Jolene asked the Party Girl:
How do you calculate how much punch to fix for your party? We’re having a party for our mother who will be turning 90 soon. There may be 50-100 guests for an open house, probably 60-75 is more likely. How much punch should we get?
Jolene, you’re talking to the right girl because I LOVE PUNCH. No kidding. Love punch. Love punch. I could drink 15-20 glasses of punch at one go. But for those of your guests who partake of their punch in moderation, there is a much easier way to calculate the amount you will need to serve them all.
1. An average guest will drink about two glasses of punch in the first hour of your party and one glass for every subsequent hour. So if your party is four hours long, expect the average guest to have about five glasses of punch.
2. A glass of punch ranges from 4-8 ounces depending on the size of your punch glass. You will want to determine what amount your particular glasses will hold, but for the purposes of this example, let’s say my glasses will hold 4 ounces. So if a guest drinks five 4 ounce glasses of punch, they will drink 20 ounces of liquid over the course of the party.
3. (Let’s keep going with the math here…) If I have between 50-100 guests at a four hour party, now all I need to do is multiply the number of guests times the number each of them will drink times the amount of ounces in each drink. Here are the calculations for 50, 75, or 100 guests:
50 guests x 5 drinks x 4 ounces = 1000 ounces of punch
75 guests x 5 drinks x 4 ounces =1500 ounces of punch
100 guests x 5 drinks x 4 ounces = 2000 ounces of punch
4. Now, there is no way I’m measuring the number of ounces of punch, so I need to divide my total number of ounces by 128 (which is the number of ounces in one gallon of punch. Much easier!
1000 ounces of punch/128 ounces = 7.8 gallons (so round to 8 gallons of punch)
1500 ounces of punch/128 ounces = 11.7 gallons (so round to 12 gallons of punch)
2000 ounces of punch/128 ounces = 15.6 gallons (so round to 15.5 gallons of punch)
Tips to keep in mind…
1. If you have other drinks available, like an open bar or a cooler full of pops and brewskies, some of your guests may choose not to drink the punch, or they will drink less because they may choose to drink other beverages. Make sure to adjust your total punch amount, reducing by 1-2 glasses per guest.
2. If your punch is alcoholic, expect your guests to have 1-2 fewer glasses over the course of the party.
3. If you are serving a lot of food at your party (like appetizers or a full dinner), expect your guests to drink more. Increase the punch amount by 1-2 drinks per guest.
4. I always over prepare, so I buy more than I need. Who knows? There may be 10 people who drink punch like I do, 20 glasses at a time! So buy extra, and make batches separately as the party progresses. This is also a good idea if you’re having an open house over the course of the day because the punch stays fresh. After the party, just return leftover fixins you don’t use.