How much will everyone drink?
What if I don't have enough of something?
What will the guests' drink preferences be (i.e. wine, champagne, beer, liquor)?
In my opinion, it is always better to over-prepare! And, most bar staples keep, so if you don't use something, it will keep for the next event.
Here are some must haves for a party of 10-20 adults:
-1 bottle each of vodka, gin, and bourbon or scotch
-4 bottles each of red and white wine
-3, 6 packs of beer (assorted)
-2, 2 liter bottles of seltzer
-2, 2 liter bottles of tonic
-1 large bottle of orange juice
-1 large bottle of cranberry juice
-1, 2 liter bottle of regular cola
-1, 2 liter bottle of diet cola
-1, 2 liter bottle of ginger ale
-3 lemons and 3 limes (sliced)
-2 bags, or 10 lbs of ice)
In addition to the beverages and mixers, you will also need a bottle opener, corkscrew, martini shaker, measuring glass/shot glass, mixing sticks or cocktail straws, a small bar cutting board, and cocktail napkins. If you are new to the bar or mixing drinks, a simple bar cocktail guide may also be something to grab before your event as recipes or ratios for common cocktails will be provided.
To help keep everyone's glasses straight, consider wine charms or my new favorite party item, special markers that allow you to write a guest's name onto the glasses themselves (it washes off).