Drink Planning Guide

While Mom-to-be won't be able to imbibe, that doesn't mean there won't be any guests looking to throw a couple back and celebrate the coming arrival.  Planning for a party can be daunting and figuring out how much alcohol and what kind to buy can only add to that stress.  There's so much to consider!  Should I serve beer, wine, or alcohol at my Baby Shower or Baby Reveal Party?  How much alcohol should I serve?  If you have too little, the party runs dry.  Too much variety and no one will know what try first.  Too much alcohol and Uncle Frank is spending too much time at your place every Sunday during football season polishing off the leftovers.  

There's a lot to consider, but our handy guide will help nudge you in the right direction.

Decision 1: What kind? Wine, beer, liquor?

The first decisions to be made is what type of alcohols to serve at the party.  

Liquor: Right off the bat it's important to decide if you want to serve the hard stuff.  Generally speaking, unless you're planning a late-night rager you can pass on the liquor.  It's certainly socially acceptable to serve, but with liquor comes the need for many more mixers which can cause the drink budget to swell pretty quickly.  If you do wish to serve liquor, we strongly recommend keeping it to one style for the sake of simplicity and cost savings.  Bonus points if you're up for making a pre-mixed cocktail to keep the amateur bar tenders at bay.

Wine: Wine has always been in style and always will be.  For a classy, fun affair during the daytime, afternoon or evening, it's an ever-appropriate indulgence.  You really can't go wrong here as long as you stick to varieties with wide-spread appeal.  There's almost always a bottle that will appeal to everyone from your wino-friends and boxed-wine brigade.

Beer: Can't really go wrong here either.  From the classic macro-breweries to the complete explosion of the draft beer market, there is a beer (or cider!) for everyone.  Beer is an inoffensive choice and can have considerable cost savings over wine.

BRP Recommends: Go with a mix of beer and wine.  This will cater to 95%+ of your alcohol-drinking guests.  If you want to go the extra mile, pre-make a batch of a themed cocktail for self-service.

Decision 2: How many drinks do I need to supply?

As a general rule, assume the average drinking guest will have two drinks during the first hour and one drink every hour after that.  At the risk of trigger flashbacks to algebra, there are a few things you need to figure out first:

  • How long is my party?
  • How many "average drinkers" will I have?

To get the number of drinks you then calculate:

(Number of Drinking Guests x Length of Party) + Number of Drinking Guests

So, for a 3 hour party with 20 drinking guests, the math is: (20 x 3) + 20 = 80 drinks.

Math aside, the hardest part may be figuring out how many of your guests are average drinkers.  To keep the math easy, you can assume all the adults are, but if you know of anyone who'll hold off after one or two then it may be best to count them as 1/2 a guest for the purposes of getting the drink count.

Decision 3: How much alcohol to buy?

Let's talk about size.  Serving sizes, that is.  What constitutes a serving, or a "drink"?  Well, here's what the National Institute of Health says:

So what does that mean in terms of what you can buy in the store?

Drink Type Serving Size Servings Per Container
Wine 5 fl oz of 12% abv wine 5 drinks per 750 ml bottle
Beer 12 fl oz of 5% abv beer

1 drinks per can

55 drinks per a "Sixth barrel" (5.16 gallon keg)

82 drinks per a "Quarter barrel/Pony keg" (7.75 gallon keg)

165 drinks per "Half barrel" (15.5 gallon keg)

Liquor 1.5 fl oz of 40% abv (80 proof) liquor

Varies depending on alcohol content

Using the above chart as a reference, split up your drink based on which types of drink types you plan on providing.  

For example, if we assume that half of our 20 guests from our earlier example are beer drinkers and the other have drink wine, then we'd want 40 servings of beer and 40 servings of wine.  This means, we're looking at 3-4 12-packs of beer and 5 bottles of wine.

Decision 4: Shopping!

This is the fun part!  Go our and craft your drink menu to fit in with your party's theme!  Enjoy!