Party Planning Guide
November 14, 2013
Hosting a party can be an exciting endeavor—but also a nerve-wracking evening. Anytime you have multiple people at your house or venue, you worry about having the right mix of people, music, food, and of course fine beer, liquor and wine!
Choosing a proper alcohol menu is very important to any party plan. First you do not want to run out! Second you want to have a good variety of tastes and flavors so everyone can enjoy. Third you want to make your party a unique and different experience, and fourth you want to make sure everyone gets home safe and sound to talk the next day about your perfect party!
Choosing the proper quantity can be hard—but there are a few different metrics you can use to approximate. For a 2-4 hour party you will need roughly 3 bottles of wine for every 4 guests. There are 6-4oz servings in every bottle of 750ml wine. Assume that your guests will consume 3 to 4 cocktails or beers. So for example a party of 20 people you would need about 15 bottles of wine, a couple cases of beer and maybe 2-3 different liquors if you want a cocktail option. It is better to have a little extra, because liquor, beer and wine do not spoil! You can keep for your next party or your own enjoyment! It is not milk or eggs—no expiration date! Some liquor stores will even allow you to return your unopened bottles if you have way too much!
The styles of wines you can vary. You know your guests better than anyone, but 3-4 types of wines can make most partygoers happy. You need a nice mix of red and white and sweet and dry. If it is a cocktail party with appetizers and light fare, go with slightly lighter complexion wines so they will complement the food better. For Reds Pinot Noir and Syrah are very choices because they are typically a little more fruit forward and softer. In whites I like unoaked Chardonnays or Sauvignon Blancs because they usually have tropical fruity flavors that will appeal to many people. You always need a sweet option like a riesling or moscato. They are very popular for many people who say they don’t like wine, as they are soft and very fruity. Dinner party’s it is good to really try to find the perfect wine with the meal. Ham or turkey begs for Gewürztraminer or Beaujolais. Heavier roasts or meats can handle the classic Cabernet Sauvignon! Don’t forget that Champagne can make any party special and the signature popping of the corks signifies the party is ON!!
Any basic cocktail bar should have at a minimum Vodka, whiskey, and Rum. This will make 80-90% of your guests happy. Gin is another up and comer in the mixology world! Make sure you have cola, diet cola, 7-UP, Orange juice, Cranberry juice, tonic water and club soda. Have cocktail napkins, straws, ice bucket and tongs and corkscrews handy. Another fun option is to pre make a signature cocktail. A favorite fall drink is Smirnoff Honey Vodka, Apple Juice and Crispin Hard apple cider. It is easy to make and is delicious. This is easier on you and your guests will appreciate the new ideas!
Beer should always include a good domestic beer choice like Miller or Budweiser. Light beers are always appreciated and are by far the best sellers! But it is always good to have some seasonal beers or different imports for some variety of flavors and textures. There are many good winter lagers just being released that are awesome and will warm you up. Try Summit Winter or Schell’s Snowstorm that is a golden Belgian style beer that is slightly fruity and very complex!
The last tip is where you should place the bar. You want the bar in the action but it should be separated from the food or Kitchen area. You do not want a bottleneck at the bar or the food area. You want your guests to feel relaxed and take the time to enjoy your great food and cool bar areas!
A good idea is to hire a bartender or helper for your beverage area. A good bartender will take care of your guests, custom make cocktails or give good options on drinks. He will deliver all your beverages, setup and then cleanup at the end of the night. Having a little help will enable you to relax and enjoy your evening. There is nothing worse than running around refilling ice, cleaning up spills, or any other little crises that pop up. You should be the life of the party and spend some quality time with your guests, instead of worrying about running out of Bud Light in the cooler!
At the end of the day holidays are about family and friends and Beverages are integral parts of the experience The right Drinks can make everything better! Cheers and always enjoy in Moderation.