How to Calculate Your Party Beverage Needs
October, 2011 · By Coryanne Ettiene
I am a strong believer that the biggest dinner party disaster of them all is when the booze runs dry and your guests start going thirsty. For most people, attending a dinner party is more about enjoying the people than, the food or drink, but making sure that you have plenty of all 3 on hand is a guaranteed way to host a successful party. Calculating beverages can be daunting, but with a little planning and know-how, you will never find yourself running out of drinks before the party is over, or left with half empty bottles that die a slow painful death in your home bar.
Before hosting your next party, define 2 signature cocktails to make shopping and serving a breeze, and then stock your bar with the following general essentials for a successful party:
Water: Ensure that you have an equal supply of both sparking and still water, and then provide1 litre of water for every 2 guests.
Wine: Stock your bar with both red and white wine, taking into consideration that one bottle will serve 2-3 guests.
Beer: Offer your guests both light and dark beer, and supply 2-3 bottles per guess if you are also supplying cocktails and wine. If only beer, ensure that you have 3-4 bottles on hand for each guest.
Cocktails: Serving 2 signature cocktails makes bar tending simple. Buy your liquor in quarts, as once they are opened, they deteriorate with a few weeks of opening. Generally 1 quart of liquor will serve 10 guests.
Ice: Generally speaking a host will use more ice in the summer than the winter, however the average norm is to have 1 lb of ice on hand for every 2 guests, more if you are serving cocktails.
Garnish & Other essentials: Every great bar has a number of garnishes (lemons, limes, olives, and the list continues), clever cocktail napkins, toothpicks, straws, the obligatory bar towel (after all, spills happen) and a plethora of clean glasses.