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Party Planner

For a quick reference, jump to the bottom of this article and use the Cocktail Party Drink Calculator.

Successful parties, whether big or small, involve careful planning and preparation. Serving appropriate, responsible quantities of alchoholic beverages is an important part of hosting. You can use the information below - standard calculations for drinks per bottle and how many bottles you will need - to help determine your wine and spirit needs. Or send us a message, call, fax, or come by and we will help you put it all together. And remember, pairing wines with food for your dinner party is our specialty! Cheers!
There are a few preliminary questions you will want to ask yourself.
• How many people will be attending the event?
• How long will the event last?
• What will be served? Cocktails? Wine with dinner? Port, sherry, or liqueurs after dinner?
There are other factors that may effect how much, and what, your guests choose to drink. In the summer, chilled wines and fruity cocktails are popular. In the winter, people drink more hearty red wines and warming whiskeys. When the average age of your guests is younger, plan to serve more beer and blush wines. An older crowd might prefer highballs and wine. And, of course, if it is a 'cash bar' you will pour fewer drinks.
Next, you will want to ask these important questions:
How many drinks will people normally consume?
For cocktails - estimate two drinks per person for the first hour, and 1+ drink per person for the next hour. For dinner - estimate two glasses of wine per person to be served with dinner. The following chart assumes 10 guests. If you are entertaining more or less, multiply or divide accordingly.
Lunch 15 Cocktails / Wine
15 Glasses of Wine with lunch
10 Liqueurs / Sherry
Cocktail Party 20 Cocktails / Highballs
20 Glasses of Wine
10+ Drinks per hour after the first hour
Dinner Party 20 Cocktails / Wine
20 Glasses of Wine with dinner
10 Liqueurs / Sherry
Evening 40 Drinks (Highballs, Cocktails, Wine)
What types of drinks will my guests prefer?
If you plan to serve liquors AND wine AND beer, estimate 30% liquor, 60% wine, and 10% beer. Adjust these percentages according to the season, occasion, and average age of your guests. For example: a younger crowd at a summer cookout might consume 20% liquor, 50% wine (mostly chilled white wine), and 30% beer.
If you are only serving liquor and wine, estimate 35% liquor and 65% wine.
If you are serving liquor, and plan to host a full bar, you can estimate how much of which type of liquor to buy with this general rule-of-thumb: 40% vodka, 20% whiskey (sour mash, bourbon, or grain), 15% scotch, 10% gin, 10% rum, and 5% tequila.
Here are a few liquors you may want to stock for more cocktail choices: vermouth, Kahlua, crème de menthe, crème de cacao, amaretto, brandy or cognac, Grand Marnier, Drambuie, and B&B or Bailey's.
How many drinks per bottle do I usually get?
Cocktails, Highballs, and Mixed Drinks
Bottle SizeServing Size
1.0 oz.1.5 oz.2.0 oz.
750 ml (25.4 oz.)251612
Liter (33.8 oz.)332216
1.75 Liter (59.2 oz.)593930
Table Wines (5 oz. servings)
Bottle SizeNumber of Bottles
750 ml (25.4 oz.)5102030405060
Liter (33.8 oz.)6132740546781
1.5 Liter (50.8 oz.)1020406081101121
3 Liter (101 oz.)204080121161202242
4 Liter (135 oz.)2754108162216270324
Champagne (4 oz. servings)
Bottle SizeNumber of Bottles
750 ml (25.4 oz.)6122538506376
Liter (33.8 oz.)81633506784101
1.5 Liter (50.8 oz.)12255076101127152
3 Liter (101 oz.)2550101151202252303
Sherry or Port (3 oz. servings)
Bottle SizeNumber of Bottles
750 ml (25.4 oz.)81633506784101
Liter (33.8 oz.)1122456790112135
Liqueurs and Cordials (1.5 oz. servings)
Bottle SizeNumber of Bottles
375 ml (12.7 oz.)81633506784101
750 ml (25.4 oz.)163367101135169203
Bottle SizeServings
12 oz.1
Keg (15.5 liters)250 8 oz. drafts
Mixers: soda water, ginger ale, etc. (4 oz. serving)
Bottle SizeNumber of Bottles
Liter (33.8 oz.)81633506784101
2 Liter (67.6 oz.)16336767101135202
What equipment should I have in my home bar?
• Cocktail, highball, and all-purpose wine glasses
• Cocktail shaker
• Corkscrew, foil cutter, and bottle opener
• Electric blender
• Flat bar strainer
• Ice bucket
• Lemon/lime squeezer
• Jigger, portion pourer, and measuring cup
• Long mixing spoon
• Mixing glass
• Muddler
• Stainless-steel paring knife
How many bottles of wine and spirits should I buy for my party?
An example: For a two-hour cocktail party for 100 people where liquor, wine, and beer will be served.
100 people x 3 drinks (2 drinks the first hour, 1 drink the second hour) per person = 300 drinks
300 drinks x 30% (est. liquor) = 90 cocktails
40% (est. vodka) = 36 vodka cocktails (1, 1.75 liter bottle vodka for 1.5 oz. pours)
20% (est. whiskey) = 18 whiskey cocktails (1, 1 liter bottle whiskey for 1.5 oz. pours)
15% (est. scotch) = 14 scotch cocktails (1, 750 ml bottle scotch for 1.5 oz. pours)
10% (est. gin) = 9 gin cocktails (1, 750 ml bottle gin for 1.5 oz. pours)
10% (est. rum) = 9 rum cocktails (1, 750 ml bottle rum for 1.5 oz. pours)
5% (est. tequila) = 5 tequila cocktails (1, 750 ml bottle rum for 1.5 oz. pours)
300 drinks x 60% (est. wine) = 180 glasses of wine
36, 750 ml bottles of wine, or
18, 1.5 liter bottles of wine, or
9, 3 liter bottles of wine
300 drinks x 10% (est. beer) = 30 beers
Another example: For a dinner party of 10 people where cocktails will be served before, wine with, and sherry or port after dinner.
10 people x 2 cocktails per person x 65% (est. liquor) = 13 cocktails
40% (est. vodka) = 6 vodka cocktails (1, 750 ml bottle vodka for 2 oz. pours)
20% (est. whiskey) = 3 whiskey cocktails (1, 750 ml bottle whiskey for 2 oz. pours)
15% (est. scotch) = 2 scotch cocktails (1, 750 ml bottle scotch for 2 oz. pours)
10% (est. gin) = 1 gin cocktail (1, 750 ml bottle gin for 2 oz. pours)
10% (est. rum) = 1 rum cocktail (1, 750 ml bottle rum for 2 oz. pours)
5% (est. tequila) = maybe 1 tequila cocktail (1, 750 ml bottle rum for 2 oz. pours)
10 people x 2 glasses of wine per person before dinner x 35% (est. wine) = 7 glasses of wine
2, 750 ml bottles of wine
10 people x 2 glasses of wine per person with dinner = 20 glasses of wine
4, 750 ml bottles of wine, or
2, 1.5 liter bottles of wine
10 people x 1 glass of sherry or port per person after dinner = 10 glasses of sherry or port
2, 750 ml bottles of sherry or port

A Cocktail Party Drink Calculator

How many people will be drinking?
How many hours will the event last?
The total number of drinks will be about:
What types of drinks will you serve?
Have a question? Call 615-352-3001, ask in store, email tina@westmeadewine.com, or send us a DM on FACEBOOK.

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