Bar Drinks

When planning a bar for your event, one of the major cost factors to consider is what sort of beverages you would like to serve your guests. This can play a big part in your overall budget, so it’s very important that you take the time to analyze your options and decide which type of drinks you want to serve. Unlike a non-alcoholic bar, if you decide to serve alcohol, you’ll need to know all of the right brands and right balance between quality and quantity.

How much should you buy, or what kind? Do you need to serve a full bar or just beer and wine? And how do you know how many drinks your guests are going to have?

Questions about alcohol and stocking the bar are some of the most often asked questions by clients because if you’ve never thrown a party for 50 or more people, all of a sudden providing your guests with the right amount of drinks can feel overwhelming.

Here are some quick serving suggestions and some key information that will help you calculate the right number of drinks for your guests.

• 1 bottle of wine (750ml) = 4-6 servings
• 1 bottle of prosecco or champagne (750ml) = 6-8 servings
• 1 bottle of liquor (750ml) = 17-20 servings (1oz to 1.5 oz servings)
• 1 bottle of beer (275ml) = 1 serving of beer

The general rule of thumb with regards to the ratio of alcohol that your bar comprises of is as follows:-

• Full bar: 33% spirits, 33% beer, 33% wine
• Beer and wine only: 70% beer, 30% wine

Some people drink more beer, some drink more liquor but the general rule is always 1-2 drinks per adult per hour and if it’s a wedding, add the drinks for the toast. This is with the understanding that some people will drink more and some will drink less.

Remember, running out of anything in the middle of your wedding or function maybe one of your biggest nightmares however, you’d be surprised how much of an overestimation our formula can be, conservative as it sounds. Keep in mind for every friend who could “bat” scotch & coconut water, you’ve got an aunt who doesn’t drink at all so in the end it all levels out.

Frequently Asked Questions

What kinds of drinks should I serve?

A full bar would be stocked with the two to three types of beers, red wine, white wine, scotch, vodka, rum, gin, tequila and basic mixers. Champagne & prosecco is optional!

For mixers, a bare minimum of water, coke, sprite, ginger ale, club soda, coconut water and juices. Other items you can include is LLB, tonic water, and other juices. If you’re serving cocktails, you may also need cocktail mixers, syrups and garnishes such as, lime wedges, maraschino cherries, mint, flowers, salt, etc.

Be sure to serve plenty of water and consider options for your non-alcoholic drinkers.

Anything else I can do to impress?

Yes!! Have a signature cocktail menu with 2-3 special drinks; something like classic mojitos, margaritas and a good tequila or have your bartender go wild and make something on the spot!

Where should I buy my booze?

If you wanted the convenience of someone who can source all the drinks you need even if it’s a specific wine or alcohol in significant quantities, we have relationships with all the major manufacturers & distributors of beer, wines, spirits and mixers. We can source all these items at competitive pricing for our clients’ convenience.

But if you would like to search & provide your own alcohol, groceries and liquor stores are great options. They are convenient, and while they may or may not keep large quantities on hand you could more or less get what you need.

What if I have a bunch of alcohol left over?

Well, if we supply the drinks you’ll get a consignment facility whereby you’ll only be billed for what you consume otherwise you may have to “guestimate” when you’re purchasing from your local supplier. If we provide the drinks, the rule is “if it’s sealed and suitable for sale, we’ll take it back.”

Do I need to hire a bartender?

If you intend to serve alcohol to your guests at your event, you’ll need to hire someone to replace you as the “host”. Hiring a bartender maybe a better bet! Besides, your family and friends would want to have you at your event, not seeing you stand behind a bar slinging drinks!

What are the essential drinks I should serve in my bar?
  • Scotch
  • Vodka
  • Rum
  • Wine (Red & White)
  • Beers
  • Mixers (Coke, Sprite, Soda, Ginger Ale, Tonic Walker)
  • Juices (Orange, Pineapple, Cranberry)
  • Coconut Water
  • Water

Additional drinks to consider

  • Prosecco or Champagne
  • Gin
  • Tequila and other shots
  • Fresh Juices
  • Hennessy
  • Stout
  • High-end Rums, Scotch, Vodkas, etc.

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