As an event planner one of the questions I get asked the most is, "How much alcohol should I buy? When planning an at home party, I always follow the primary rule: buy more than you think you need. Running out of alcohol is not something you want to risk! Unused beer and wine can be used at a future event and some stores even take back unopened bottles (check ahead before you buy). Before you put together your list, think about the following:
How many children will be there?
How long will the party last?
What type of party will it be? Dinner party? Casual Get Together? Cocktail party?
Likely you know your guests pretty well and can guestimate who is a drinker/non drinker and if they are more likely to consume beer, wine or spirits.I like to keep it simple at party by offering a selection of beer, one type of white wine, one type of red wine and one signature cocktail.
With all of that in mind, here is my quick and dirty guide to planning for beverages:
Estimate about two drinks per person, per hour
Wine: One bottle per two people per hour
Beer: Two per person per hour
Liquor: One bottle per five people per hour
Mixers: Three bottles for each bottle of alcohol
Ice: At least one pound per person per hour
This should be customized based on your knowledge of who drinks what. Add in 1-2 non alcoholic beverages per person and 2-3 per child.