Dad Needs Help Buying Wedding Liquor

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TLC1957
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Dad Needs Help Buying Wedding Liquor

Post by TLC1957 » Tue Dec 05, 2017 6:15 pm

Hi,

So my daughter is getting married and my job is to buy the liquor only problem is I am a non drinker. Based on a list the facility gave us I know how much to buy but no clue what to buy. So for the following what brand would be middle of the road and high end? The wedding guests will range in age from the 20's to 70's. We are having a 5 hour open bar and 2 hour wedding after party.

Thanks in advance.

Vodka
Gin
Rum
Bourbon
Scotch
Whiskey
Dry Vermouth
Sweet Vermouth
Cabernet Sauvignon
Pinot Noir
Sauvignon Blanc
Chardonnay
White Zinfandel

We have a list of beers my daughter friends like so no help in that area.

Woodshark
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Re: Dad Needs Help Buying Wedding Liquor

Post by Woodshark » Tue Dec 05, 2017 6:22 pm

For vodka, "Grey Goose" is a known quality brand but I would recommend "Tito's" as it costs less, rates better in taste tests, is widely available, has a craft liquor vibe and is made in/near Austin TX.


With rum, most people will be enjoying this spirt in some sort of mixed drink. I would recommend having two types. Spiced and light. Captain Morgan Spiced rum is the one I would recommend as it is widely known and not very expensive. For your light rum I'm partial to Cruzan (made in St. Croix) but Mount Gay makes a nice rum too. For a sipping rum (not a big demand at weddings but I'll put it out there) you cannot go wrong with Zaya, made in Trinidad.
Last edited by Woodshark on Tue Dec 05, 2017 6:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Gill
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Re: Dad Needs Help Buying Wedding Liquor

Post by Gill » Tue Dec 05, 2017 6:30 pm

Can’t help you with brands, but I’ve bought liquor for business receptions and arranged with the store to return any unopened bottles.
Gill

snowox
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Re: Dad Needs Help Buying Wedding Liquor

Post by snowox » Tue Dec 05, 2017 6:32 pm

Buy whats on sale. People are not going to judge you if you buy brand names on sale. Work with the guy at a discount liquor store since it will be a larger purchase and they will know what you will need etc... There are so many Vodkas out there and if you read the Book the millionaire next door or the overspent American , the bottle is what sells for the most part Vodka. All the infusions now a days . Grey Goose finished 10th in the taste test if my memory serves me right. Don't break the bank for one night that the drinkers will be mostly happy that they just dont have to pay! :sharebeer

VinhoVerde
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Re: Dad Needs Help Buying Wedding Liquor

Post by VinhoVerde » Tue Dec 05, 2017 7:03 pm

I was employed by a liquor/beer/ wine retail chain until retirement in 2014. I've done these calculations thousands of times.
Vodka--Smirnoff
Gin-Bombay
Rum-Bacardi
Bourbon-Jack Daniel Black
Scotch-Johnny Walker Red
Whiskey- Don't need this
Dry Vermouth- Martini & Rossi
Sweet Vermouth-Martini & Rossi
Cabernet Sauvignon-Louis Martini Cabernet Sauvignon Sonoma Co.
Pinot Noir-A to Z Pinot Noir Oregon
Sauvignon Blanc-Dry Creek Fume Blanc
Chardonnay-Franciscan
White Zinfandel-Beringer

Personally, I'd simplify this a little. Don't need Sauvignon Bland or Cabernet if you have Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and White Zinfandel. You generally need one drink of something per hour. Where's the beer? The younger the crowd the more beer you need.
VinhoVerde

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TeamArgo
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Re: Dad Needs Help Buying Wedding Liquor

Post by TeamArgo » Tue Dec 05, 2017 7:06 pm

As far as Bourbon goes, Maker's Mark is a medium priced brand that is pleasant for drinking straight. For mixing, nearly anything will suffice, but many bars outside Kentucky serve MM as their "premium" brand and something like Jim Beam for their medium brand. I would follow their lead. (In KY, you would maybe serve Knob Creek or Woodford Reserve as the Premium, but you don't need to go there).
There are some good aged rums out there, but almost everyone mixes it, so don't go fancy there. Besides, many better rums are pine aged and are an acquired taste that few have. Stick to Bacardi or some other widely available brand. I also second the spiced run idea someone else gave.
I don't know Scotch, maybe someone else can help you there.
One source for reasonably priced liquors is to purchase the Kirkland brand from Costco. Their bourbon is just a step or so down from Maker's Mark, their vodka is great. They also have some interesting wines of many types. Save some $$ there (like a practiced BH) and still have some very good alcohol for your guests.
Congratulations, BTW.
There are infinite numbers between two and three, but none of them is 4.

