Howerton Handbook: Party Beverage Calculator

Even though the holidays are over, parties and receptions will continue throughout the winter. Here are some tips and tricks for calculating the drink servings that you will need at your party.

Wine: For every two hours, guests will usually consume about 1-2 glasses of wine. – Of course, this depends upon your party guests and you know them better than me! A bottle of wine typically has 4-5 servings. A little math will help ensure that you have enough for your event. Another question to consider is “How long will the party last?” You need to be sure that you don’t run out of beverages. Consider the number of your party guests. Remember that a case of wine has about 60 servings. If your party will have between 30-50 guests, purchase 1½ – 2 cases each of red and white wine. This will be enough for each of your guests to have about 3 – 4 glasses of wine each. I know this sounds like a lot, however take in to account how long your party is lasting and make sure to have a variety of foods ranging from light to heavy. The food will help balance out the wine. I always encourage both fun and safe parties!

Beer: If you will be serving beer, pick one regular and one light. Purchase one bottle of regular and one bottle of light beer per guest. You can often get better deals on cases of beer (24 count) and put the loose bottles in holders full of ice. If you do not want to buy that much, purchase some 12 packs and do the same thing.

Soft Drinks: We usually go with Coke, Diet Coke and 7Up (or Sprite). For a 2 liter bottle, figure that you will get 10 people per bottle. This estimate assumes that your cups are not 20 ounce cups, and that you are serving other beverages in addition to this. If you are only serving these three soft drinks, increase your quantities.

Liquor: Plan on getting 15 drinks from a 750ml bottle. These portions are generous but the last thing you want to have to do is run to the supermarket in the middle of your party! For your basic full bar, you want: vodka, gin, rum (light and/or dark), tequila, triple sec and whiskey.

Bottled Water: Pick one sparkling brand and one flat brand. It’s good just to have some on hand in case your guest doesn’t want alcohol or a soft drink.

A Word on Serving Alcohol Safely
The importance of alcohol safety cannot be stressed enough. A hostess takes on a huge responsibility when serving alcohol. In some states, a host can be held liable, either criminally or civilly, if a guest becomes inebriated and then injures himself or someone else.

Albeit difficult or uncomfortable, keep and eye on how much alcohol is being consumed, and by whom. If necessary, enlist the help of friends before the day of the party. Ask a friend or friends to volunteer as designated drivers. Don’t force people to drink if they don’t want to. Always have food and non-alcoholic drinks available and above all else drink responsibly.

For more information, check out our Wedding Day Cuisine Guidebook

Love and Soul Always, Kawania



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