When planning the beverage menu for a large party, here are a few general guidelines to help.

First, consider the number of guests you are inviting, the total number of hours the party will last, and the types of beverages you plan on serving. For instance, you may decide to serve just beer and wine or you may want to serve beer wine and liquors.

Standard Drink Sizes
One Drink = 1.5 to 2 ounces of liquor, 5 to 6 ounces of wine and 12 ounces of beer.
Bottle Sizes Converted to Ounces
750ml size bottle = approximately 25 ounces (regular size wine and liquor bottle)
1.5 Liter size bottle = approximately 50 ounces (larger size wine bottle)
1.75 Liter size bottle = approximately 58 ounces (larger size liquor bottle)

Depending on who is pouring, one 750ml bottle will yield four to five glasses. This will serve roughly two to three people in a two-hour period depending on the average servings per guest.

A 12-pack of beer (12 ounces per bottle or can) will serve three to five people with an average of two to three beers per guest in a two-hour period.

Based on the standard drink sizes shown above, a 750ml bottle provides 12 to 16 drinks and a 1.75L bottle provides 29 to 39 drinks.

Additional Guidelines
Always make sure you have enough beverages on hand to supply your guests. You may know your guests. Are they more of beer crowd, a wine crowd or a mixed drink crowd? You can adjust accordingly.

Buy plenty of mixers – carbonated water, tonic water, lemon-lime seltzer, cola and ginger ale. Be sure to have the necessary garnishes such as maraschino cherries, olives, lemon and limes.

Remember to make a variety of nonalcoholic beverages available for nondrinkers. Sodas, fruit and vegetable juices, bottled water, iced tea, and hot coffee and tea are all popular. Keep in mind that many guests will drink both alcoholic and nonalcoholic drinks.

Don’t forget the ice. About a pound of ice per person is a good rule of thumb. Plan a little more for very hot days or longer parties.