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Beverage Quantities to serve 100

FYI: a liter is about an ounce and a half larger than a quart, or as my Granddaddy used to say, "A quart and a shot": so for beverage planning purposes, a liter is equivalent to a quart, two liters are a half gallon.

Average meal or 2-3 hour party
Iced beverages Iced tea or lemonade or fruit punch/koolaid for lunch
6 to 8 gallons
Iced tea is made with 5 ounces or a scant 2 cups loose tea
PLUS ice, sugar, sweetener, lemon or lime slices
Sweet teae drinkes. contains 1 1/2 to 2 cups of sugar per gallon of hot tea Have about 2 gallons unsweetened plus some articial sweeteners (I like the pink stuff and the green stuff) for sugar fre
Breakfast coffee and tea Regular coffee 2 1/2 pounds
Decaffeinated 1/2 pound
1 pound of coffee, about 5 cups ground, takes 9 quarts of water
Hot water for tea about 30 servings
PLUS Tea (herb, regular, and decaf) for 30 cups, 2 pounds sugar OR 2 pound boxes sugar cubes (216-252 cubes), 3 quarts cream or milk, 50 non calorie sweeteners, honey
Dinner or reception coffee and tea Regular coffee, 1 1/2 pounds (about 75 cups)
Decaffeinated 1/2 pound (may use 1 pound regular and 1 pound decaf with older guests)
Additional hot water about 30 servings
PLUS Tea bags(herb, regular, decaf) for 30, 2 pounds sugar, 2 quarts cream or milk, sweeteners, honey
Party Coffee Allow 1 pint of made coffee (16 ounces) per person for a three hour party
Party punch- non alcoholic (1/2 cup punch per serving)
6 to 10 gallons
10 gallons allows 3-4 drinks per person, needed if served alone. Use the smaller number if coffee and tea are also served.
PLUS ice,, 10 pounds per bowl
Soda, with meal or break Poured over ice
15 to 20 2 liter bottles
PLUS ice, 1 pound per person, double if hot, depending on length of party
PLUS 2 12-16 ounce cups per person
2 cans per person
Flavors: about 1/2 regular caffeinated, 1/4 sugar-free caffeinated, balance mixed fruit and sugar-free non-caffeinated
30 to 40 pounds ice per large cooler
Soup or juice
not main course
4 ounce serving (1/2 cup)
3 gallons
8 ounce serving (1 cup)
6 gallons plus 1 quart
Hot chocolate 6 cups of straight cocoa makes hot chocolate for 100
you need 6 gallons minimum
See Cocoa and Rich Hot Chocolate
Breakfast milk Drinking- 6 gallons minimum serves 100
Cereal- 1/3 cup per person=2 1/2 gallons
Beer with a meal Beer drinkers will consume four 12 ounce bottles on average. Consider offering 1/2 liter beers. A pony keg, or half keg, will provide enough beer for approximately 83 12oz beers, and costs about $60-80 (2010) depending on the type of beer and where you purchase it.
Dinner wine 1 standard (750 ml) bottle of wine serves 5 glasses. Many people will drink 3-5 glasses over the course of a meal or evening, so count on a minimum of 1/2 bottle per person.
Standard white wine to red wine ratio is two whites to one red.

Iced tea "Southern style sweet tea" from instant tea or loose tea
Serves around 160. Triple this recipe should serve 500.

5 pounds (about 11 cups) sugar
4 ounces plus 1 cup instant tea powder
OR 1 pound black tea
1 gallon boiling water, just removed from the heat when the tea is added
1 7 to 10 pound block of ice
7 1/2 to 8 gallons cold water
10 gallon container
50 pounds of ice cubes for serving
30 lemons or limes for wedges

First make the base.
If using instant tea powder: Pour together the boiling water, sugar and tea and stir until the sugar dissolves. Mix full batch immediately or refrigerate base.
If using loose tea: Put the loose tea in the boiling water, stir well, cover, continue to steep for 15 minutes. Strain and stir in the sugar until it is dissolved. Mix full batch immediately or refrigerate base.

When ready to serve, use a 10 gallon (40 quart) food safe container. Fill with a large block of ice, 7-10 pounds, and 7 1/2 to 8 gallons of cold water. Then pour the strong tea solution into the container slowly and stir well. Don't put the tea base in first, it will stay at the bottom.
Serve over ice cubes, with lemon or limes cut into four to wedges each on the side.

Iced tea "Matcha green mint iced tea"
This serves about 20 serious iced tea drinkers

1/3 cup Japanese matcha green tea powder
1 gallon good water, divided
1 pint simple syrup simmered with 1 cup fresh mint
OR 1 pint Italian peppermint syrup, such as Torani- no high fructose corn syrup
7 to 10 pounds cube ice
1/2 gallon cold water
large bowl
large whisk
2 1 gallon jugs

First make the base. Bring 1 1/2 quarts water just to a boil, remove from heat, let stand almost 1 minute (170 degrees), pour into large bowl while sprinkling the tea powder.
Whisk madly until it is thickly foamy.
Whisk in the pint of mint syrup.
Dilute with plain water to one gallon, some can be ice to cool quickly.

