How Many Drinks to Plan

Whether you’re hosting an intimate dinner party or throwing a bash for a crowd, the buying guide charts in this section can make it easy for you to determine how much liquor and wine you’ll need. A rule of thumb is one drink per hour per person, with a little extra added as insurance. Remember, liquor has a long shelf life, even opened, so it is better to buy more and store leftovers than to run out. With wine, open the bottles as needed, as unopened bottles can also be stored for another use, but opened bottles must be consumed in the next few days after the party. Always encourage the practice of designated driving at your festivities.

  For Four People For Eight People For Twelve People
Lunch 4 cocktails/wine before lunch 8 cocktails/wine before lunch 12 cocktails/wine before lunch
  4 glasses of wine with lunch 8 glasses of wine with lunch 12 glasses of wine with lunch
  4 liqueurs after lunch (optional) 8 liqueurs after lunch (optional) 8 liqueurs after lunch (optional)
Cocktails 6 cocktails/wine per hour 12 cocktails/wine per hour 18 cocktails/wine per hour
Dinner 6 cocktails/wine before dinner 12 cocktails/wine before dinner 18 cocktails/wine before dinner
  8 glasses of wine with dinner 16 glasses of wine with dinner 24 glasses of wine with dinner
  4 cocktails/liqueurs after dessert 8 cocktails/liqueurs after dessert 12 cocktails/liqueurs after dessert
Evening 6 cocktails/wine per hour 12 cocktails/wine per hour 18 cocktails/wine per hour

How Many Bottles of Wine for Dinner

Table Wines, Champagnes, Sparkling Wines average 2 servings, 5 ounces each, per person

People 4 6 8 10 12 20
750ml 2 2+ 3+ 4 5 8
1.5 liter 1 1+ 2 2 2+ 4

Generally, bottle quantities recommended provide some small overages of wine from 10- ounces-per-guest formula; “+” indicates somewhat less than the formula and you may desire to have an additional bottle on hand.

How Many Drinks Per Bottle

Cocktails, Mixed Drinks 1.5-ounce liquor servings

Bottles 1 2 4 6 8 10 12
750ml 16 33 67 101 135 169 203
Liter 22 45 90 135 180 225 270
1.5 liter 39 78 157 236 315 394 473

Table Wines, Champagnes, Sparkling Wines 5-ounce wine servings

Bottles 1 2 4 6 8 10 12
750ml 5 10 20 30 40 50 60
Liter 6 13 27 40 54 67 81
1.5 liter 10 20 40 60 81 101 121
3 liter 20 40 80 121 161 202 242
4 liter 27 54 108 162 216 270 324

Standard Bar Measurements (U.S. fluid ounces)

1 pony = 1 ounce

1 ounce = 3 centiliters

1 jigger shot = 1 1/2 ounces

1 mixing glass = 16 ounces

1 splash = 1/2 teaspoon

Other Measures

1 dash = 6 drops

12 dashes = 1/2 teaspoon

1 teaspoon = 1/6 ounce

2 teaspoons = 1/3 ounce

1 tablespoon = 1/2 ounce

2 tablespoons = 1 ounce

1/4 cup = 2 ounces

1/2 cup = 4 ounces

1 cup or 1/2 pint = 8 ounces

2 cups or 1 pint = 16 ounces

4 cups, 2 pints, or 1 quart = 32 ounces

Bottle Size Measures

Split = 187 ml = 6.4 ounces

Half-bottle = 375 ml = 12.7 ounces

Fifth = 750 ml = 25.4 ounces

Liter = 1000 ml = 33.8 ounces

Magnum = 1.5 liters = 2 wine bottles

Jeroboam = 3 liters = 4 wine bottles

Rehoboam = 6 wine bottles

Methuselah = 8 wine bottles

Salmanazar = 12 wine bottles

Balthazar = 16 wine bottles

Nebuchadnezzar = 20 wine bottles

Sovereign = 34 wine bottles