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.

How to calculate your beverage needs by  Coryanne Ettiene

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.



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