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Offering a sparkling white wine is also nice. If you are planning to serve champagne (Although only a sparkling white wine made in Champagne region of France can be truly called champagne, people often refer to any bubbly by that name.), expect to pay more. A decent bottle (You will only disappoint true connoisseur, and they are a dying breed.) will cost between $10 and $12 and will serve seven to eight glasses. Even at these prices per bottle, you may want to reserve it for toast.
Borrow or shop for a bartender’s guide (Mr. Boston Deluxe Official Bartender’s Guide, for example). For your mixologist, you might also stock such things as lemons, limes, celery, maraschino cherries, and olives. You’ll also want to have soda water, tonic water, sparkling water, coke, ginger ale, and a few other soft drinks, plus swizzle sticks and cocktail napkins, Last, but not least, remember to have an ample supply of ice (crushed and cubed) on hand.
Standard Guidelines for Consumption
Expect each guest to have four to five drinks at reception. You’ll get twenty-five drinks from a fifth of liquor, providing you’re using a one-ounce pony to make them with one ounce of alcohol each. Using one and a half ounces of alcohol (that is, a one-and-a-half-ounce jigger), you’ll get eighteen drinks per fifth of alcohol. A single case of alcohol contains twelve bottles. Assuming that you’re using one ounce of alcohol to make every drink, then one case will yield 300 drinks.
If you would like to serve beer on tap, half a keg will yield 260 eight-ounce glasses of beer. Seven cases of beer will yield same amount.
With regard to unopened bottles of alcohol, don’t be too concerned about over stocking. It is better to have too much, rather than not enough. Besides, unopened bottles of alcohol can usually be returned to store.
The Law and Your Liability
Needless to say, it is against law to serve alcohol to anyone under legal drinking age. The sobering fact is that courts have consistently ruled that restaurants, caterers, and hosts are financially liable when minors who are served alcohol are injured, become involved in a car accident, or break law.
You can also be held liable for an adult who suffers an injury, become involved in a car accident, or step outside of law after drinking too much in your home. Caterers and restaurants are subject to same liability.
Your best protection against legal liability involving alcohol is to plan ahead and react sensibly. If your reception is to be catered, discuss a plan of action with caterer before hand. He or she undoubtedly will cooperate.
Avoid serving salty foods since they make people thirsty. Foods high in protein—such as meat, fish, eggs, and cheese—will help to keep your guests sober.
Once a person is drunk, it’s too late to reach for pot of coffee. Giving your happy drunk coffee will only make him or her hyper and jittery. If you need to sober someone up, try to get person to drink water, which will dilute alcohol in their system and flush it out.
By no means, let that person drive—no matter what they say. Instead, call for a taxi or find another driver to take person home.
© Copyright 2005 Bachcroft.com. Permission to reprint this article, as is, is granted as long as proper attribution (author's biography) is given and all active hyperlinks remain intact.
Jean Bachcroft is a former public relations director, founder of Bachcroft and Aloha Labels, and the publisher and editor-in-chief of Town and Country Shopping Bargains Magazine. For designer wedding, holiday, and year-round mailing and return address labels, you can visit her web sites at http://bachcroft.com and at http://alohalabels.com. For shopping bargains from around the world, visit http://townandcountryshoppingbargains.com