Worried about budgeting for the booze at your next bash? Here are some effective ways of saving up on alcohol if you have a big party to plan soon
If you're worried about serving expensive booze at your party, think of ways to stick to a budget without looking like a penny pincher. Naturally, the overall cost is influenced by factors such as the event's size, the venue, the duration of drink service, the specific types of booze on offer etc.
Stocking up for house parties is much easier since it usually hosts a couple of dozen guests at the max. A big, cleberatory bash with a fully operational bar, dinner service, servers and wait staff is a big deal where your booze budget will be a big chunk of your overall budget.
Common ways to save money with booze at parties include only serving house brands, limiting the selection of booze, monitoring portions or opting for a cash bar. But there are some effective and rather sneaky ways you can save up on booze when you’re hosting your next bash. Let’s find out
Limit The Window For Serving Liquors
While limiting serving liquors can be difficult at house parties, it's not an impossible chore at bigger bashes with a wait staff or open bar. If you find that having an open bar is a necessity, you can control liquor and service expenses by restricting the hours the bar operates. For bigger events like a reception or an anniversary bash, you can offer signature cocktails and the full open bar exclusively during the cocktail hour.
Eventually transition to serving only beer and wine for the reception. Closing the bar an hour earlier can also help you save money on alcohol
Limit The Selection of Booze
There are many ways to do this. Instead of reducing the brands on offer, you can be smart about it. Serve pre-mixed cocktails to your guests. Preparing large batches of pre-mixed cocktails can minimise the need for a diverse range of spirits and allow for efficient service during the event. You can also narrow down the spirit options to a few versatile choices that can be used in multiple cocktails, which simplifies the drink selection and helps in buying bulk quantities at lower costs.
Designing a drink menu based on a seasonal focus can also help. This not only adds a thematic touch but also allows you to take advantage of seasonal produce that may be more cost-effective. Consider limiting mixer options to a minimum, focus on essential mixers that can be used across different drinks, reducing the need for a wide array of mixers.
Restricting the number of staff is a common way of saving money on alcohol. Beyond the cost of alcohol, you're also covering expenses related to staff, comprising bartenders, waitstaff, and barbacks. Consider reducing the number of people serving booze or cutting down the workforce at the bar. You can employ two bartenders instead of three or stagger their schedules by assigning one bartender to handle the cocktail hour, another to work the initial reception segment, and the third to conclude the event.
Ditch Additional Mixed Drinks
To expand the variety of drinks without significantly increasing costs, complementing your signature cocktails with wine and beer is a reliable choice. The expenses can escalate rapidly, especially with individual orders for popular cocktails like pina coladas, vodka sodas and whiskey sours.
Serving mixed drinks requires a substantial supply of various liquors, which becomes costly when purchasing multiple bottles. If you really want to serve cocktails and mixed beverages while sticking to a budget, set up a cash bar for any alcoholic drink not included in the predetermined menu.