So you're having a party and need to get the bar sorted. What type of drinks do you need? How much will people drink?
The type of party you're having will determine the type of alcohol and quantities. Let's say a house party with about 40 guests and some nibbles on the side...so now what?
I'd say a good rule of thumb is about half a bottle of wine or equivalent per person. If you have beer drinkers in the mix and you think you can consume a small casket or keg between you then assume half of the guys (and a few token gals) will go for beer, probaby until it's empty! There will be non-drinkers too, and those that just want one or two. So let's calculate. If a third will drink beer till the keg is empty then move on to bottled beer or wine, a third are steady drinkers and a third are tea-total (or moderate drinkers) then what about this for a shopping list?
Standard House Party for 40 People:
12 bottles of mixed red/white/rose wines
1 small/average beer keg
2 bottles of spirits (vodke/Gin)
24 bottled beers
Orange juice/lemonade, tonic and coke as mixers and soft drinks
Plenty of water
If your event is a little more formal and a sit down meal then I would probably offer a glass of fizz on arrival and then offer wine and after-dinner spirits.
A Sit-Down Meal for 20 People:
4 bottes of fizz on arrival (750 ml bottles will serve about 6 glasses of fizz)
8 bottles of wine for the table
Whisky, Cognac or iced Baileys to end perhaps.
If you are having a disco after your meal you might want to allow for a few V&Ts, G&Ts and lagers for those throwing thirst-quenching moves.
Design your own punch for guests to sip on arrival. Keep it simple and weak as you don't wnat people to peak too soon.
Mini Moets with straws. So cute and very trendy. Who doesn't love a mini Moet?
Jaeger Bombs are so last year and Shots have shot by. This year it's about the mix and mingling so you could book a mixologist or learn to create a few of your favourite cocktails. How about Mocktails too, the non-alcoholic grown-up looking drink.
Sipping and Blinging. Source some light-up glasses for extra fun. Great for BBQs too.
jam Jars are also really en-trend right now with cute funky straws.
Always have plenty of water around.
Do make sure you have taxi numbers to hand.
Don't let anyone drive home if they have drunk.
It's a Myth:
Coffee simply does not sober us up. If you need to sober someone up the best remedy is water & sleep. Maybe dig out some sleeping bags as back up for extra guests .
What to do with your leftovers?
If you can't return (or have too much) your alcohol then why not donate any full bottles to charitable causes for white elephant tables/raffles/community fundraisers etc?
Remember that guests usually bring bottles too so don't over buy your booze.
And if you're having a bigger party and want to buy in more quantities then remember that most independent suppliers will do a sale or return deal. Don't assume this however - it's only polite to ask but you'll find that in most cases they'll be happy to oblige.