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Planning Beverages for that Special Occasion

N. Jay Sorensen, MBA RD
Last Updated: November 09, 2014

Beverages play an important role when hosting a special event. Your guests may have a variety of beverage preferences. Suggested beverages to serve include: liquor, beer, wine, champagne, liquors, cordials, pop and coffee. Before the event, determine, as closely as possible, how many people will drink each type of beverage offered. If you don’t have enough information about the drinking habits of the guests, here is an approximation of what you will need for a large party lasting four or five hours in length.

Below are some helpful hints for planning for any special occasion. Follow the guidelines below for hosting a party, wedding and/or any formal open house.

2 cases of liquor for 100 liquor drinkers (approximately 1 ½ drinks per person per hour)

1 ½ Bushels of ice cubes for each case of liquor.

Summer

40% Canadian Whiskey or American Blend 10 bottles 1 liter size

25% Vodka 6 bottles 1 liter size

20% Gin 5 bottles 1 liter size

15% Brandy 3 bottles 1 liter size

You may decide that you want some Scotch and some Rum. These bottles should replace some Gin and some Brandy.

Winter

45% Canadian Whiskey or American Blend 11 bottles 1 liter size

30% Vodka 7 bottles 1 liter size

25% Brandy 6 bottles 1 liter size

Again, you may decide you want some Scotch, Gin, Rum or all three.

Mix for 100 Liquor Drinkers

45% 7-Up or White Soda 22 bottles 1 liter size

15% Club Soda 7 bottles 1 liter size

15% Tonic (more in summer)

10% Sour 5 bottles 1 liter size

10% Cola 5 bottles 1 liter size

5% Orange Juice 1 bottle half gallon size

Coffee 3 gallons

Wine will make up an average of 10% of the total alcoholic drinks. You will need 3 bottles of white for each bottle of rose red. Choose a jug Chablis for a lightly dry crisp wine, or a Rhine for a slightly sweeter, light and fruity wine.

Purchase a good quality everyday table wine for large parties. Many choose the 1 ½ liter size because it is fairly large and economical and pours easily. The larger 3 liter glass jug and 3, 4 and 5 liter bags in boxes are more economical and are preferable for that reason, for an informal occasion or for a situation in which you can pour the wine ahead of time or use wine carafes.

If you are serving only liquor and beer, beer will make up an average of 10% of the total in winter and 15% in summer. If you are serving only wine and beer, you will be serving half wine and half beer.


Beverages