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What you'll need to party [plan] including a drink calculator

Posted by Meghan Guarino on March 19, 2018

In Cocktail Recipes, Spirits

1941 vodka with a chile lime margarita

A well-rounded gathering is the perfect mix of friends, food, cocktails and conversation. You probably already have your friends picked out, so we won't help you there.

But we will help you plan the perfect bar for your party, regardless of how many people are there. Here are the only 3 steps you need to prepare the best selection of spirits for any party.

Step 1: Choose Your Spirits.

Cover your bases with spirits that can both be mixed or enjoyed straight. We recommend a combination of the following.

  • Vodka - A neutral spirit used in many cocktails.
  • Rum - Light or dark, rum is usually mixed, but higher quality versions can be served over rocks.
  • Gin - Gin has a particular taste that many love, but some aren't used to. This spirit is a must-have for martinis and gin & tonics.
  • Tequila - Margaritas, tequila sunrises and Long Island iced teas wouldn’t be the same without this popular spirit.
  • Bourbon - Typically served straight up, bourbon is a sweeter, easy-drinking spirit that can be mixed in classics, like the mint julep.
  • Liqueurs & Vermouth - Take your bar from basic to full-service with dry vermouth and a few liqueurs! We suggest stocking at least one bottle each of triple sec and St-Germain.

Step 2: Start Calculating.

Generally speaking, wine and beer are the most popular drink choices at any given party. Plan for wine to be the choice of 50% of your guests, while beer and spirits will most likely account for 35% and 15%, respectively. Adjustments can be made depending on the crowd, or if you plan to serve only one category or a combination of two.
Figure 1-2 drinks per guest per hour: a 1-hour party would require two drinks per person, for a 2-hour party, estimate three drinks per person, a 3-hour party would call for four drinks per person, and so on. Once you have the hard numbers, plug them in and start shopping!
drinks calculator for a party

Step 3: Get Ready.

  • Get the garnishes. Have a supply of olives, limes, mint and cherries on hand.
  • Pack the ice. You’ll need a lot of it.
  • Master the mixers. Calculate 2 bottles of mixers per 1 bottle of spirits. Soft drinks, fruit juices and tonic water are all necessary. Simple syrup and grenadine would enhance your bar.
  • Set out the glasses. No need to have every cocktail glass. An assortment of highball and lowball glasses will handle almost every cocktail your guests order.
  • Get the recipes. Click here to browse easy recipes you can master fast. Make hosting even easier by offering a signature cocktail or a menu of drinks available to your guests. We suggest a few classics and one interesting cocktail, like the Chili Cantaloupe Cooler.

Now that you have your spirits, start prepping your party! Here’s your last-minute checklist:

chile canteloupe lime cooler signature cocktail

Chili Cantaloupe Cooler

1 1/2 oz 1941 Vodka
1 oz Lime Juice
5 Cantaloupe Chunks
1 Sugar Cube
1 Dried Chili Pepper

Muddle sugar, lime and cantaloupe in a mixing glass. Add vodka, chili pepper and ice.
Shake and strain into a glass with ice. Garnish with a lime wheel.