fishandgolf
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Re: Dad Needs Help Buying Wedding Liquor

Post by fishandgolf » Tue Dec 05, 2017 7:10 pm

VinhoVerde wrote:
Tue Dec 05, 2017 7:03 pm
I was employed by a liquor/beer/ wine retail chain until retirement in 2014. I've done these calculations thousands of times.
Vodka--Smirnoff
Gin-Bombay
Rum-Bacardi
Bourbon-Jack Daniel Black
Scotch-Johnny Walker Red
Whiskey- Don't need this
Dry Vermouth- Martini & Rossi
Sweet Vermouth-Martini & Rossi
Cabernet Sauvignon-Louis Martini Cabernet Sauvignon Sonoma Co.
Pinot Noir-A to Z Pinot Noir Oregon
Sauvignon Blanc-Dry Creek Fume Blanc
Chardonnay-Franciscan
White Zinfandel-Beringer

Personally, I'd simplify this a little. Don't need Sauvignon Bland or Cabernet if you have Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and White Zinfandel. You generally need one drink of something per hour. Where's the beer? The younger the crowd the more beer you need.
VinhoVerde
+1

I would not omit the whiskey though......many guest enjoy whiskey. Seagram's 7 is a great tasting, blended whiskey and inexpensive. Works well with Coke, 7-up or Squirt.
Last edited by fishandgolf on Tue Dec 05, 2017 7:13 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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TeamArgo
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Re: Dad Needs Help Buying Wedding Liquor

Post by TeamArgo » Tue Dec 05, 2017 7:11 pm

Just saw this posted after making mine. Many good ideas, BUT Jack Daniel's is NOT Bourbon. Get it for your Whiskey if you want, but get some Bourbon, too. Bourbon is an up and coming thing with many Hipster's, and they will know the difference.
VinhoVerde wrote:
Tue Dec 05, 2017 7:03 pm
...
Bourbon-Jack Daniel Black
Scotch-Johnny Walker Red
Whiskey- Don't need this
...
There are infinite numbers between two and three, but none of them is 4.

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Kenkat
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Re: Dad Needs Help Buying Wedding Liquor

Post by Kenkat » Tue Dec 05, 2017 7:12 pm

VinhoVerde wrote:
Tue Dec 05, 2017 7:03 pm
I was employed by a liquor/beer/ wine retail chain until retirement in 2014. I've done these calculations thousands of times.
Vodka--Smirnoff
Gin-Bombay
Rum-Bacardi
Bourbon-Jack Daniel Black
Scotch-Johnny Walker Red
Whiskey- Don't need this
Dry Vermouth- Martini & Rossi
Sweet Vermouth-Martini & Rossi
Cabernet Sauvignon-Louis Martini Cabernet Sauvignon Sonoma Co.
Pinot Noir-A to Z Pinot Noir Oregon
Sauvignon Blanc-Dry Creek Fume Blanc
Chardonnay-Franciscan
White Zinfandel-Beringer

Personally, I'd simplify this a little. Don't need Sauvignon Bland or Cabernet if you have Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and White Zinfandel. You generally need one drink of something per hour. Where's the beer? The younger the crowd the more beer you need.
VinhoVerde
This is a really good list but I would suggest moving Jack Daniels Black Label to the Whiskey category since that is what it is and people will ask for it by name and add Maker’s Mark to the Bourbon category since people will ask for that too. People are also more likely to ask for a Cabernet or Merlot than a Pinot Noir so plan accordingly and most people are just happy with “white wine” so Chardonnay is good.

surfstar
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Re: Dad Needs Help Buying Wedding Liquor

Post by surfstar » Tue Dec 05, 2017 7:18 pm

KIRKLAND

Take money saved and give to the happy couple.

Seriously.

Costco's Kirkland brand liquor is as good as anyone needs, especially when consumed in large amounts at a wedding.

health teacher
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Re: Dad Needs Help Buying Wedding Liquor

Post by health teacher » Tue Dec 05, 2017 7:25 pm

Need to know how many guests too.

