How Much Booze Do You Need for a Cocktail Party?

Fear that you’re not going to have enough drinks or food for your guests is a common concern.  Take a look at our handy planning guide and you’ll be on your way to hosting a successful shindig. 

The key to a successful party begins with planning. Running out of drinks or ice for your guests can quickly take the party from dynamite to disastrous. This quick and easy planner should give you a good starting place for your party plans. Use it as a guide, but tweak it as necessary for your purposes. If you know, for example, that none of your guests will drink white wine, make the appropriate adjustments to a more popular drink among the group. Do not feel compelled to stock every type of liquor in your bar. Unless you are preparing a signature drink that requires something unusual, stick to the basics such as gin, vodka, rum, tequila, and whiskey.

More to consider:

Plan your list days in advance.

Make bottled purchase well in advance, but save the purchase of perishable condiments and ice for the day before or the day of the party.

If you will need several bags of ice be sure to have ice chests on hand.

Remember to add ‘easy to forget’ items to your list such as napkins and toothpicks.

Be sure to have plenty of non-alcoholic options available for non-drinkers and designated drivers.

Next Up

Make Your Own Festive Tulle Drink Stirrers

Dress up holiday drinks at your next party with these easy-to-make stirrers.

Sneaky Tequila

The tequila, coconut rum, peach schnapps in this cocktail taste smooth, but pack a powerful punch.

Mulled Wine

This centuries-old delight is a festive alternative to wine by the glass for a dinner party or celebration. Infuse Cabernet Sauvignon with sugar, cloves and cinnamon sticks, then top it off with port and brandy.

Cool Cucumber Cocktail

This gin concoction blends cucumber, a powerful antioxidant, with apple cider and cranberry juice for a healthy cocktail option.

Frozen Waterberry Batida

This cocktail combines cachaca with strawberries and watermelon to create the perfect fruity drink for your next gathering.

Forgot the Party Music? 10 Perfect Pandora Stations for Your Holiday Bash

Ditch your entertaining fears with these no-fail party playlists.

Kitchen Crafts: How to Pipe the Prettiest Cupcakes

Boutique-bakery cupcakes are easy to make at home with just a few inexpensive supplies. Learn how to pipe buttercream roses, starry swirls and lofty ruffles. Four basic piping tips are used in this tutorial, but there are scores more to choose from — so feel free to branch out! Just one word of advice: Jumbo piping tips are ideal for filling up the top of a cupcake with buttercream. They make an impressive and pretty topping without much work.

Beach Flip Signature Cocktail

This frozen Caribbean cocktail hails from sunny Anguilla and combines coconut, rum and pineapple juice for a tasty, fruity drink.

How to Make a Pretty, Floral Monogram Cake

Made with layers of sponge cake and buttercream frosting and topped with fresh flowers and sugar pearls, this sweet monogram cake makes a lovely focal point for wedding receptions, baby showers and more.

How to Host an Exchange Party

An exchange party is a fun and easy way to host a party with the minimum of shopping, expense, baking and dishes to clean.
More from:

Holiday Countdown

Go Shopping

Refresh your home with stylish products handpicked by HGTV editors.

Watch Live TV

Don't miss your favorite shows. Live stream HGTV now.

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.