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Planning a fabulous fête but not sure how much to buy? Read on for our expert guide to how many of bottles of Champagne to buy, how many hors d'oeuvres to prepare, what you need to stock a full bar, and everything else to keep in mind as you get ready to host your next party.
How Many Bottles of Champagne to Buy for 20 Guests (or More)
One 750-ml bottle of Champagne fills five regular Champagne glasses. Some guests will have a couple glasses and some will have none at all, so it's safe to estimate that guests will drink, on average, one glass of Champagne each (adjust this figure if you know you have a inordinate amount of Champagne enthusiasts in your crowd).
Here's how it breaks down.
How many bottles of Champagne for 10 guests: 2 bottlesHow many bottles of Champagne for 20 guests: 4 bottlesHow many bottles of Champagne for 25 guests: 5 bottlesHow many bottles of Champagne for 30 guests: 6 bottlesHow many bottles of Champagne for 50 guests: 10 bottlesHow many bottles of Champagne for 100 guests: 20 bottles
How many bottles of Champagne do you need for a Champagne toast, specifically?
For a Champagne toast, the math is a little different, since you only need to pour about a third of a glass for a toast. Accordingly, plan on one bottle of bubbly for every ten guests.
How Much Ice to Buy for a Party
Plan on one and a half pounds of ice per person. This will provide enough ice for drinks as well as any ice baths for wine or beer.
How Many Garnishes to Buy
Garnishes are relatively cheap, so it's always smart to buy extras. Plan on a 1/2 lemon and 1/2 lime and two each of olives, cherries, and onions per guest. This means that if you have 24 guests, you'll need at least 12 lemons and 12 limes plus 48 each of olives, cherries, and onions.
How Many Hors d'Oeuvres You'll Need for a Cocktail Party
If you're throwing a cocktail party outside of typical meal hours, five or six types of hors d'oeuvres will be sufficient. Plan on each guest eating one or two of each kind.
If your cocktail party takes place during meal hours, however, your guests will be hungry and there should be enough food to constitute a meal. Prepare eight to ten types of hors d'oeuvres and plan on each guest eating two to three of each.
Also, younger men tend to eat more than women and seniors, so if you have lots of gentlemen on your guest list, add a few extra hors d'oeuvres to your menu.
Guide to Planning a Full Bar of Liquor and Mixers
Before you stock your bar, you need to know how much alcohol and mixers to purchase. Take the following guidelines into account as you plan your shopping list.
Each guest will drink an average of two drinks the first hour and one drink each hour thereafter.
A one-liter bottle of alcohol yields approximately 22 mixed drinks. If you know how many guests are attending and what kind of bar you're going to have, you can easily figure out how much alcohol to purchase.
To accommodate any non-cocktail drinkers, estimate one bottle of wine per eight guests, remembering that white wine tends to be more popular than red.
If you're planning for a crowd that's mostly under age 35, increase your vodka, rum, and beer.
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It's always good to throw in some extras in case the party lasts longer than you planned, there are additional unexpected guests, or one drink is more popular than others.