Also, you'll need more of certain liquors (rum and vodka) than you will of gin for example.

Some stores allow you to return unused bottles so you might want to ask that when purchasing. You can always gift unused bottles to the newly weds as a nice bar starter or perhaps even full set.

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bottlecap
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Re: Dad Needs Help Buying Wedding Liquor

Post by bottlecap » Tue Dec 05, 2017 7:56 pm

Ask your daughter or her fiancé. They will know the stuff that is popular with the kids nowadays.

However, the hard liquor recommendations made in this thread are the typical ones and not a bad way to go. Jack Daniels is a whiskey, of course, and Maker's Mark will satisfy the typical Joe that asks for a bourbon.

JT

Dottie57
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Re: Dad Needs Help Buying Wedding Liquor

Post by Dottie57 » Tue Dec 05, 2017 8:03 pm

I don't want to be negative so disregard if you want.

Why a five hour open bar? From what I have seen many people drink way too much and are a liability on the road after open bars. Just be careful. Don't let them drive drunk.

itstoomuch
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Re: Dad Needs Help Buying Wedding Liquor

Post by itstoomuch » Tue Dec 05, 2017 8:24 pm

Bartender or DIY?
Off hand, Monarch Brand hard liquors, Washington or Oregon wines, your local craft beer growlers. And some sparkling rose.
Don't drink too but when did, i like above (all local to me).
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Raymond
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Re: Dad Needs Help Buying Wedding Liquor

Post by Raymond » Tue Dec 05, 2017 8:47 pm

As above:

- Simplify the list - you might even consider cutting it back to soft drinks, beer, wines, and two signature drinks.
- Will you have a bartender? Have him/her start restricting drinks from people who are drunk.
- How many hours are you going to booze up your guests? Looks like a total of seven hours? Far too long, in my opinion.
- Make sure people have a way to get home safely.

-----

This reminds me - if and when my daughters marry, they are getting a fixed amount of money to do with as they wish - wedding, honeymoon, house down payment, his and hers matched Colt Single Action Army revolvers, whatever.

I just plan to show up to give away the bride and have a good time at the reception :P
"Ritter, Tod und Teufel"

TLC1957
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Re: Dad Needs Help Buying Wedding Liquor

Post by TLC1957 » Tue Dec 05, 2017 8:50 pm

Wow thanks for the suggestions very helpful. A few answers to questions...

110-125 folks to attend the wedding

I just purchased a $2 million liquor liability policy( spent 36 years in insurance loss prevention), most will be staying in hotels within a few blocks of the facility.

Bartenders will be used

We are members of Costco

denovo
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Re: Dad Needs Help Buying Wedding Liquor

Post by denovo » Tue Dec 05, 2017 8:50 pm

No tequila?????????

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whodidntante
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Re: Dad Needs Help Buying Wedding Liquor

Post by whodidntante » Tue Dec 05, 2017 8:54 pm

With a five hour open bar, it doesn't matter what it tastes like.

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yukonjack
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Re: Dad Needs Help Buying Wedding Liquor

Post by yukonjack » Tue Dec 05, 2017 9:04 pm

That should be one interesting wedding with a 5 hour open bar and then the wedding. Hopefully the bride and groom remember their lines and most certainly no driving afterwards.

health teacher
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Re: Dad Needs Help Buying Wedding Liquor

Post by health teacher » Tue Dec 05, 2017 9:12 pm

5:30 to 10:30 open bar doesn't seem too out of the ordinary... Cocktail hour from 5 or 5:30-6:30, close for dinner, open back up 7:30 to 10:00 or 10:30.

5-6 liters each of vodka and rum, 3-4 liters each of Jack Daniels and Makers Mark, 1-2 liters of gin is what I'd go with.

Most people will be fine with /expect at a wedding: Jack and coke, gin and tonic, rum and coke, vodka and cranberry/oj, sweet red wine, dry red wine, white wine, beer.

You can also instruct the bartenders not to allow shots (except for VIPs)
Last edited by health teacher on Tue Dec 05, 2017 9:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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bottlecap
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Re: Dad Needs Help Buying Wedding Liquor

Post by bottlecap » Tue Dec 05, 2017 9:18 pm

yukonjack wrote:
Tue Dec 05, 2017 9:04 pm
That should be one interesting wedding with a 5 hour open bar and then the wedding. Hopefully the bride and groom remember their lines and most certainly no driving afterwards.
A five hour open bar is great. Believe it or not, people tend to act like adults, just like you do. Give other people a little credit.

