A GO TO GUIDE: BEVERAGE SELECTION


Picking a beverage selection for an event is no easy task - there are so many variables that come into play! Today, we’re going to break it down a little, give you some things to think about, and provide some insight into what goes into ensuring perfect beverage selection for every event.

Where to start?!

The first step is to define your guests – the ‘who’. Consider the age of your guests, and the breakdown of each age group as part of the overall guest numbers. Look at the female to male ratio. Consider whether your guests have a preferred beverage of choice (do they always pick Corona at the pub?). Are there special traditions such as a toast of bubbles after speeches, or grandad's favourite whiskey, or a Christmas punch that makes an appearance every year? Write these things down, they’ll be important for later!

What’s next?

Next, we think about our beverage selections. With so many options, it’s great to consider them all:

  • Bubbles: do you want a true champagne or a sparkling wine?

  • Wine: red, white or rose, and which varieties of each? How many varieties (depending on the number of guests), the food you’ll be serving, and whether the organiser has a favourite!

  • Beer & cider: bottled or tap? Classics or craft?

  • Non alcoholic: sodas, juices, punches, kombucha?

  • Spirits: standard or premium? RTD or make as you go?

  • Cocktail: espresso martinis, mojitos, whiskey sours - the list is endless!


But how much do I need?

This is where we pull it all together! As a basic guideline for a varied guest list, for every 20 people you will want:

  • 4 bottles of bubbles

  • 2 bottles of red wine

  • 3 bottles of white wine

  • 24 serves of beer and cider

  • 20 non alcoholic beverages (minimum, plus water)

These guidelines will change based on your guest demographics you defined above. A higher percentage of men will mean less bubbles and white wine and an increase in beer. An age group high in 20-30 year olds will see a general increase in alcoholic beverages. A large number of children will obviously increase non-alcoholic options.

Let’s talk money.

It’s a bit of a taboo subject, but we want to help you understand why you prices aren’t the same at a venue as at a supermarket. Simply, when you purchase from a supermarket, you’re only buying the product - the price doesn’t include the time to drive to the supermarket, or stand in line, or even decide how many bottles to buy. It doesn’t include the glass you serve the beverage in, the ice that you may put with it, or the cost of keeping the bottle cool in the fridge. It doesn’t include the time to pour the glass, wash the glass, or take out the recycling.

But there are different options to help control beverage spend. Consider being crafty, and looking at options such as:

  • Including a non alcoholic punch

  • Include an alcoholic punch

  • Consider a welcome drink, served by tray service to make it that little bit more fancy, and then have a cash bar

  • Supply the beer and wine but have a cash bar for spirits and cocktails

  • Subsidise beverages, where you might pay half and have guests pay the other half

  • Consider a daytime function over an evening function, as guests are likely to drink less during the day.

Bringing it all together!

The good thing about having your function at a venue like Zenders, is that we bring it all together for you. You tell us what you like, and how you want things to roll, and we make sure that your guests have the time of their lives!

  • We ask the right questions! Our function coordinator chats with you about your guests, your beverage preferences, and can come up with some exciting and interesting options to consider.

  • We won't run out! As a venue, we always carry extra stock. This means if you're guests unexpectedly drink more wine than was thought, we've got you covered.

  • We offer extra variety! If you have a small guest list and would usually only have one or two options, chances are we have in stock other options should your guest be a little more particular.

  • We have delicious house brands! We stock Villa Maria wine, Good George beer and cider on tap, and a wide range of bottled beer, as well as the coca-cola range of soft drinks, kombucha and juice.

  • We can tailor a beverage list just for you! If you aren't a fan of our house brands, we can bring in alternative options. Have a chat with us if this is your preference and we will talk you through how we make it work.


While it isn't all about the drinks at a function, having the right selection for the occasion, served with delicious food is what can make all the difference between a good event and a great one...

And we're here to make it easy for you!

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439 Ruakura Road, Hamilton, New Zealand
 +64 7 595 0640  | info@zenders.nz

Zenders  |  est. 2018