Tips for Shopping Alcoholic Drinks for Your Next House Party

If you are hosting a cocktail party, the biggest question of the event may be how to stock the bar. All of the other details like time, date, place, and entertainment are easy. It is the fear of running out of drinks (and food) that gives hosts the most worry. If you want your party to really rock and leave everyone wanting for more, then you need to plan carefully and do more than simply buy some random drinks from a alcohol delivery company.

The first question to ask yourself is whether you want a full bar or a limited cocktail menu. Both have their advantages and will work for parties of any size.

How Many Drinks Per Guest

In party planning, the general advice is that guests will drink two drinks the first hour, and one drink per hour after that. These drinks can be cocktails, beer, wine, or nonalcoholic beverages, and many guests will opt for a combination throughout the night. So before you have any drinks delivered to your home, be sure to plan what drinks to offer your guests and how much volume you’ll need to fill your bar with.

Stocking for a Cocktail Menu

Developing a cocktail menu is one way to cut your costs because you only need the ingredients for the specific drinks you select. It also offers the opportunity to design the menu around the party theme.

The steps involved make it rather easy:

  • Decide which cocktails you’ll offer.
  • Estimate the number of guests you expect.
  • Determine how much of each liquor and mixer needed per drink.

There are 25 ounces or an average of 16 shots in a 750-milliliter bottle; Use this to estimate how many bottles of each ingredient you need. For the base spirits (e.g., rum, vodka, whiskey, etc.), add one extra bottle just in case. Place any leftover bottles in your regular bar after the party.

Stocking a Full Bar

The full bar option is a little more complicated and costly because you’ll need a greater variety of liquor and mixers available. The advantage is that guests can order any drink they want.

You can choose to eliminate any of these ingredients based on your guests. For instance, if you know there won’t be many martini drinkers in the crowd, eliminate or reduce the vermouth. Some parties may not need brandy or a wide range of liqueurs, either.

Some of the spirits include a recommended style because it’s the most universal for mixed drinks. In the case of whiskey, it’s a good idea to stock a second whiskey, other than bourbon, that will appeal to most of your guests. Whiskey is a nice option for the average whiskey cocktail. If you think your guests are partial to a specific brand or style, stock a bottle or two of that instead.

Choosing which liqueurs to stock is a matter of personal choice. For a well-rounded bar, begin with the essential liqueurs: amaretto, coffee, Irish cream, and an orange liqueur like triple sec. You can also add a cherry, chocolate, ginger, melon, mint, nut, and raspberry liqueur. If there is a particular cocktail that you’ll be serving, be sure to stock any specialty liqueurs for that as well.

Liquor Stock for a Full Bar – Sample Computation of Liquor Volume

10–24 Guests 25–34 Guests 35–59 Guests 60–100 Guests


  • 10-24 Guests: 1 bottle
  • 25-59 Guests: 2 bottles
  • 60-100 Guests: 3 bottles


  • 10-24 Guests: 1 bottle
  • 25-59 Guests: 2 bottles
  • 60-100 Guests: 3 bottles

Rum (white)

  • 10-59 Guests: 2 bottles
  • 60-100 Guests: 3 bottles

Tequila (blanco)

  • 10-59 Guests: 1 bottle
  • 60-100 Guests: 3 bottles


  • 10-59 Guests: 3 bottles
  • 60-100 Guests: 4 bottles


  • 10-24 Guests: 2 bottle
  • 25-59 Guests: 2 bottles
  • 60-100 Guests: 4 bottles


  • 10-100 Guests: 1 bottle

Scotch (blended)

  • 10-24 Guests: 1 bottle
  • 25-59 Guests: 2 bottles
  • 60-100 Guests: 3 bottles

Dry Vermouth

  • 10-24 Guests: 1 bottle
  • 25-100Guests: 2 bottles

Sweet Vermouth

  • 10-100 Guests: 1 bottle

Liqueurs (each) – 1 bottle
Note that one bottle refers to a standard 750-milliliter bottle.

More Alcoholic Dink Buying Tips

  • If the majority of guests are under 35 years old, increase the vodka, rum, and beer stock.
  • Plan for and offer a great mocktail or two for guests that don’t drink alcohol.
  • Mixers are the nonalcoholic ingredients used in cocktails. Use your judgment on the types ofjuice and soda you’ll need. Overestimate the soda to account for guests who want to drink it without alcohol.
  • You can skip the sour mix if you have plenty of lemon and lime juices available but may wantextra simple syrup. The “other juices”category includes any specialty juices like tomato, pomegranate, apple, or any other juice that may fit a particular cocktail offered.

Mixer Stock for a Full Bar

Cocktails will always be a favorite drink and a must-have in any house party. And in creating your cocktails, you’ll need some mixers.

Here are some mixers to consider:

  • Club Soda or Seltzer – 4- 10 Liters
  • Ginger Ale – 4 – 10 liters
  • Cola – 6 – 8 liters
  • Diet Cola – 6 – 8 liters
  • Lemon-Lime Soda – 4 – 8 liters
  • Tonic – 4 – 6 liters
  • Orange Juice – 2 – 3 quarts
  • Cranberry Juice – 2 – 3 quarts
  • Grapefruit Juice – 2 – 3 quarts
  • Lemon and Lime Juices (each) – 12 – 48 ounces
  • Other Juices (each) – 2 – 3 quarts
  • Grenadine (12 oz.) – 1-2 bottles
  • Simple Syrup (12 oz.) – 1 – 2 bottles
  • Sour Mix (12 oz.) – 1 bottle
  • Aromatic Bitters – 1 bottle

But it’s not just cocktails that you should serve. Fill your bar with other liquors too like red wine, white wine, Jack Rabbit Prosecco, Blue Aftershock, champagne, and so on. Don’t forget to stock a variety of beer too, including the most popular brands among your guests. Offer at least two options and more if your guests are particularly fond of beer or could be considered connoisseurs. You can also skip some of the beer and replace it with cans of hard seltzer, which are preferred by many drinkers.

The wine recommendations assume a 5-ounce pour per glass and 750-milliliter bottles. White wine is typically more popular than red, so a few more bottles are suggested. Sparkling wine is good for special celebrations like New Year's Eve but not expected at the majority of parties.

Don’t Forget the Ice

The other key to any great drink is ice. Plan on one pound of ice per person. This will be enough for mixing drinks and to keep the beer and wine cold.

Throwing a drinking house party requires a bit of a task but with proper planning you can smooth things out and enjoy with the rest of the guests. Choose the right alcohol delivery company to have all of your drinks delivered before the party. A reliable alcohol delivery company you can try is the IT Drinks. In Inverness, it collects all the liquor varieties you’ll need for your house party and can even go the extra mile to find a rare bottle for you. So have your drinks delivered by IT Drinks and you’re party will never
run out of booze.

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