Although counter-intuitive to the uninitiated, a two hour open bar is when you have problems. People aren't dumb like we think they are. Most of the liquor is handed out in the last 20 minutes of a 2 hour open bar, especially to the younger crowd.

And the bride and the groom will only likely be there for three hours (pictures, etc...) and will be lucky to have 2-3 drinks. Weddings are not a party for the bride and groom, believe me.

JT

PVW
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Re: Dad Needs Help Buying Wedding Liquor

Post by PVW » Tue Dec 05, 2017 9:26 pm

Vodka - very trendy these days (and for some time). By trendy I mean that most of it is based on image and advertising, so don't bother trying to pick the best tasting, just get the most popular. Smirnoff is a good middle of the road brand that is well known to all vodka fans. To go upscale, get Grey Goose to impress the serious vodka drinkers, or Tito's to impress the young crowd. There seems to be an endless supply of flavored vodkas, and their only purpose is to fill out extra space on the shelves behind the bar. Unless you need one of these for a special drink requested by the wedding party, skip the flavored vodkas.

Gin - Average gins are Bombay, Tanqueray, Beefeater. These will be perfectly fine for gin and tonic and will also make a decent martini. Better ones are Bombay Sapphire or go with Hendrix for the more trendy crowd - though Hendrix is passing on from trendy to classic. To show your bar skills, be sure to have cucumber slices to put in the Hendrix martinis.

Rum - can't go wrong with Captain Morgan and Bacardi Light. If you want a complete bar, then also get Bacardi Dark. If you are only going with 1 rum, then Captain Morgan is the more popular mixing rum - but it is completely different than unspiced rum and I think you should have both. Any rum drinker will be happy with these and the better brands won't really impress many people. Rum isn't trendy enough that you need a top shelf brand, but that is starting to change and it's possible you will have a group of drinkers that are on the forefront of drinking trends. Kraken and Mount Gay seem to be trendy brands, but I'm a little out of date on this.

Bourbon (and similar) - some of your regular drinkers are very particular on brand. Jim Beam, Jack Daniels, Wild Turkey are all good whiskeys that tend to have a certain loyalty. If it were me, I would skip those and just get a single type of bourbon. Middle of the road would be Maker's Mark and most bourbon drinkers will be fine with that. If you want to go more upscale, get Woodford Reserve or Booker's.

Scotch - Johnny Walker Red will be good enough for most scotch drinkers. If you have any scotch neat drinkers, go with Johnny Walker Black. If there are single malt scotch drinkers, then get a bottle of Glenlivet 12 year. I would skip the single malt, but there might be some young drinkers that are trying to impress the more experienced crowd by having a Glenlivet, then before they know it they've turned into their old man and they're buying $70 bottles of single malt scotch to drink while watching football.

You didn't ask, but you might also consider tequila. Once known as the reason most people don't do shots, there are some very good smooth tequilas out there. If you do get a tequila, skip the average stuff like Jose Cuervo because that just encourages tequila shooters for people that shouldn't be doing tequila shooters. Get a decent blanco tequila like Patron, Herradura, or Don Julio. Then people might want a group shot of tequila to celebrate the occasion, but the quality might discourage them from doing several rounds. They also make terrific margaritas. For margaritas, skip the cheap triple sec and get some Gran Marnier.

Vermouth - Martini and Rossi is the classic. This is the brand most people expect. Stick with this unless you have a special request.

Wine - there is a wide variety and you have picked out the standard American styles. Pick a price point and then get some recommendations on the best tasting brands. I would probably stick with the most popular brands just because people will recognize them. There are many lesser known brands that would be great choices, but some of the non regular wine drinkers base their opinions of the wine on whether or not they know the brand. More refined wine drinkers will know what they are getting and at the least they should be gracious about your choices. You should base your price point on the quality of the food that you will be serving your guests. Though you might choose better quality to serve with the food and go with (slightly) cheaper stuff for the party. Except for the White Zinfandel, the cost per bottle of wine should be roughly the same as the cost per plate for the reception dinner. White Zinfandel is generally very reasonably priced - but don't get the cheap stuff just because you think all White Zinfandels (and it's drinkers) are the same.

