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Event Planning

Pint (375ml) bottle

Shot size: 1 oz. = 12 drinks

1 1/2 oz. = 8 drinks

One Fifth (750ml) bottle

Shot size: 1 oz. = 25 drinks

1 1/2 oz. = 17 drinks

One Liter (1L) bottle

Shot size: 1 oz. = 33 drinks

1 1/2 oz. = 22 drinks

Half Gallon (1.75L) bottle

Shot size: 1 oz. = 59 drinks

1 1/2 oz. = 40 drinks

Budgeting Your Expenses

From crafting signature cocktails to providing top-notch service, hiring a bartender for your private event is a game-changer. However, there are a lot of moving parts associated with creating a mobile bar space. Many people undervalue and underestimate the cost and work it takes to put together an unforgettable experience until they take matters into their own hands. To make sure that your celebration is unforgettable and seamless, it is essential to create a realistic budget for hiring a professional. By considering the factors below, you can be confident that you're making the best decision.

Cocktail and Olives
  1. Guest Count: Estimate how many guests will be attending your event to determine how much alcohol and non-alcoholic beverages you'll need, and consequently, your bartender's workload.

  2. Drink Selection: Will you offer a full bar, beer, and wine only, or a specialty cocktail menu? The types of drinks you choose will impact your bartender's mixology expertise and the overall cost. 

  3. Duration: Consider the length of your event and how long the open bar will be available. Longer events may require additional staffing, alcohol, or supplies, affecting your budget.

  4. Service Style: Will your bartender simply pour drinks, or will they provide flair and entertainment? Factor in any additional services you desire when setting your budget.

  5. Additional Costs: Don't forget to account for things like bartender fees, glassware, and any rental equipment needed to set up your bar.

DIY Mobile Bar Essentials

If you're interested in hiring a bartender only, we highly recommend providing them with the following items to ensure that your bar is well-serviced.

  1. Main Bar – Portable or stationary to serve from.

  2. Back Bar - For organizing & and displaying spirits, beer, and wine selection.

  3. Ice – 10-20lb bags.  On average, for a four-hour party, estimate 1-2 lbs. of ice per guest.

  4. Coolers - To keep beverages cold and ice-frozen.

  5. Bottled Water – Approximately 1-2 bottles per guest, preferably 16oz. consumption.

  6. Juice – OJ, Cranberry, Pineapple, Grapefruit, Lemonade, or Iced Tea

  7. Canned Sodas – Coke, Diet Coke, Sprite, Ginger Ale, Tonic, or Club Soda

  8. Cocktail Mixers – Sweet Vermouth, Dry Vermouth, Lime Juice, Lemon Juice, Grenadine

  9. Garnishes – Olives, Lemons, Limes, Cherries, Oranges, Pineapple, Salt, Sugar

  10. Cups – Glassware or Plastic, preferably 9-12oz consumption

  11. Straws – Sip straws for small cups and regular ones for large cups

  12. Napkins – About 200-250 napkins per 100 guests

  13. Trash Cans – Preferably two.  One for garbage and another for liquid waste from discarded drinks.

  14. Table Linen – Preferably black for professionalism

  15. Alcohol - Various selections of spirits, beer, and wine.

  16. Inventory Checklist - So you don't forget anything!

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Buying Alcohol

 

When determining your budget for a private event and considering the cost of alcohol, there are a few factors to keep in mind:

  1. Guest Preferences: Consider the preferences of your guests when selecting the types of alcohol to provide. Are they wine enthusiasts, cocktail aficionados, or beer lovers? Tailoring your selection to their tastes can help ensure a more enjoyable experience for everyone.

  2. Duration of the Event: The length of your event will impact how much alcohol you need to provide. A shorter event may require less alcohol compared to a longer event.

  3. Event Atmosphere: Consider the atmosphere you want to create at your event. Will it be a casual gathering or a more formal affair? The type of event may influence the selection and quantity of alcohol needed.

When trying to determine how much your guest will consume you can expect two drinks within the first hour and one drink per hour afterwards. Most private events average four hours. As a general suggestion, for a party of 100 guests, you can also estimate alcohol consumption based on the following guidelines:

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  1. Beer: Estimate around a 20% consumption rate (cans or bottles) for the entire event. This would equate to 4-24 pack cases for 100 guests.

  2. Wine: When poured correctly you will average five glasses of wine and four glasses of bubbly per standard bottle. Plan for approximately a 30% consumption rate. So for 100 guests, you might need around 30 bottles of wine.

  3. Spirits: For spirits like vodka, whiskey, gin, etc., estimate around a 50% consumption rate for the entire event. Approximately 11-12 1L bottles would be needed for 100 guests, depending on their drinking preferences. This quantity could be divided between a variety of spirits.

Remember to adjust these estimates based on your specific event details, such as the duration of the event and the drinking preferences of your guests. It's also a good idea to work with your beverage specialist to fine-tune your alcohol quantities based on their expertise and experience with similar events. 

 

If you’re concerned about buying too much alcohol, here’s a suggestion. Find a liquor store that will allow you to return any unopened stock. That way you can bring back cases of spirits, beer, wine, or soda that aren’t used. Check with warehouse stores like Total Wine, Costco, BJ’s, or Sam’s Club. In addition to getting a good price, they can help you decide on quantities and are usually open to taking back unopened bottles and six-packs. However, they do have some restrictions, so check with them first.

Unlimited Ice Supply

 

One of the most important considerations, and the one most often underestimated and overlooked is ice. You can never have too much ice. On average, for a four-hour party, figure on 1-2 lbs. of ice per guest. When making frozen drinks or serving active guests in warm weather, figure on 3-4 lbs. per guest. You will also need 2-3 twenty-pound bags of ice for each large cooler or tub to keep wines, beers, Champagne, and sodas cold.

Bar Location

 

Portable bars are highly recommended if you don’t have a stationary bar. Be sure to plan out where you would like to set up. It’s best to have a spot that can be blocked off with a bar so that guests won’t walk behind it. It’s also best to pick an area closest to running water and/or drainage. Keep the bar off carpeted areas; there will be some spills.

Event Themes & Specialty Cocktails

 

Saving money is everyone’s goal. So, when planning your bar, consider themes and specialty cocktails. They’re a great and affordable option for displaying your favorite spirits. Below are some of our most requested options:

  1. Caribbean ThemeFlavored Margaritas and Mojitos (i.e., mango, raspberry, pomegranate, and strawberry)

  2. Classics Cocktails: Classic Martinis: Vodka, Gin, Dirty, and Gibson Martinis

  3. Girls Night Out: Blended Martinis: Cosmos, Apple, French, Lemon Drop, and Woo Woo

  4. Game Night: Whiskey/Cognac cocktails: Old Fashioned,  Manhattan, Rob Roy, New York Sour, Sidecar

  5. Sunday Funday: Flavored Champagne cocktails and spritzers: Kir Royale, Mimosa, Bellini, French 75, Aperol Spritz

Image by Ardi Evans

You can also save money and manage your crowd by offering only beer and wine. If you’re looking for an affordable spirit, vodka is always an easy choice. Having no taste or smell makes it the easiest to blend. If your budget allows, consider adding favorites such as whiskey, rum, and tequila. If you’re celebrating something special, consider a Champagne toast.

If your head's spinning after reading this, consider taking advantage of our beverage services and packages so we can take this stress off your hands. Click here to set up a time to speak with one of our mixologists.

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