July 13, 2014

How Much Alcohol Does My Event Need

I never considered myself much of a math person in school. I liked English and music and history. I hated math. But as an event planner, I use math all the time to calculate how much alcohol is needed for an event. The majority of my events are non-profit fundraisers and these almost always come with donated alcohol. I’m forever being asked by organizations how much wine, champagne, and spirits they need to request when reaching out to potential sponsors.

This is how I do the math.

Wine: You can get 4-5 glasses of wine out of every bottle. More if waiters are pouring light, less if you’ve put wine bottles on tables so guests can serve themselves.

Champagne: A bottle of champagne will net you between 6 and 8 glasses per bottle.

Spirits: Spirits are tricky because it depends on how heavy the bartenders are pouring. Shots can be anywhere from 1-2 oz, though 1.25 oz is a pretty safe bet. This means you should get about 20 shots/cocktails out of a 750ml bottle.

That’s the basic math. Now what you need to factor in is your audience. Are they drinkers? Teetotalers? Somewhere in between? How long are they going to be at your event? I plan for a minimum of two drinks per person and then scale up from there depending on the crowd and the format of the event.

Figure out how many drinks you need per person, and then weight the booze accordingly. Cocktails and champagne are reception favorites (and beer if that fits with your event), wine is more of a dinner drink. Another important note about wine if you’re serving it for dinner is to factor in the menu. What if everyone in attendance decides to drink red wine? Will you be covered?

After a while calculating alcohol quantities becomes almost instinct, but I still like to keep a cheat sheet around just to make sure I can always double check my math when needed.

Categories: Logistics | Tags: | Posted by: admin