WildBill
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Re: Dad Needs Help Buying Wedding Liquor

Post by WildBill » Tue Dec 05, 2017 9:43 pm

VinhoVerde wrote:
Tue Dec 05, 2017 7:03 pm
I was employed by a liquor/beer/ wine retail chain until retirement in 2014. I've done these calculations thousands of times.
Vodka--Smirnoff
Gin-Bombay
Rum-Bacardi
Bourbon-Jack Daniel Black
Scotch-Johnny Walker Red
Whiskey- Don't need this
Dry Vermouth- Martini & Rossi
Sweet Vermouth-Martini & Rossi
Cabernet Sauvignon-Louis Martini Cabernet Sauvignon Sonoma Co.
Pinot Noir-A to Z Pinot Noir Oregon
Sauvignon Blanc-Dry Creek Fume Blanc
Chardonnay-Franciscan
White Zinfandel-Beringer

Personally, I'd simplify this a little. Don't need Sauvignon Bland or Cabernet if you have Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and White Zinfandel. You generally need one drink of something per hour. Where's the beer? The younger the crowd the more beer you need.
VinhoVerde
Howdy

Excellent choices. You are well advised.

The comments re Jack Daniel’ are frivolous. No one is going to object to Jack Daniel’s.

Have plenty of beer also, and have a deal where you can return unopened bottles for credit.

W B
"Through chances various, through all vicissitudes, we make our way." Virgil, The Aeneid

barreg
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Re: Dad Needs Help Buying Wedding Liquor

Post by barreg » Wed Dec 06, 2017 1:00 pm

PVW wrote:
Tue Dec 05, 2017 9:26 pm
White Zinfandel is generally very reasonably priced - but don't get the cheap stuff just because you think all White Zinfandels (and it's drinkers) are the same.
Isn't all White Zin "the cheap stuff"?

Leemiller
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Re: Dad Needs Help Buying Wedding Liquor

Post by Leemiller » Wed Dec 06, 2017 1:07 pm

Just don’t buy well alcohol or Kirkland branded. Some good brand names listed in the advice. One signature drink can be fun and also may also some advance preparation.

itstoomuch
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Re: Dad Needs Help Buying Wedding Liquor

Post by itstoomuch » Wed Dec 06, 2017 1:26 pm

wildbill wrote: The comments re Jack Daniel’ are frivolous. No one is going to object to Jack Daniel’s
No one should be complaining on free booze. It's a party after all. Take names for those who do complain. :twisted:
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pacamoky
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Re: Dad Needs Help Buying Wedding Liquor

Post by pacamoky » Wed Dec 06, 2017 4:13 pm

It was recommended to us, when we were the parents of the bride and providing the liquor for our daughter's wedding, that we have personal liability insurance that would cover any damages caused by an inebriated wedding guest. As the provider of the liquor we could be held liable for the damages. We obtained the coverage and thankfully have never needed to make a claim. We continue to maintain a 1 million dollar umbrella policy for peace of mind for less than $150 annually. I hope you have a great time at the wedding.

user5027
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Re: Dad Needs Help Buying Wedding Liquor

Post by user5027 » Wed Dec 06, 2017 6:40 pm

The coverage would be Host Liquor Liability. It should be cheap for a single event. Call your insurance agent. Make sure the bartender/server is "Tips Certified" and checking ages/ids.

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dumbbunny
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Re: Dad Needs Help Buying Wedding Liquor

Post by dumbbunny » Wed Dec 06, 2017 8:00 pm

I went to a wedding and both the bride and groom had a signature drink that you could order. Whiskey Press (for the groom) and I don't remember the bride's choice. And there were two wines - a pinot noir and something else. Oh, and two beer styles. No one complained.
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ram
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Re: Dad Needs Help Buying Wedding Liquor

Post by ram » Wed Dec 06, 2017 8:26 pm

Scotch:
OK for a party : Johnny Walker Red label. (I wont complain if anybody is giving me free Red Label)
Better: Johnny Walker Black label. Cost $30/ 750 ml bottle. These are both blended scotchs.

