, and I try to make sure that the drink that’s featured is appropriate, not only for the weather, but for what else you might be eating or drinking. And of course, it’s hard to resist any sort of celebration; Cinco de Mayo calls for a perfect margarita, I love to share rum punches or eggnog recipes during the holiday season, and this summer’s best produce went on display in fruit based cocktails like this Watermelon Frosty or strawberry-sweet Bloodhound.

{Why do you think signature wedding cocktails have become so popular?}
Cocktails have become quite chic recently (remember the invasion of the coffee bar not long ago?), and couples are capitalizing on the trend. It’s also far less expensive to serve one or two signature cocktails than it is to offer a full bar, and as a complete control freak, I like being able to single-handedly rule out any prints of my girlfriends sipping green apple martinis coming back from the photographer. Serving signature cocktails lets couples who love libations introduce their friends and family to drinks they probably wouldn’t otherwise encounter, or can celebrate cultural heritage, like a Paloma at a destination wedding in Mexico or a Rob Roy in honor of the groom’s Scottish ancestry.

{How would you suggest couples go about choosing or creating their signature cocktail?}
When choosing a signature cocktail, there’s plenty to consider, the most important being: what do you like to drink?
I think a couple does well to serve two signature cocktails-his and hers. Generally the “his” can be a spirituous cocktail, one without the addition of citrus, and “hers” can be more citrus driven.  If you both love tropical vacations, consider serving two kinds of rum cocktails-a classic Daiquiri for her and a Cap Haitian Rum and Honey for the more seasoned sipper. If Paris makes your heart beat faster, offer a Sidecar, made with French cognac, and a Champagne cocktail. If you met during a semester abroad in London, serve gin drinks like a Tom Collins and a Cosmo Daisy. And if you’ve never been to a cocktail bar before, consider serving your favorite beers or the wine from the vineyard where he proposed instead; it doesn’t have to be a cocktail to be signature.
Think about the location of your wedding, your personal style, the feel of your event, and family traditions or heritage when selecting a signature drink, too. When I blog, I try to make the entire week cohesive-you want the same thing for your wedding, which probably means no Micheladas with lobster puffs at the Four Seasons, and skipping Kir Royales at an outdoor barbecue.

{What would you say are the biggest “do’s and don’ts” of signature cocktails?}
Since picking a signature cocktail is all about the happy couple, there are fewer do’s and don’ts–just what makes you happy. That said, avoid choosing low quality spirits to cut down on cost, and hire a bartender (or two) to handle to size of your guest list–no one likes waiting endlessly for a drink during the cocktail hour. While it’s popular to mix up drinks in advance, I suggest you avoid it and ask your staff to mix cocktails fresh-they taste better that way.
Do keep in mind your audience–if half the guests don’t drink (or worse, disapprove), think about making at least one of your signature cocktails virgin, or have the option of skipping the liquor. And be sure to have plenty of non-alcoholic options available for anyone who’s more in the mood for a lemonade than a Lemon Drop.

{What are some of your all time favorite cocktails?}
Sharing my favorite cocktails feels like trying to pick just one child, or the most handsome movie star-nearly impossible! If I had to choose just a few, Champagne cocktails and Kir Royales would be high on the list. I adore a Daiquiri made with Barbancourt white rum, and dream of Airmails topped with Cava (are you sensing my love of bubbles yet?). When I know it’ll be done right, I’ll order a margarita-Tres Agaves and Tropisueño come in a close second to John’s highballs at home-and lots of other tequila-based libations, including the Diablo and the Paloma. Gin cocktails like the Clover Club and the Cosmo Daisy are chick drinks with plenty of street cred, and when I can find Small Hand Foods‘ Cream of Coconut and a willing bartender, I go wild for a piña colada, no matter what the season! Cheers!

Isn’t she amazing? Thanks so much, Lena! I don’t know about you all, but I just may have to try my hand at one of these over the weekend…the question is which one to choose!

Have a wonderful weekend!



Cocktails from La Petite Coquin pictured: Raspberry mojito, Mint julep, Watermelon frosty, Paloma, Jasmine, Margarita






  1. aelish says:

    that raspberry mojito looks delicious!

  2. Wow these all look irresistibly delicious! Yumm! I’d be happy to see these served at the next wedding I’m attending!

  3. Jadzia says:

    Looks lovely! Lena, can you recommend good budget-friendly bubbles to go with brunch-type cocktails???

    • Lena says:

      Mimosas, bellinis and all their brunchy friends do best against simple bubbles that don’t compete too much with juicy additions. Try a Cava, made in the process as much more expensive champagne-Segura Viudas and German Gilbert are our favorites, and both quite inexpensive! Moscato d’Asti and Prosecco are sweeter Italian sparklers, and generally pretty inexpensive. While the German and South African sparklers can be delicious, I’ve found that they’re tougher to hunt down, and the German labeling system is a little overwhelming if you don’t speak the language!

      Cheers, Jadzia!

  4. I love the his and hers idea! I think you can tell a lot about a person by their drink choices. I’m talking to you all you PBR fans ;) j/k.

    I just had a clover club recently, so tasty!

  5. I hope one day I can be as cool as Lena :)

  6. Kristen says:

    how interesting! the one with the watermelons on top look nice :)

  7. Great interview! All these drinks look delicious.


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