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Apr 8, 2008 08:33 AM

stocking bar

I am having an event for 200 guests - 6 1/2 hours
It is a premium bar with the following liquor, wine & beer
can any one assist on percentage I should purchase of each
average to heavy drinkers. Wedding - 5:00 p.m. - midnight
Jack Daniels Bourbon,
Grey Goose Vodka,
Tangueray Gin,
Bacardi Rum,
Crown Royal,
Johnny Walker (red & black),
Jose Cuervo – Tequila
Margarita’s on the Rocks made with Fresh Lime or Lime Juice concentrate

Shiner, Modelo Especial Dos XX, Miller Light, Lone Star & Coors Lite

Gruet Rose - Prosecco
Coppola Pinot Grigio,

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  1. You'll get better taste (and cheaper prices) opting for Flor de Caña, Cruzan or Gosling's instead of Bacardi as your gold and white rums.

    If you have a Costco nearby, grab their Kirkland Vodka - it's practically identical to Grey Goose (both distilled in Cognac, France) and it's a fraction of the price. Seagram's also distills a very smooth vodka (essentially their gin base) at bottom-shelf prices.

    Gordon's gin is extremely affordable, and of high quality. It's best in Martinis, but also works with tonic and ginger ale.

    For Tequila, I find Sauza and 1800 a little more palatable than Cuervo, and they're about the same price. I'm not as versed in Tequila as I am with rum, vodka, and gin - so hopefully someone else chimes in.

    As for percentages - I wish I could help. The only thing I know is that Vodka is probably the most used spirit. Have plenty of Coke, Ginger Ale, Tonic, Orange Juice, 7-Up, and Cranberry Juice as they're the most popular mixers.

    Good luck.

    1. Since you have Shiner I assume you're in Texas or Louisiana, I would recommend a lot of bourbon, and perhaps add some Makers (or something), not all bourbon drinkers like Jack, which I don't particularly care for.

      Dump the Red, spend it on Black or more Bourbon.

      You may also want to sub in a slightly heavier beer for either the Coors lite or the Miller lite, maybe Coors banquet?

      2 Replies
      1. re: sailormouth

        jack daniels isn't bourbon-- so the op should definitely have some bourbon in addition to jack, (which is american whiskey). even if it's just jim beam.

        i agree to drop either the red or black jw--only need one type
        i'd also dump the goose and go with stoli or ketel

        1. re: soupkitten

          I agree with soup. Definitely 86 the Red Label and the Goose. Stoli works just as well for martinis and mixed cocktails alike, and is much cheaper; there's really no point for both the Red and Black Labels.

          Also, I'd ditch the Bacardi (really, how did this junk become popular?) and switch to Goslings or Meyer's. Even though they're darker than the Bacardi and not 100% even-Steven switcheroos, you'll get a lot more flavor for your dollar.

          Lastly, Cuervo Gold is nasty stuff. It's not even 100% agave. It might be fine in blended margaritas, since the flavors are so diluted, but you mentioned making margaritas on the rocks, where flavor matters, especially if you're going through the trouble of using fresh lime juice. Sauza Hornitos really is a better cost-effective option (around $30 in my neck of the woods). No fugly mixto hangovers for your guests!

      2. First to other posts, definitely drop the red, people who like a blended scotch will like the black better but add a single malt if you have older drinkers.

        This is a call list that I used to use at a fairly good Saratoga Restaurant


        If you are not in Texas, switch vodka and burbon and because you are offering margarita's leave the tequilla where it is. Because you are doing a mixed drink with Tequilla, keep the Curevo for taste. This call list goes from least poured to most at a bar that poured a lot of margs. If you figure 1 drink an hour that is roughly 1000-1200 drinks. Since it is free, keep them small and expect waste as people will try things that they would normally not drink, including the marg. Cut that in half for the people that will only do wine/beer and you are pouring 500-600 mixed drinks. A good hefty shot in each and you should do OK with 2-3 rye, gin, rum, 4-5 vodka, bourbon and 6 tequilla. To cut down a little or be conservative, add a few cordials like sambuca, baileys and a cheaper brandy, small bottle. You've made good mainstream choices on all of your choices but I would do a different scotch like J&B or Dewars that has a little more name recognition and is comparably priced.

        1 Reply
        1. re: jspear

          one more suggestion, add more champagne as mentioned below and offer champaign cocktails with a little cream de casis muddled with a pinch of sugar and a twist, might be cheaper than cosmos......

        2. While I agree with many of the suggestions above, they don't really answer your question of how much liquor, beer, and wine you should buy. [EDIT: jspear's post appeared while I was on the phone with my caterer friend. The foregoing sentence is now incorrect.] Nevertheless, please, please, please--serve Jack Daniels if you must, but don't call it bourbon. Serve Maker's Mark and your bourbon-drinking guests will love you; serve Jim Beam and at least they won't say nasty things behind your back.

          My caterer friend says that a rule of thumb for cocktail parties is to count on two drinks per person per hour for the first two hours, then one drink per person per hour thereafter. So that would be ~1800 drinks, which is about 50 1.75ml bottles of liquor, 30 cases of wine, or 75 cases of beer. You might adjust down because not everybody will stay for the whole 7 hours, but you might adjust back up based on the "average to heavy drinkers" factor. A typical mix for that size crowd would be 20 cases or so of beer, 12 cases of wine (4 white, 2 red, 6 sparkling--hey, it's a wedding), 2 bottles each of scotch and rum, 3 bottles each of gin and tequila, 4 bottles of American / Canadian whiskey, and 5 bottles of vodka.

          You'll need to adjust that mix based on your guests' location (a bash on a ranchito in Starr County will slant toward beer, while a country club function in Dallas will tilt more to wine), their demographics (younger people will drink more beer and margaritas; an older crowd will drink more whiskey), and the weather (if it's hot--especially if the event is outside--you'll serve more beer, margaritas, and gin or vodka and tonic). It never hurts to have a runner ready to head to the liquor store if demand turns out different than you predicted, and remember that leftover beer and wine are easier to give away, but leftover spirits keep forever, even if they've been opened.

          Good luck, and have fun.