You do not necessarily need single malts for a Wedding party. But if you have a substantial budget a bottle or 2 of Glenlivet 12 year old will be a good choice. (about $45 for 750 ml)
Ram

fishandgolf
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Re: Dad Needs Help Buying Wedding Liquor

Post by fishandgolf » Wed Dec 06, 2017 8:42 pm

Leemiller wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 1:07 pm
Just don’t buy well alcohol or Kirkland branded. Some good brand names listed in the advice. One signature drink can be fun and also may also some advance preparation.
Agreed....don't buy the cheap stuff....that would be an embarrassment to you....and an insult to your guests. :(

John Laurens
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Re: Dad Needs Help Buying Wedding Liquor

Post by John Laurens » Wed Dec 06, 2017 8:44 pm

Have you considered something more simple

Beer
Champagne
Red blend

A couple cocktails that can be made in batches

A highball such as a Southside Fizz (think mojito with gin)

An up cocktail such as a Saratoga (think Manhattan but with cognac, rye, vermouth and bitters).

That should cover the spectrum of preferences, give you some personalization, and save some money.

Regards,
John

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Pajamas
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Re: Dad Needs Help Buying Wedding Liquor

Post by Pajamas » Wed Dec 06, 2017 8:48 pm

I think it is somewhat regional so you should check with the bartenders. In some parts of the country, Jack Daniels and beer might be fine for 95% of the guests and in other parts of the country, it might be the newest and trendiest brand of vodka or wine that would be fine for 95% of them. You might not really need any gin or vermouth at all, but need a case of tequila instead. You could almost certainly simplify it somewhat, especially with the wine. No one expects a full bar at most catered events.

Also consider having a sparkling wine, at least for the party after the wedding, if it's not already planned.

Edit: You seriously need to do some research with local experts. Apparently Fireball Cinnamon Whiskey is now very popular, more so than any of the other brands mentioned in this thread, at least in some places. I had never even heard of it.
Last edited by Pajamas on Wed Dec 06, 2017 9:00 pm, edited 2 times in total.

onourway
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Re: Dad Needs Help Buying Wedding Liquor

Post by onourway » Wed Dec 06, 2017 8:55 pm

I bought a couple of bottles of liquor just prior to Thanksgiving and the store printed out a couple of extra receipts. Turns out there are rebates available on a lot of liquor this time of year. For a single bottle it's only $6-7, but there were a bunch for $60 or so when buying multiple bottles at once. Might be a way to stack a bit more of a discount if available in your area.

GCD
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Re: Dad Needs Help Buying Wedding Liquor

Post by GCD » Thu Dec 07, 2017 10:04 am

I'll pass on commenting on anything but the bourbon.

Jack Daniels is technically a bourbon, but is not typically marketed as such. The federal criteria to be considered a bourbon are incorporated into the Tennessee state definition of a Tennessee Whiskey. A Tennessee Whiskey must be produced in Tennessee. So not all bourbons are Tennessee Whiskeys but all TWs are bourbons. JD likes to market themselves as TW, but they are technically a bourbon.

Use that to shut up any hipsters that show up at the wedding and complain.

From reading this I guess my perception of price point is skewed. I think of Larceny, Buffalo Trace, John Bowman and Elijah Craig as good mid-price bourbons.

Personally, I would never complain about the quality of liquor at an open bar.
Last edited by GCD on Thu Dec 07, 2017 1:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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deanbrew
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Re: Dad Needs Help Buying Wedding Liquor

Post by deanbrew » Thu Dec 07, 2017 12:47 pm

GCD wrote:
Thu Dec 07, 2017 10:04 am
I'll pass on commenting on anything but the bourbon.

Jack Daniels is technically a bourbon, but is not typically marketed as such. The federal criteria to be considered a bourbon are incorporated into the Tennessee state definition of a Tennessee Whiskey. A Tennessee Whiskey must be produced in Tennessee. So not all bourbons are Tennessee Whiskeys but all TWs are bourbons. JD likes to market themselves as TW, but they are technically a bourbon.

Personally, I would never complain about the quality of liquor at an open bar.
Makers Mark is definitely better and also a bit more expensive than JD. I agree that they are both bourbons, but there are lots of people who reflexively order "Jack and Coke", and others who don't want JD. Both are different than a Canadian Whiskey like Seagrams. But most any whiskey drinker would accept any of those at a reception.

As others have mentioned, it seems like a lot of different liquors to buy for a wedding reception. People realize it's not a bar with a wide selection. I would be tempted to whittle the list down to fewer choices.

