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How to Prepare for an Open Bar

Updated: Oct 10, 2021



Let’s look at an example to help – lets say you have 150 people at your party. It is always better to overestimate than to come up short so lets say the average person consumes 6 drinks. That means 900 drinks will be consumed at an average cost of $5 each.

Your open bar budget should be $4500 in this example.



Here’s a well-rounded list you can go off of when deciding the vodka to whisky amount you’ll need, assuming you buy 15 bottles of liquor for 100 people. If you have a speciality liquor you like consider adding that to this list as well.

  • 6 vodka

  • 4 whisky

  • 2 gin

  • 2 tequila

  • 1 rum

In terms of mixers, plan on having the following for 100 guests:

  • 4 Liters Club Soda or Seltzer

  • 9 Liters Ginger Ale

  • 13 Liters Coke

  • 3 Liters Diet Coke

  • 11 Liters Lemon-Lime Soda (Sprite)

  • 3 Quarts each of any juice you want (plan on at least having orange, cranberry, and pineapple)

  • 2 bottles each of sour mix, grenadine, simple syrup, and bitters.

  • 1 bottle each of dry and sweet vermouth

Garnishes

  • 1/2 lemon/lime per guest (pre-sliced)

  • 2 olives and cherries per guest


Wine

Fall, Winter and Spring weddings: People tend to drink more red wine at indoor weddings in the fall, spring and winter. As a rule, have a mix of about 50% of red wine for this type of wedding.

Summer and Outdoor weddings: Outdoor weddings on hot days will have people drinking more white wine. Consider a mix of 30% each of all 3 styles of wine. On the other hand, you might also think about serving rosé, especially if you’re serving fish or seafood.

So if you’re buying 70 bottles of wine, your shopping list for an evening wedding inside might look like:

  • 35 red

  • 23 white

  • 12 sparkling (not including extra bottles if you’re having a toast)

Champagne Toast:

(100% of guests) = 100

/

(Number of glasses per bottle of champagne) = 5

=20 bottles of champagne needed


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