I find people always asking for easy entertaining at home tips- especially on quantities or what to sere at the bar. Entertaining at home is a cinch if you have the right guidelines to follow! Here are my recommendations based on a four hour party for about 20 guests.
7 bottles of white wine- it’s nice to offer a couple of different varietals as well a Chardonnay (I suggest Rombauer) and a Sauvignon Blanc (like Oyster Bay).
3 bottles of red wine- I prefer red so I will drink year round, but not a bad idea to double up here in the colder months.
30 bottles of beer- I like Stella Artois – and I do like to pour/serve in glasses
1 750 mil bottle of Vodka- I enjoy Tito’s
1 750 mil bottle of Gin, Rum, and/or Tequila.
1 liter bottle (or if a few of the guests are known to imbibe, add 1 more) of whiskey, bourbon, or scotch. There is a new scotch that I am loving… the bottle is pretty enough to be on display as well!
If you are going to have a self serve bar, you can always dress it up by using your decanters, pitchers, or other vessels and have tags identify each liquor.
For accoutrements you’ll need- (13-15) 12 oz bottles of your favorite mixers including Ginger Ale, Club Soda and Tonic. We have a local tonic made here that is divine- Jack Rudy. (3) 2 liter bottles of soda, (1) 2 liter of diet soda, 20 pounds of ice. And, precut your fruit and serve in a pretty bowl.
I think it’s a nice touch to have bar snacks for guests as well, in case they end up in a conversation over cocktail refreshing.
I suggest for glassware that you have a standard high ball that you can use for cocktails and beer. As well as wine glasses ( you can use something fun and if it’s casual and the wine isn’t from your best collection you can use the same glasses for all), and champagne if serving.
You’ll also need about 250 paper cocktail napkins (foryourparty.com is a great resource), or if you have a collection of linen cocktail napkins, break those out. And custom drink stirrers would really wow your guests! I favor these from Lettered Olive.
And, if you can really splurge, it’s nice to have a bartender so that guests don’t have to lift a finger!