While I mostly agree with your last sentence, I would not get bottom shelf liquors, or go the Costco route. While the Kirkland products are just fine (and as good as most of the brands in this thread), using those would give off a cheapo vibe for people who aren't familiar with Costco products.
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runner3081
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Re: Dad Needs Help Buying Wedding Liquor

Post by runner3081 » Thu Dec 07, 2017 12:50 pm

user5027 wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 6:40 pm
The coverage would be Host Liquor Liability. It should be cheap for a single event. Call your insurance agent. Make sure the bartender/server is "Tips Certified" and checking ages/ids.
We just purchased for a company holiday party. $150 for the 1-day event with host liquor and $2M of coverage.

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Re: Dad Needs Help Buying Wedding Liquor

Post by GCD » Thu Dec 07, 2017 3:29 pm

deanbrew wrote:
Thu Dec 07, 2017 12:47 pm
GCD wrote:
Thu Dec 07, 2017 10:04 am
Personally, I would never complain about the quality of liquor at an open bar.
While I mostly agree with ^^^^, I would not get bottom shelf liquors, or go the Costco route. While the Kirkland products are just fine (and as good as most of the brands in this thread), using those would give off a cheapo vibe for people who aren't familiar with Costco products.
True, more or less. I guess it ultimately comes down to dad's personality vs. the guests to see who wins. My suspicions are that anyone young enough to cop an attitude is probably just happy with a 5 hour open bar. I was mostly just adding that because I wanted to temper my Bourbon-Snob comments with the caveat that I'm not judging. :beer :D

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Pajamas
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Re: Dad Needs Help Buying Wedding Liquor

Post by Pajamas » Thu Dec 07, 2017 4:58 pm

I have never heard anyone complain about an open bar unless they ran out of booze!

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inittowinit
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Re: Dad Needs Help Buying Wedding Liquor

Post by inittowinit » Thu Dec 07, 2017 5:05 pm

surfstar wrote:
Tue Dec 05, 2017 7:18 pm
KIRKLAND

Take money saved and give to the happy couple.

Seriously.

Costco's Kirkland brand liquor is as good as anyone needs, especially when consumed in large amounts at a wedding.
+1

There is no discernible taste difference between the Kirkland staples and the name brand mid-tier stuff.

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Re: Dad Needs Help Buying Wedding Liquor

Post by Nowizard » Thu Dec 07, 2017 6:02 pm

While others weigh in on types, here are a couple of suggestions we received: 1. Be certain you can return what is unused. If beer is an option, and you use bottles, you must cool in a fridge, not ice (Label damage), 2. Offer only one type of red and white wine or you will be almost certain to end up with a surplus of some types, shortage of others. Women generally prefer white, men red, so the makeup of those at the reception can influence choices, 3. Unless this is a society wedding, Kirkland wine or various jug wines are fine. Overall, the simplest thing is to go to a store and ask an expert rather than attempting to make decisions yourself. Don't forget to have non-alcoholic alternatives, however. It is nice to have a bottle or two that is shared only with a select few such as family members who are known to drink responsibly but with knowledge. For example, Camus or Silver Oak would fall in this wine category, Balvenie (or others) for Scotch (A favorite of many who drink responsibly but regularly).

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Re: Dad Needs Help Buying Wedding Liquor

Post by informal guide » Thu Dec 07, 2017 8:58 pm

I am now in the midst of doing this. the liquor pro recommended Red Bull and huge amounts of Vodka (Tito's). We're cutting back some on the vodka and adding more tequila as the signature drink of the bride is tequila-based. Neither the Bride nor groom believed the Red Bull necessary, so we're cutting this out. The one other thing that the liquor pro recommended was to have some hard cider in addition to both regular and light beer. That is a good idea, in my mind.

From a whiskey standpoint, we're adding a Rye and an Irish.

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Re: Dad Needs Help Buying Wedding Liquor

Post by GCD » Thu Dec 07, 2017 9:20 pm

So how long has this signature drink thing been going on? I've never heard of that but it seems kind of cool.

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Re: Dad Needs Help Buying Wedding Liquor

Post by informal guide » Fri Dec 08, 2017 10:10 am

My first experience with it was at a wedding two years ago and the liquor folks also asked about it too, for planning quantities. B&G each identify a drink they like; it makes it easier for the bartenders too. We're planning a small posterboard next to the bar identifying the drink and its contents.

