My clients frequently ask me, "How much liquor do I need for my party?"
It can depend on several factors including time of day, and how many hours your party is going to last.
Whether you are throwing a party for friends or a wedding reception, its always a good idea to choose a variety of beverages. Just remember, if you are purchasing the alcohol, you assume the liability for all your guests that evening. There are some insurance companies that provide one-day home owner liquor liability, that is based on how many guests are attending. I heard it can be quite costly, so talk to your agent about options.
You can figure on average that guests will drink two drinks the first hour and then one drink the next hour, etc. So based on 50 people, you will serve around 250 drinks during the party.
A 1.75L bottle of alcohol will serve around 32 drinks. When purchasing wine, it's more economical to purchase a case rather than by the bottle. You can figure around four cocktail napkins per person. Also remember to stock enough glasses so that your guests can trade their used glass in for a fresh one more than once.
Here is what you need based on 50 guests at a four-hour party:
- 3-4 22-pound bags of ice
- 1 bottle of triple sec
- 1 bottle of roses lime
- 1 case of white wine
- 1 case of red wine
- 1 1.75L bottle of vodka
- Small bottles of gin, bourbon, scotch, Canadian Club, Jack Daniels, light rum, spiced rum
- 4 bottles of tonic
- 3-4 bottles of Diet Coke, Sprite
- 5 cases of beer (two light, two regular, one imported)
- 3 cases of bottled water
Another option for consideration is to purchase a few cordials, although this is more frequently done at wedding receptions. Check with the liquor store in your area to see if they sell on consignment basis. That way, you can return any liquor not used (all labeling needs to be intact).
Of course, if you would prefer to enjoy your own party, you should consider hiring a bartender to help you.
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