Corrections or additions?

This article by Kathleen McGinn Spring was prepared for the March

27, 2002 edition of U.S. 1 Newspaper. All rights reserved.

Boozy Benchmarks

Some might suspect that an electronic kiosk at a store

selling liquor might just err on the high side when estimating the

beverage requirements of a party.

Here, for example, is the suggested shopping list for a three-hour

cocktail party for 45 guests where 5 percent are non-drinkers, 30

percent are light drinkers, 30 percent are moderate drinkers, and

35 percent are party animals. It assumes that 50 percent of the guests

drink beer, 50 percent drink wine, and 50 percent drink liquor (some

part-goers might drink two types of booze and party animals might

try all three — hence the total percentage exceeding 100).

Six bottles of liquor.

12 six packs of beer.

15 bottles of wine.

Five six packs of soda.

For a reality check we fed the kiosk information based on a

party that we have actually held for the past three or four years:

the reception for the authors of stories and poems published in our

annual Summer Fiction issue. Around 45 to 50 people attend this event.

Figuring out the refreshments still remains a puzzle. We have


however, that this is not a hard-drinking crowd. We told the


kiosk that 50 percent of the guests are non-drinkers, 25 percent are

light drinkers, 25 percent are moderate drinkers. Here is what the

kiosk suggested:

0 bottles of liquor.

4 bottles of wine.

4 six-packs of beer.

9 six packs of soda.

That’s remarkably close to what we actually buy for the party.

For the record we always end up with about a six-pack of beer and

at least one unopened bottle of wine. On the other hand, we would

not cut it any closer. That would be the time when a party animal

shows up.

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