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Re: Dad Needs Help Buying Wedding Liquor

Post by aristotelian » Fri Dec 08, 2017 10:26 am

informal guide wrote:
Thu Dec 07, 2017 8:58 pm
I am now in the midst of doing this. the liquor pro recommended Red Bull and huge amounts of Vodka (Tito's). We're cutting back some on the vodka and adding more tequila as the signature drink of the bride is tequila-based. Neither the Bride nor groom believed the Red Bull necessary, so we're cutting this out. The one other thing that the liquor pro recommended was to have some hard cider in addition to both regular and light beer. That is a good idea, in my mind.

From a whiskey standpoint, we're adding a Rye and an Irish.
You don't want to listen to a liquor professional any more than you would a financial professional. Red Bull and Vodka is like the liquor equivalent of IPO stocks. If he is recommending Red Bull and Vodka, that makes me question his overall expertise/frame of reference.

I like that you are considering the bride and groom's personal preferences. You might see if they want to go even further and just pick a couple of their favorite mixed drinks to offer along with the wine and beer. Then you wouldn't end up with 40 open bottles of hard alcohol and mixers that you have to pay for. Simple and cost effective. OP might consider that approach as well.

"From a whiskey standpoint" is always a good way to start a sentence.

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Re: Dad Needs Help Buying Wedding Liquor

Post by WhyNotUs » Fri Dec 08, 2017 11:16 am

A couple notes on the excellent list below:

If you buy two bottles of vermouth, be prepared to take them home and dust them off every six months for the next 10 years :D

I did not see champagne/sparkling wine on the list and would recommend a prosecco. For wine, I would work with a local wine seller who you trust for good wine at bargain prices (there are many quality wines at low prices).Personally, I would go with one red blend, one white blend and prosecco.

VinhoVerde wrote:
Tue Dec 05, 2017 7:03 pm
I was employed by a liquor/beer/ wine retail chain until retirement in 2014. I've done these calculations thousands of times.
Vodka--Smirnoff
Gin-Bombay
Rum-Bacardi
Bourbon-Jack Daniel Black
Scotch-Johnny Walker Red
Whiskey- Don't need this
Dry Vermouth- Martini & Rossi
Sweet Vermouth-Martini & Rossi
Cabernet Sauvignon-Louis Martini Cabernet Sauvignon Sonoma Co.
Pinot Noir-A to Z Pinot Noir Oregon
Sauvignon Blanc-Dry Creek Fume Blanc
Chardonnay-Franciscan
White Zinfandel-Beringer

Personally, I'd simplify this a little. Don't need Sauvignon Bland or Cabernet if you have Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and White Zinfandel. You generally need one drink of something per hour. Where's the beer? The younger the crowd the more beer you need.
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Re: Dad Needs Help Buying Wedding Liquor

Post by gamboolman » Fri Dec 08, 2017 12:19 pm

Image

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Re: Dad Needs Help Buying Wedding Liquor

Post by GCD » Fri Dec 08, 2017 12:36 pm

WhyNotUs wrote:
Fri Dec 08, 2017 11:16 am
If you buy two bottles of vermouth, be prepared to take them home and dust them off every six months for the next 10 years :D
If you like scallops and have vermouth laying around that you don't drink...

In a wok, saute the scallops in vermouth, Grey Poupon mustard and fresh dill. Adjust your mustard and dill to your personal taste and use vermouth to cut it with.

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Re: Dad Needs Help Buying Wedding Liquor

Post by itstoomuch » Fri Dec 08, 2017 12:40 pm

Vermouth is an excellent white wine. It's very predictable, unlike varietals. I live in wine country and at one time had toyed in putting in a vineyard. Had equipment and land.
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Re: Dad Needs Help Buying Wedding Liquor

Post by PVW » Fri Dec 08, 2017 1:39 pm

WhyNotUs wrote:
Fri Dec 08, 2017 11:16 am
If you buy two bottles of vermouth, be prepared to take them home and dust them off every six months for the next 10 years :D
Since the OP doesn't drink, I'd recommend giving the nonreturnable bottles of liquor to the bride and groom.

They probably would have little use for the vermouth themselves, but they can invite over the old divorcee neighbor who's solid diet consists mostly of martini olives and the stray tobacco leaf that works it's way out of the Camel no filter cigarette as it teeters on her lips while she proselytizes about the benefits of being single. Her advice and the recollections of her married life sound like they come from a disinterested observer, but you better mix up a pitcher of the martinis because she gets angry when her glass is empty and she'll blame the new groom for his lack of decorum.

Oh, and the scallop recipe sounds nice too.

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