The Gathering Guide To Drinks

Everybody’s got to believe in something. I believe I’ll have another beer.
— W. C. Fields

Alcohol for any event is highly dependent on a large number of factors such the celebration at hand, number of guests, age of guests , the catering menu, weather, time of day and year, as well as the personalities and tendencies of each guest.

An ideal RULE OF THUMB for planning, is to assume each guest will consume approximately two drinks during the initial cocktail hour and one drink per hour, every hour thereafter.  You would be surprised how it can add up (especially when it’s free).

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The Bar Ratio

Divide your guests into heavy vs. light and male vs. female drinkers, and then estimate the number that each will drink over your event. 

Know Your Guests

View your guest list and consider different drinking tendencies. Have beer-loving family? Increase the ratio. Have hoards of children present? Consider non-alcoholic options.

Time of Year

Summer & Outdoor Events: White wine, champagne, beer and cocktails are in higher demand. 

Winter & Indoor Events: Red wine is more popular. Offer tea & coffee.

Day of the Week

Guests will generally drink less on Sundays and during mid-week events (excluding Friday). 

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“Trust us, even if your friends are not champagne drinkers,

they will indulge and enjoy a bubbles or two”



  1. Maximum of three beers (make one a light).
  2. Maximum of two red, and two white wine varieties. Quality over quantity will always win.
  3. When considering wine, be sure to consult your catering menu. Pizza = red wine!
  4. It’s a long day, non alcoholic drinks are very popular. Juice, soft drink and punches.
  5. WATER BOTTLES ARE ESSENTIAL, and ensure guests stay hydrated. (We recommend a minimum of 2 per person)

  6. Don't forget tea and coffee service, not only for the oldies, but for those cold winter nights. 



  • 1 bottle of wine = 5 servings
  • 1 bottle of champagne (bar) = 5 servings
  • 1 bottle of champagne  (toasting) = 8 servings
  • 700ml bottle of liquor = 23 servings 
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"When it comes to BEER, we recommend no more than 3 varieties!

The perfect combination is 1 lager, 1 pale ale and 1 light beer."

Looking for some crowd pleasers?

RED: Pepperjacks, Taylors Estate

WHITE: Giesen, Catalina Sounds

SPARKLING: Grant Burge Pinot Noir Chardonnay NV, Saint-Hilaire Blanquette de Limoux Brut

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Cocktails can bring an exciting element to the celebration, can help set the tone and can share a beautiful story with guests. Our number one tip is to conjure up your memories and make it personal. Was your first date at a Mexican restaurant? Sangria! Proposal in Hawaii Pina Colada! Enjoy late night whiskey together Manhattan!

Keeping cocktail service to a specific time of the day (such as the welcome drink, or post dinner) will ensure you’re not blowing the budget, and you only need to cater to one drink per guest.

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Spirit service at certain events and weddings is not expected, and not common place. If you do choose to offer spirits, consider opening them at the bar later in the evening, approx. 7:30pm.

Liquors: Vodka, gin, rum, whiskey, bourbon

Liqueurs: Amaretto, Chambord, Frangelico, Kahlua, Midori

Please note: all softdrinks supplied for spirit service must be in 1L or 2L bottles.


  • Hire a cold room!
  • Look for alcohol suppliers that allow you to return unopened cases and bottles.
  • Keep someone sober in mind in case you need to run to the local bottle-o.
  • Consider catering for 30% more alcohol than is required, just as a precaution.
  • When the bar staff depart, will your guests still be drinking? If yes, consider what you will need for a small self service area.

  • Looking for table service, tray service or an extra set of hands? You can hire additional bartenders to assist. 

  • Will guests fancy tea and coffee later in the evening? We also offer this service


IMPORTANT: All drinks must be chilled prior to Gathering Events arrival, which is 2 hours prior to your bar service starting. 


For inspirations, tip and tricks to create an incredible event!