Beverage Calculator for Party Planning Martha Stewart Style

“This guide is helpful in planning how much to plan for and buy when you're ready to throw your next party. Remember that un-opened bottles can be used at other times, or even returned if the store allows. Thanks to Living's November 2009 issue for this wonderful little party helper! Prep time is perhaps the amount of time it will take you to gather your party supplies and set them out on your bar or buffet table. Serving size and bottle size is a guess, because you're doing the planning..but Zaar needs something filled in.”
1 for the road

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 1 liter wine
  • 2 (16 ounce) bottles beer
  • 1 (16 ounce) bottle liquor
  • 3 (16 ounce) bottles juice (mixers)
  • 1 lb ice


  1. WINE: FIGURE ONE BOTTLE PER 2 PEOPLE PER HOUR. Refer to your favorite winery for directions on chilling and serving. Store wine on its side or upside down below 70*. -- Reds pair well with hearty dishes, -- whites are better with seafood; my favorite is white zinfadel.
  2. BEER: TWO BEERS PER PERSON PER HOUR. Ale & stout are good choices for winter; -- lagers for summer; -- have light and dark options; store unopened bottles at room temp, chill before serving; flavor spoils if it has been chilled and then goes back to room temperature.
  3. LIQUOR/SPIRITS: ONE BOTTLE PER 5 PEOPLE PER HOUR. Store at room temps; use opened bottles within a year. -- Vodka is used for martinis, tonics, Bloody Marys, & White Russians. -- Whiskey & bourbon are great for sipping and in Manhattans, sours, old-fashioneds, & mint juleps. -- Gin is a must for a true-martini, gimlets, Tom Collins, Negronis. -- Scotch is often served straight or in a rusty nail. -- Rum is the star of kitchen cooking and in tropical, fruit-based drinks like mojitos and mai tais. -- Tequila can be married with margaritas, sunrises, shady ladies. -- Brandies like cognac and armagnace are mixed with sweet or sour mixers or taken straight.
  4. MIXERS: THREE BOTTLES PER EACH BOTTLE OF ALCOHOL. Mixers are the base and add the main flavor to the cocktail. -- Sweet & dry vermouth for martinis and manhattans. -- Bitters, triple sec, and cointreau (orange liqueur) provide sour flavors in cosmopolitans and lemon drops. -- Juices include orange, lemon, lime, grapefruit and cranberry, bottled in bulk, should be chilled. -- Tonic water and club soda are must-haves. -- also 7-Up, Sprite, 50/50, Squirt, gingerale.
  5. ICE: AT LEAST ONE POUND PER PERSON PER HOUR. If your fridge has an ice-maker bag some up for a day or so ahead, and store (of course) in your freezer!
  6. GARNISHES include but are not limited to the following: fruit slices & wedges, zest strips. -- Limes: margaritas, gimlets,mojitos, daiquiris, cosmopolitans. -- Lemons: sour drinks, lemon drops, Tom Collins & as a general garnish. -- Oranges: old-fashioneds, screwdrivers -- Olives: martinis -- Cherries (fresh or brandied): fizzes, wine coolers, tropicals.
  7. PARTY PLANNING 101: ice made up ahead of time, from your freezer; glass pitchers for mixing batches of cocktails in advance, napkins, stirrers, cocktail straws, ice bucket, tongs, pour spouts if you want to be fancy, jiggers or shot glasses, bottle opener, shaker, long-handled spoon, zester (if you haven't zested ahead of time), strainer, cutting board & paring knife.

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