When ready to serve, put 1/2 gallon in the container and add ice and water to make one gallon. Do the same with the other half.
Serve over ice cubes. Some people like lemon or lime as a garnish, but plain fresh mint is very nice.

Servings from a single bottle
1 (1.5 liter) wine bottle 12 (4 oz.) glasses
1 bottle champagne 6 flute or 7 saucer glasses
Magnum Champagne 12 (4 oz.) glasses
1 case of champagne 72-84 drinks (about 50 people)
Cocktail parties* In general, plan on two drinks (3 ounces hard liquor or 24 ounces of beer) per guest in the first hour and one drink (1 1/2 ounces hard liquor or 12 ounces of beer) per guest each hour thereafter. PLUS bottled waters, mixers, cut limes and lemons, and ice:
for a four-hour party, figure on 2-3 lbs. of ice per guest. In warm weather, making frozen drinks, with beverages on ice or if outside, double the amount of ice.
Plan to add 30 to 40 pounds of ice per large cooler to the drink total.
Mixing a little water to the tub/cooler ice chills bottles more quickly.

*Be aware: in many states, you, the host, are legally liable if a person leaves your party drunk and has an auto accident. Blood alcohol rises above the legal limit if drinking more than 1 drink per hour! Friends don't let friends drive drunk.

1 liter or quart hard liquor 22 (1 1/2 oz.) drinks, 28 "1 ounce" drinks
In order of use: Vodka - Scotch - Gin - Bourbon
Glasses 1 1/2- 2 glasses per person for parties less than 3 hours
2- 3 glasses for parties over 3 hours
Cocktail Napkins 4 per person the first hour plus 1 per person each additional hour
Professional Bartenders help reduce the total amount of alcohol and amount per personFor a one hour cocktail reception, allow one bartender per 75-100 and drink waiter for each fifteen guests.

Liquor for small parties

If you are having

Pre-dinner cocktails you'll need

For a 2-3 hour party you will need

4 people

8 to 12 drinks (one fifth)

12 to 16 drinks (one fifth)

6 people

12 to 18 drinks (two fifths)

18 to 24 drinks (two fifths)

8 people

16 to 24 drinks (two fifths)

24 to 32 drinks (two fifths)

12 people

24 to 36 drinks (three fifths)

36 to 48 drinks (three fifths)

20 people

40 to 60 drinks (four fifths)

60 to 80 drinks (seven fifths)

25 people

50 to 70 drinks (five fifths)

75 to 100 drinks (seven fifths)

40 people

80 to 120 drinks (eight fifths)

120 to 150 drinks (ten fifths)

* To allow for some extra liquor, buy quarts instead of fifths.

Here is a sample calculation for 150 guests for a beer and wine party
150 people x 6 drinks = 900 servings

  • 1 -15 Gallon Keg of Beer = 200 Servings
  • 2 cases White Wine = 150 servings
  • 1 case of White Zinfandel = 75 servings
  • 2 cases of Red Wine = 150 servings
  • 3 cases of Champagne = 225 servings
  • 6 flats (24 cans) of Soda = 144 servings
  • Total Servings = 944
1 bottle of spirits = 3 bottles of wine = 1 case of beer
Gin3 liters
Vodka6 liters
Tequila3 liters
Rum3 liters
Vermouth (.75 liter bottles dry and sweet)4 dry, 2 sweet (.75 liter)
Whiskey4 liters
Scotch Whiskey (blended)4 liters, or extra whiskey*
Chardonnay12 .75 liter bottles
White Zinfandel or Reisling12 .75 liter bottles
Pinot Noir or Merlot20 .75 liter bottles
Lager4 cases at least 1 light
24-can case = 4 two liter containers
Order additional sodas for teens/ non-drinkers
Cola5 cases with 2 diet
Cranberry juice1 case
Grapefruit juice1/2 case
Lemon-lime soda4 cases with 2 diet
Orange juice2 cases, 3 gallons
Soda water2 cases
Tomato juice/Bloody Mary Mix1/2 case
Tonic water2 cases with 1 diet
Still water4 cases
Angostura bitters1 bottle
Cocktail onions15 8 ounce jars
Cocktail olives15 8 ounce jars
Horseradish1 bottle
Lemons and limes80
Maraschino cherries20 8 ounce jars
Rose’s lime juice2 quarts
Salt1 pound
Superfine sugar2 pounds
Tabasco1 bottle
Worcestershire sauce1 bottle
Dinner coffee
Stop serving liquor 1 hour before the end of the party and offer dinner coffee- see Beverage Planning Page.
*For outdoor or summer events, more light colored cocktails are ordered.
Big budget? Add a luxury touch with a few single bottles of: Triple Sec or Cointreau, Kahlua® or other coffee flavored liqueur, Bailey's Irish Creme or other cream liqueur, Creme de Menthe, Creme de Cacao or other chocolate liqueur, Amaretto, Galliano, Brandy and/or Cognac, Grand Marnier®, Drambuie®, B&B® (Brandy & Benedictine), Apple Pucker Schnapps (for Appletinis), Southern Comfort, Peach Schnapps, Frangelico