How To Plan Drink Servings For A Party

Take the guesswork out of beverage buying for your party with this easy-to-follow formula. Keep in mind, it’s always better to get more than you think you’ll need.

Party Planning - Step One

To figure out how many drinks you’ll need for the duration of the party, assume each guest will have 2 drinks during the first hour, then 1 drink every hour after that.

number of guests x estimated number of drinks per guest = total number of drinks

Party Planning - Step Two

Figure out how you want to divide the drinks among wine, beer and liquor. Want to keep it simple? Just portion a third of the total number of drinks to each type.


A 750ml bottle of wine contains about 5 servings, so divide the number of wine drinks by 5 to get the number of bottles you’ll need. If you’re only serving wine, an easy estimate is to assume each person will sip half of a bottle.

Champagne/Sparkling – A 750ml bottle fills about 6 flutes.


Mixed drinks contain about 1.5oz (45ml) of liquor each. So a 750ml bottle will make about 16 drinks, a 1L about 22 drinks and a 1.75L about 34 drinks. To figure out how many bottles to buy, divide the number of drinks needed by 16 (750ml), 22 (1L) or 34 (1.75L).

Mixers – Figure about 1L of tonic water, club soda or juice for every 3 guests.


For large parties, a keg often makes the most sense. Half-barrel kegs (15.5gal) provide about 200 servings if you use 10oz cups.