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Mithril

Budget cocktails for a crowd

7 posts in this topic

I am helping to plan an event in May that includes a couple of hours of cocktails.  This is a memorial weekend for a martial arts teacher who passed away, where people will spend the days exercising.  There also isn't too much in the way of budget, but the culture of the group includes practicing hard, then "rehydrating".  We'll mostly be on the grown-up end of things - not college kids. We will be walking to cabins, not driving cars.

 

That all said, does anybody have any hints about planning out drinks and mixers for such a thing?  Points of information:

  • We don't know how many people will be coming yet, but assume between 50 and 100.  RSVPs will be needed.
  • We will be close to civilization, so can run out for more if we need to, but it would be nicer not to.
  • We would want a mix of beer and cocktails.  Maybe some wine, but it isn't usually a crowd pleaser with this group.
  • Official cocktails time is about 2 hours.
  • I can mix drinks if people are patient (I even took a little class taught by Chris Amirault a few years back).
  • I would be willing to make pitchers of stuff ahead of time.
  • My budget is probably about $250 to $300.
  • I can't in good conscience use premade sour mix, oddly flavored vodka, or things of that sort.
  • We would be able to use up beer leftovers, but the liquor and mixer leftovers would probably go to waste.
  • This is a red solo cup sort of party, being at a campground.

 

Any thoughts about what a good range of beer, liquor and mixers would be?  Any ideas about prepping ahead of time? 

 

Thanks!

 

Mithril

 

 

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Kegger


Its good to have Morels

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I second Dave's comment! Pre-batch in pitchers or large containers.


"The only time I ever said no to a drink was when I misunderstood the question."

Will Sinclair

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Batched Manhattans? Vermouth is cheap and you can use something economical for the rye (or bourbon, which might be cheaper), plus Angostura. Leftover bourbon or rye wouldn't go to waste. It's a drink that appeals a broad audience. It also avoids the hassle of squeezing fresh citrus.

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Kindred Cocktails | Craft + Collect + Concoct + Categorize + Community

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Only you know the tastes of the folks coming.  Do you want to do a keg of something lowest common denominator like a keg of your area's go to party beer for people who don't like beer with too much flavor?  Here in PA, that would be  keg of Yuengling, at probably the neighborhood of $100, and you'd serve 100 people with it.  If you are confident that your people could handle a step up, check what's available at what price points from your distributors whereever you are... beer laws and prices are different in every state, so my PA (liquor laws vintage 1934) advice is only worth so much. 

 

As to liquor, think about a couple of premade cocktails for the event... no mixing at the moment.  The most you want to do is pour over ice and stir.  What flavor palate you're mixing for is a mystery...  Gin is cheaper than bourbon... so if your people can handle gin based drinks, make a few of them.  If they need vodka, then you're kinda saved... no vodka drinks taste good (at least to me) so you could mix it with any damn thing you felt like and they'd not care any the less. Does this crowd need fruity?  Boozy? Booze hidden under lots of other stuff? Complicated? Know any homebrewers who keg beer?  Borrow a couple of kegs, make a 5 gallon batch of gin and tonics (3.5 l gin ($25), 15 l tonic ($15)... make a 5 gallon batch of a rum punch for about the same price... serve from the kegs.


Christopher D. Holst aka "cdh"

Learn to brew beer with my eGCI course

Chris Holst, Attorney-at-Lunch

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6 hours ago, Mithril said:

We will be walking to cabins, not driving cars.

 

How far is the walk, and will the cocktail supplies/beer also be hauled in on foot? A long hike with heavy loads could be a real problem for kegs, bags of ice, and even liquor bottles and mixers.

 

6 hours ago, Mithril said:

This is a red solo cup sort of party, being at a campground.

 

I am sure you already have, but after some really bad boating and camping experiences at Jordan Lake in North Carolina, where all alcohol is banned in state parks, it would certainly be a top priority for me to check out with the management of the campground what the alcohol policy is. If it is banned it will be confiscated, and if you give the confiscators any back talk at all, they have the power to cite or even arrest you!

 

And yes, as others have said, you know more about your crowds' tastes, and will have to use that as a guideline. It sounds like a very nice tribute and a fun time, if well planned.


> ^ . . ^ <

 

 

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