Whether it's a small get-together with friends, or an extravagant party for your entire office, there are some things that every party-goer should know. One of the most important decisions is what to bring on the alcohol front.
You want to choose something that is appropriate for the occasion and fits everyone's tastes, as well as being easy to serve and budget friendly.
If you're not sure where to start, here are my favorite go-to drinks for every occasion!
What type of party is it?
I've decided to break this down into four categories: what's appropriate for a small get-together, mid-size gathering with friends or colleagues, larger parties and events (including weddings), and multi-day celebrations. I'll also have some tips on how the drinks can be served at each function.
Alcohol to bring to a small get-together
When it comes to small gatherings, there's a high chance you will know the people well. This should make your decision a lot easier, because you can tailor the drinks to their individual preferences.
Know your friends are into craft beer? Take the plunge and pick up a six-pack of something special. Your host is an avid wine connoisseur? Take advantage of the occasion and buy a bottle from their favorite vineyard.
If it's a gathering at someone's home, it's also a great time to show off your cocktail-making skills if you don't mind bringing the ingredients with you. Just be sure to ask the host if that would be welcome before whipping up anything fancy!
If you're wanting to have the drinks alongside food, you want something that is easy to drink and won't fill people up. A light beer or wine is always a good choice, but if you're looking for something with a bit more flavor, try a Moscato or Prosecco.
Alcohol to bring to a mid-size gathering
If the party is a little bigger, but not yet at full-blown celebration mode, then it's time to bring out some harder liquors. This could include things like vodka, whiskey, or tequila. There's no need for fancy cocktails or mixed drinks, either—these will be too complicated to prepare.
The assumption here is that yours will be just one of several bottles, so hopefully others will have brought something to complement rather than duplicate your contribution.
It's also a good opportunity to introduce some new-to-everyone tipple. This might be a wine that you've been wanting to share, or even something from your home country if you're celebrating with international friends.
Remember, just like with the small get-togethers, it's always best to have a general idea of the general tone of the event and what kind of drinks are into before showing up with a six-pack of beer to a fancy event, or a bottle of something esoteric when the vibe is more casual.
Alcohol to bring to a larger event
Want to bring something to a wedding, or a party with over 100 guests? Then you're in need of some serious drink power! You can't really expect to cater to everyone's individual taste here, so it's time to think about crowd pleasers.
Champagne and wine are always safe bets, but they can be a little on the expensive side if you're buying for a large group. A good place to start is with a sparkling wine like Prosecco, cava, or champagne, which always goes down well. If you're looking for something a little more unique, try a nice sparkling rosé. You don't have to go overboard on price here; there are plenty of great sparkling wines in the $15-25 range.
If it's a less format event, then spirits such as vodka or whiskey can also be great because they allow people to create their own drinks with minimal effort and fuss—just add mixer! If multiple people are in charge of bringing booze, try picking something that other partygoers will also enjoy so it's not just left untouched.
Alcohol to bring to a multi-day celebration
Ah, the holidays! For many of us, it's a time where we go above and beyond to show our love for those around us—and that often means lots of drinking! You want to make sure you come prepared with something great if you're heading over to someone else's house in November or December.
For most people, the holidays are all about indulgence. This means that it's the perfect time to bring out some of your more luxurious bottles! If you're attending a party where there will be other liquor options, bring something that will really stand out and wow people. Maybe it's a rare whiskey, or an interesting wine from a less common region.
If you're the one throwing the party, take this opportunity to go all-out with your drinks selection. Pick up a few bottles of champagne or sparkling wine, some festive cocktail ingredients, and maybe even a few bottles of port, sherry or brandy if you want to go all-in on the holiday spirit.
Final thoughts on what alcohol to bring to a party
Parties are a great time to introduce people to new drinks as well as indulge in your favorites. You can also share a little bit of your personal history or culture by bringing a drink that's special to you.
Just remember that it's not just about what type of alcohol you bring; also think about what food will be served, who'll be attending, and the overall tone of the event. With a little bit of preparation, you can make sure that your contribution is perfect for the party!