Congrats! You’ve posted your event and are on your way to finding a great bartender for your party!
But first, you need to make a trip to the store. Figuring out how much alcohol to buy for an event, especially with a high guest count, can seem grueling. We’ve put together a guide to aid you in your shopping…
A general benchmark to start with is counting on guests consuming two drinks in the first hour of your event – and one drink during each following hour.
(Keep in mind: during a wedding reception, the amount of drinks consumed could be closer to 1.5-2 drinks per hour even after the first hour.)
If serving wine, beer and spirits – a safe rule of thumb is 50 percent of your guests will prefer wine, 30 percent will prefer liquor/mixed drinks and 20 percent will prefer beer.
(Again, due to the nature of the event, these percentages may vary – perhaps with more guests drinking liquor… and you know your friends/family best!)
If the event you are considering has 100 guests, for 6 hours (estimating for children/underage guests, folks who do not drink, and folks who will drink much less than others) – it would likely be safe to purchase and have 7 servings of alcohol per person for a 6-hour beverage service (1.1 drinks/person/hour). This is lower than the 1.5+ drinks/person/hour mentioned above, but here we’ve taken into account children/etc.
700 servings of alcohol, broken into the percentages above, approximately comes out to –
300 servings of wine, 140 servings of beer, and 210 servings of liquor.
Typically, a 750ml bottle of wine contains 4 servings.
A 12oz beer counts as 1 serving.
And a 1.5-2oz pour of 40-proof liquor counts as 1 serving.
Approximations to guide your purchase:
65-75 Bottles of Wine
6 Cases of Beer
10 Bottles of Liquor
*Check your local regulations and rules regarding the return of unopened alcoholic beverages*