How to Calculate Your Event’s Alcohol Purchase

By Octave Event Group

Find out the number of attendees expected at your event, excluding guests under the legal drinking age of 21 and anyone you know that does not drink alcohol. Next, estimate the amount of drinks that will be consumed throughout the duration of your event. Count on guests consuming two drinks in the first hour that alcohol is served, and about one drink every hour afterwards; somewhat less if it is an all-day social occasion.

Depending on the crowd, you will want to serve different types of alcoholic beverages. In a demographically diverse group, about half of the guests will prefer beer, about one-third would choose wine, while the rest of the guests would rather enjoy cocktails and other mixed drinks. Generally speaking, if your guests are all young men, it’s best to serve more beer. While a mostly female audience may prefer more wine and wine coolers.

With that in mind, if your event lasts two hours and here will be 100 drinking guests, you would need to serve at least 300 drinks worth of alcohol. 200 drinks for the first hour and 100 for the second. Using the common beverage distribution mentioned earlier, the 300 drinks would translate to 150 servings of beer, 100 glasses of wine, and 50 cocktails.

Ideally, it’s always good to have more drinks available than you think you will need, in case your event runs longer than originally anticipated or if one beverage becomes more popular than others. Plan for potential spills and incorrect measurements as well, unless you have professional bartenders at your event.

Standard alcohol measurements for popular beverages

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