There’s a reason so many events include a bar or two. Alcoholic beverages are thought to provide a social lubricant for those meeting and mixing with others to celebrate.
With that in mind, it makes sense to be sure that your bar set-up, i.e., a variety of spirits, ice, mixers, and garnishes, will go a long way to kick off your next event in the right direction.
Here’s what Jacquie Bols of Jacquie’s Gourmet Catering recommends for your event bar:
- Know your attendees. Young adults drink different beverages than those 45 and over. Corporate folks drink less in general than those at a private party.
- In general, younger crowds will drink more beer and less wine. Older crowds will drink more wine and scotch.
- Wedding, anniversary, retirement or corporate announcement? Make sure you have plenty of champagne on hand!
- The season makes a big difference in drinking habits. Think light beers, white wine, spritzers, and more gin and vodka during warmer months – especially if your event is outside. Heavier flavored beverages such as red wines, bourbons, and after dinner liquors in cooler months.
- Brand liquors make a statement. An upscale event demands more prestigious brands of wine, beer and liquor.
How many bars should I set up?
Since no one likes to wait in a long line for a drink, Jacquie suggests
- For every 100 guests, allow 4 hours of open bar.
- More than 100 guests? Add a second bar at the other end of the room. You don’t want long waits in line at one bar.
- Make sure the traffic flow around the bar is open.
How much of what should I stock?
For every 100 people assume for Mixers & nonalcoholic beverages:
- 36 Cokes
- 24 diet colas
- 12 Sprite/7-ups
- 12 Tonics
- 12 Ginger ales
- 12 Club sodas
- Sweet vermouth
- Dry vermouth
- Triple sec
- Orange juice
- Cranberry juice
Wine – 24 bottles
12 bottles or red (more during cooler months)
12 bottles of white (more during summer months)
4 cases of light domestic
1 case of craft domestic (more if your crowd is under 40)
1 case of imported
10 liters of vodka, 4 liters bourbon, 2 liters scotch, 4 liters of tequila, 2 liters of rum and 1 liter of gin.
Here’s to a very successful next event! Bottoms up!