How to Stock the Bar When You Are Having a Party

When the weather is warm, many people take the opportunity to have a house party. After all, good weather means that guests can spend their time out in the yard well into the evening. This reduces the chances of beer stained carpets or red wine on the new furniture.

If you are taking the opportunity to invite friends around for drinks, you may have got your restaurant bib aprons ready for bartending duty, and you may have been practising your cocktail shaking moves. But, you also need to decide what drinks you need behind the bar. Here are some tips to help you. 

Knowing how much people drink 

At any party, you will have a mix of beer drinkers, liquor enthusiasts and those who like a glass of wine or two. You need to cater to everyone. Generally, you should assume that everyone will have two drinks each for the first couple of hours and then one drink an hour after that. You may have a good idea about what your guests will drink but if not there is a general rule of thumb that you can follow. 

Normally, around 40% of people will drink beer, with 30% drinking liquor and the remainder preferring wine. Going by these rules, if you have 20 people at your party, you should aim to have around 50 bottles of beer, 8 bottles of wine and a couple of bottles of liquor behind the bar. You will also need about 10 litres of mixers including Coke, cranberry and tonic water. Keep an eye on the drinks throughout the evening and make sure that you have a contingency plan if stocks start to run low. 

Saving money on the cost of the evening

If you have not got a fortune to spend on a party, there are things that you can do to save money on drinks.  Here are some ideas:

  • Provide some of the drinks yourself and also ask guests to bring a bottle with them. This takes some of the financial pressure off your shoulders. 
  • Mix up some fun cocktails so that guests have something to drink but you control the amount of liquor that is being used. Remember that you will need a range of liquor to hand such as vodka, bourbon, rum, tequila and gin. 
  • Stay clear of top shelf drinks. You do not need to spend a fortune on the best quality alcohol in order for your party to be a success. You can stick with sparkling wine instead of champagne and choose cheaper brands. These brands are fine for using in cocktails and you can also disguise them by pouring them into funky looking pitchers that match the party theme.

It’s important to remember that people will have fun at the party as long as they have a reasonable choice of drinks. You should not spoil your evening by worrying too much about having a large selection of alcohol behind the bar.