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One of the first questions every client asks is, how much alcohol should I purchase for the party?

The first step in figuring out how much alcohol to purchase is estimating how many people will be coming to your event.

Once you determine how many guests, ask yourself a couple questions:

  1. What type of drinks would my guests prefer? (beer, wine, liquor)
  2. Should we provide a limited menu of specialty drinks or an open bar?

A limited menu of four to seven specialty drinks can be offered to guests.

This can help keep the cost of your party down as you will only need to purchase the alcohol, mixers and garnishes in those specific drinks.

Here’s an example of a five drink menu put together with a client for a pool party. The five drinks offered were Sex on the Beach, Coco Loco, Yellow Bird, The Hurricane and Frozen Daquiari’s.

Next, take the number of guests expected to attend and multiply by the estimated number of drinks consumed per person. Example, 40 people at your party and three drinks per person equals 120 total drinks. At a dinner party or cocktail party you can expect guests to consume around two to three drinks per person. At an evening party each guest may consume three to four drinks per person. The number of drinks consumed really depends on the time of day of the event, the type of function and how “wild” your friends are.

Next, take an inventory of what alcohol you currently have. For the alcohol that you need, here’s a guide to estimate.


A 750ML bottle of liquor will yield 16 1.5 oz. Servings. One liter bottle will get you 22 – 1.5 oz servings.


A 750ML bottle of wine or champagne will yield 5 – 5oz. Servings. One liter bottle of wine will get you 6 – 5oz servings.


One keg will typically yield 200 beers.