This is always an inevitable question that will pop up when planning a wedding or event. What should we serve? How much should we buy? Buying alcohol in bulk is not as easy as it seems. There is a lot of math involved.
You may think that the only factors that will affect your
result will include the size of your guest list, the length of your event and what your guests like to drink but there is so much more!
If your guests are partiers, you will have to consider buying more. If you are serving signature cocktails, you will need to secure multiple bottles of the required liquor and mixes. If your event is on a Saturday night, guests will probably be more inclined to drink more than if it is on a Sunday afternoon. The time of year you are hosting your event may also change what you are serving and how much.
Who knew there was so much to think about?! Luckily for you, we have come up with some helpful suggestions to make this task less daunting:
1. If you know your guests well, go through your guest list and assign a drink range for each of them (light, moderate or heavy). Generally, light drinkers consume 1-2 drinks per hour, moderate 3-4 drinks per hour and heavy 4-6 per hour. It is also important to account for anyone drinking more than expected and those inevitable half-drunk cocktails that get put down and forgotten. Then calculate the approximate number of drinks that may be served over the course of your event.
2. Once you have arranged your guests into their consumption categories, you will need to figure out how many drinks you can get per bottle of each specific alcohol you want to serve. For instance, a bottle of champagne fills 6-8 glasses, a bottle of wine fills 5 glasses and a liter bottle of liquor makes about 18 drinks.
3. Keeping your first two calculations in mind, you will then need to consider the percentages of each type of alcohol people a likely to drink. For a corporate event, we suggest purchasing 50% liquor, 25% beer and 25% wine. Obviously, your guests drink preferences may alter those percentages.
Once you combine all these factors and calculations, you should have a really good idea of how much alcohol you will need to properly stock your bar for your event.
Another handy tip… depending on where you purchase your alcohol, you may be able to return unopened bottles of liquor and unopened boxes of beer or canned cocktails. Always inquire about this option first before you commit to your purchase!