Party Planning Drink Calculator

  • Profession of attendees – blue collar group, will see an increase in beer, business professionals, might see an increase in red wine.
  • Age of the group – if the crowd is 21 – 35 you will need to increase the amount of vodka, rum, tequila, and beer.
  • Time of year – in the fall and winter, less beer, summer months, you will serve more beer, vodka, gin, and tequila.
Consumption of wines and spirits, by the drink, varies according to the occasion and how beverages are served.

Beverage Options:

  • Water (always)
  • Non-alcoholic beverages such as soda (always)
  • Wine (red, white, blush, sparkling)
  • Beer (regular, light, microbrew)
  • Bar drinks (Liquor - full liquor bar, signature drinks)

How many guests will be attending:

  • Create a list of your guests and categorize each as "None," "Light," "Moderate," and "Heavy".
  • This gives you an idea of the quantity each guest will generally drink.

How many hours will your event last?

  • How long your event lasts determines how long your guests will consume drinks.
  • Most people will taper off as the evening progresses, however, you will have those few that will be inclined to drink more as they get tipsier.

What will you be serving?

  • Consider your guests and make a calculated guess at what their drink preference will be. Does Tom like a microbrew or will he prefer a bar drink if its available? Will Andrea prefer a glass of white wine or a fruity margarita?
  • Signature Drinks are a great way to streamline your bar - it minimizes the need to have all the bar mixers and glasses, as well as limiting the alcohol you need to have on hand.

What Drink Ratio should you have on hand?

  • Once you've narrowed the field with the above responses, then you need to determine your ratio of drinks. Beer drinkers tend to stick to beer throughout the event, while wine and cocktail drinkers may sample several choices. Generally, 40% beer, 30% cocktails/liquor and 30% wine is a good ratio. However, depending on your guest list, you may want to weight your options a little differently.

Doing the Math:

On AVERAGE, during an event, your guests will consume the following alcohol:

 Hour     Drinks/Person     Total Drinks
   1                    2.5                  2.5
   2                    1.5                    4
   3                     1                      5
   4                     .5                    5.5
   5+                   .5                     6

Average Per-Bottle servings:

  • 750 ml bottle of wine: 5 servings (5 oz. pours)
  • 750 bottle of spirits: 17 servings (1.5 oz. shots)
  • Beer: 1 bottle = 1 serving. Pony (1/2 keg; 7.5 gallons) = 80 servings. Full keg (15.5 gallons) = 165 servings

So, what about the non-alcohol? In addition to the alcohol, assume guests will drink one non-alcohol drink per hour. Assume 30% water and 70% non-alcohol beverages such as soda or flavored juices and drinks.

Hour   Non-alcohol   Total Non-Alcohol
    Drinks/            Drinks/
     Person            Person
  1                 1                     1
  2                 1                     2
  3                 1                     3
  4                 1                     4
  5+               1                     5



  • Number of Guests X Total Alcohol/Person for the number of hours you plan.
  • Bar Drinks: Total X .3
  • Wine: Total X .3
  • Beer: Total X .4

Non Alcohol

  • Number of Guests X Total Non-Alcohol Drinks/Person for the number of hours you plan.
  • Water: Total X .3
  • Other Beverage: Total X .7


A 4 hour party with 20 guests.


  • 20 X 5.5 = 110 total alcoholic drinks
  • Bar Drinks: 110 X .3 = 33
  • Wine: 110 X .3 = 33
  • Beer: 110 X .4 = 44

Non Alcohol

  • 20 X 4 = 80 total non alcoholic drinks
  • Water: 80 X .3 = 24
  • Other Beverage: 80 X .7 = 56

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