How to Stock a Bar For an Event
Date: November 23 2018 | Category: Event Advice

Every party needs a well-equipped bar but if you are the organiser, it can be tricky knowing how to stock a bar for an event with accuracy. Below are some tips to help you stock your bar so you won’t disappoint your guests. 

Make sure yours includes the following items: 

Cocktail shaker (if serving cocktails) bottle opener, corkscrew, water jug, ice cubes, ice bucket and tongs or scoop, small knife, garnishes for drinks (lemons, limes, cherries, olives, onions) and napkins.

Don't forget glasses:

Make sure to have sufficient glasses to cover both the range of drinks you are offering and also the number of guests attending your party. Generally we would recommend that you allocate 1-2 Slim Jim glasses per person. These glasses can be used for water, minerals, spirits with the 12oz size taking the equivalent of a bottle of beer. 

For wine glasses it is always a good idea to have at least 2 glasses per person. While most people will refill their glass some will require a change of glass particularly if changing from red to white or vice versa. If serving champagne, you should make sure to have 1 glass per person, not all of your guests may take the champagne but it would be awful if you were short. 

In Summary:

  • 2 wine glasses per person
  • 1 champagne glass per person 
  • 1-2 slim jims per person


It is a good idea to plan on serving approximately two drinks per guest, per hour at your event. Based upon a party for 40 guests your minimum stock of beverages should be approximately:

  • Champagne or Cava x 12 bottles
  • A case of both red and white wine. Depending upon your guests preferences it may be appropriate to have more red than white
  • 3-4 cases of bottled beer. By offering bottled beer you may be able to reduce the number of glasses required
  • Approximately 16 litres of bottled water, mix this between still and sparkling
  • Limited spirits for example Vodka x 2 bottles, Gin x 1 bottle – don’t forget the mixers
  • Some soft drinks – particularly for the drivers

* Note that these figures are approximations. Consider your guests, their tastes and the weather to help determine your specific beverage needs.

So that’s it! Remember this guide on how to stock a bar for an event is just that; a guide. While we did our best to estimate the average usage, you must consider your guests, where they are coming from (how thirsty they will be!) their tastes and the weather to help determine your specific beverage needs. Good luck!