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Food And Alcohol At Parties

Aug 17, 2007
I am hosting a 50th BD party in Sept. and there will be approx. 50 people there. I cannot afford to cover the expense of all the alcohol which will be consumed and was considering asking every person to bring something alcoholic to share, sort of like a community bar. I will then have a bar person handling all the alcohol. Is this appropriate? Will some be insulted? BTW, I am catering the party with food and music as well. Answer: It is perfectly right to ask guests to bring what alcoholic beverage they would prefer. Simply state on the invitation: Soft Drinks and Set ups served. Bring alcoholic beverage of your choice. I would avoid the community bar idea due to confusion. With the above plan you can provide nice labels so the bartender can keep track of what belongs to whom. Perhaps some will be insulted, but then they might be insulted if you had no alcohol served or a cash bar or whatever you do in that vein.

We are planning a birthday party for 30 people. How much finger food and booze do we need for this party? Liquor is calculated at approx one ounce of the hard stuff per hour, or one glass of wine or beer per hour. So if the birthday party has 30 guests, and runs for three hours, you need approx 90 ounces of booze or 4 cases of beer etc. That assumes you invited no drunks or alcoholics and everybody is drinking. If you intend to set up the classic "bar" and serve a full selection of mixed drinks, you'll need at least one bottle of each liquor that is popular in your area...Scotch, gin, vodka, rye, bourbon etc. Then you'll need Ginger ale, 7UP, club soda, coke etc for mixers. If you intend to get fancy and offer Margaritas and Sloe Gin Fizz type drinks, hire a caterer and just tell them 30 people, they will know what to bring. If you serve only Beer, it is common to have a popular American Brand, now-a-days a lite beer, and an import or "label" beer. 2 cases of each.

Finger food, about 2 ounces per guest. So cheeses cut into cubes, for instance you'd need about 2 lbs of each (Cheddar, Colby, Swiss etc) Veggies the same 2 lbs, cherry tomatoes, celery etc, Crackers -- 2 one lb boxes of each, dips -- 2 tubs each etc.

For the Birthday Cake and Ice cream, you can go by the advertised serving size. Although they will stuff their faces with the finger foods, people don't want to look like they are pigs at dessert time, so they will accept a small slice of cake and a single scoop of ice cream. Just check the side of the box at the store, and buy, cut or scoop out as many pieces as the label says you should get.

Figure also that you'll need at least 90 of all the plastic cups and plates and napkins and such. Your guests won't re-use them, and they usually go back to the table twice.
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Victor Epand is an expert commentator at http://www.CustomDesignPostcards.com/. Visit us when you need to make custom designed holiday, gift, and invitation cards, as well as business cards and brochures. We are the only design utility that lets you download the print-ready images!
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