How to get – and keep – your New Year’s Eve guests in good spirits. Circa 1985.

1985 New Year’s Eve Cocktail Party Bar Necessities

In McCall’s Cooking School Magazine from 1985 we found this list of bar supplies for a cocktail party.  Apparently they could booze it up in 1985!

Booze for the Party • Approximately $309 (without tax, from Bevmo for all the Booze (used 750 ml bottles), mixers, & garnishes below)

*Note to self, don’t invite 30 people! AND, if you do, many DD’s are a good idea!

Here are their recommendations from American Bartenders School:

For a 4-Hour Cocktail Party for 30 people (multiply or divide as necessary):

  • 4-6 drinks per person
  • 1 Liter of Alcohol = 22, 1 1/2 ounce drinks

2 Liters Each of:

  • Scotch
  • Vodka
  • Blended Whiskey

1 Liter Each of:

  • Gin
  • Bourbon
  • Rum
  • + Tequila (if you have Tequila drinkers coming too)
  • + 1 Bottle of Dry & Sweet Vermouth

Wine (yes, they drunk Jugs of wine in the 80’s, CAer’s wouldn’t be caught dead doing this):

  • 2 Jugs of White Wine (5-6 bottles)
  • 1 Jug of Red Wine (2-3 bottles)

+ For New Years:

  • 5-6 bottles of Champagne for New Year’s Toasts

Mixers:

  • 4 Large Bottles of Tonic & Club Soda
  • 3 Large Bottles of Ginger Ale & Coke (1 Diet)
  • 1 Orange Juice, 1 Grapefruit Juice
  • BITF’s Additional Suggestions: Lemon/Lime Soda (2 bottles), Cranberry Juice (2 bottles), Sour Mix, Simple Syrup or Agave Nectar, Angostura Bitters (for Manhattans), Grenadine, Rose’s Lime Juice (these BITF suggestions are not included in above budget breakdown)

Garnishes:

  • 2 jars, Maraschino cherries
  • 1 jar cocktail onions
  • 1 jar olives
  • 4 lemons
  • 4 limes
  • 2 oranges

ICE!!!:

  • 1 lb. of Ice, per-person

Bar Equipment:

  • Ice Bucket & Tongs
  • Jigger
  • Bottle Opener
  • Corkscrew
  • Measuring Spoon
  • Cocktail Shaker
  • Coasters
  • Straws
  • Toothpicks
  • Napkins
  • Knife & Cutting Board

Glassware (3 types):

  • 6 oz. Old Fashion Glasses, for on the rocks and other short drinks
  • Stemmed Wine Glasses
  • 10-12 oz. Glasses for Tall Drinks

Count on having twice as many glasses as guests!

If serving Beer too (not included in above budget):

  • 24-36 Domestic Beers
  • 24-36 Imported Beers
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