Party Wisely: How to Calculate the Amount Alcohol You Need

By Ross | 1 Entertainment on Nov 07 2021

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With restrictions lifting and life finally moving back into a relative state of normalcy, celebrating big life events has become even more important. After everything that you, your friends, and your loved ones have been through, a good party with free-flowing drinks probably sounds like the best idea right about now.

However, before you post the details and send out invites, you should probably figure something out first—how much alcohol will you need? That’s always a dilemma, isn’t it? You never want to be the person who hosted a party that ran out of drinks. At the same time, you wouldn’t want to strain your bank account and end up wasting good quality alcohol.

What you need to do is find that sweet middle ground. Of course, there are plenty of factors to consider when figuring out this part of the logistics. What kind of party is it? What’s the demographic of people attending? Do they all drink? What do they like to drink?

Well, again, depending on the type of party you’re throwing, the bigger the party, the harder it is to predict. One way to make it easier is to take all the hypotheticals out of the equation and just rely on good old fashioned math to help you. All those math problems back in school are going to come in more handy than you thought.


In this article, we will be discussing how you can party wisely by calculating how much alcohol your party needs.


“Math” Your Drinks

Now let’s begin by discussing the basic formula. Consider how long your party will run for and plan one drink per person for every hour. You can work by multiplying the number of guests by the number of hours the party will last.

The formula is # of guests x hours of party time = number of drinks you need.



Now, most people can enjoy a can, bottle, or pint of beer. If you are going to be having a party that serves multiple drinks, beer should probably be 40 per cent of the drinks available.

So if you have 250 guests x 4 hours = 1000 drinks, you should multiply the total number of drinks by 40 per cent. 1000 x 40% = 400 beers. Now, whether four hundred should be multiplied by two to compensate for the strong beer drinkers. But at least you have a starting figure to guide you. 



As mentioned earlier, the drinks mainly depend on what kind of party you’re having and who’s attending. With 40 per cent of drinks dedicated to beer, the remaining 60 per cent can just be wine. 

Using the formula once again, 250 guests x 4 hours = 1000 drinks. (1000 - 400 beers) x 60% = 360 glasses of wine. You will have to adjust this number depending on the kind of guests attending and considering alcohol content and how a person pours a glass of wine.


Mixed Drinks

Finally, no party is complete without mixed drinks or cocktails. Everything that isn’t wine or beer goes under this category. You can calculate the amount you will need using this formula, Total Drinks - Beer - Wine = # of Mixed drinks. Essentially that will be 1000 - 400 - 360 = 240. 



Of course, “mathing” your drinks is all good and well, but we understand there’s no definitive way to predict how long the party will last and how much each guest will drink, but using these formulas gives you a guide and baseline to start with. 

At the very least, you won’t be buying drinks blindly. Consider the guests in attendance, the nature of the party, and other relevant factors. Once you have all the information sorted out, you should have a party with free-flowing drinks and little to no wastage. 

1 Entertainment is the leading party planning company in London. Our mission is to make sure that your parties are not only some of the most spectacular events of the year but that they also go smoothly. We execute all events with finesse and excellence. If you’re looking for a party planner, we are happy to help you.