What Kind of Alcohol Do I Need For a Good Party?

Glasses at a PartyThrowing a successful party can be your ticket to respect and status among your friends. Likewise, bombing the opportunity can mean a dead end of social irrelevance. Some say it all comes down to the drinks. So what kind of alcohol you need for good party?

If you’re not quite old enough to remember life without a smart phone, you probably think any alcohol is good enough. But you’d be wrong. Alcohol is a very personal thing when it comes to taste and appropriateness. That means supplying the right drinks depends heavily on the type of party you’re throwing and what you’re trying to accomplish.

What do I need for a standard frat party?

Being that the main thrust of this website is alcohol, we think it’s safe to assume there are frat brothers or sorority sisters keeping track of our regular blog posts. If you’re one of those lucky people, just remember this: Always say “thank you” and ask for another, in the spirit of every member before you who has faced the ceremonial fraternity paddle.

If you’re the one responsible for throwing the frat party, there’s only one type of alcohol you need to worry about: Beer. For you the challenge isn’t what your guests will be drinking; it’s more a question of how they will be drinking it.

Be sure to have on hand a variety of glasses, shoes, and undergarments capable of containing liquids for at least a short amount of time. Be sure to provide separate drinking implements for the fraternity’s officers who are, by and large, seniors quickly growing tired of immature 18-year-olds drinking booze out of a boot.

What is appropriate for a socially relevant cocktail party?

According to the British newspaper, The Guardian, the cocktail dates its history back to late 18th-century London and its mixed drinks, which were consumed instead of water. Yet the cocktail party is a uniquely American tradition started somewhere around the mid-19th century.

Unfortunately, today’s self-important cocktail parties are nothing like what they originally were intended to be; the 19th-century adult version of the frat party. Today, they are largely stuffy affairs where men in dark suits stand around talking about politics and/or the humanities while the ladies carry on across the room.

If you’re hosting a socially relevant cocktail party, you have our deepest sympathies. However, you do have the opportunity to change things up with your alcohol selection. Remember that cocktails are all about mixed drinks, so never, ever, serve beer or wine coolers.

Stick with things like classically-aged bourbon, a good whiskey, and, if you want to be true to the English tradition, gin and bitters. Whiskey sours are good for partygoers who grew up in the ’60s and ’70s with the likes of Peter, Paul, & Mary and The Mamas & The Papas. If you don’t remember these classic groups of old, please refer to the previous remark about smart phones.

Do I need more than just beer for the big game?

Every February there is a certain sporting event we won’t mention by name for fear that we’ll have to pay royalties. Needless to say, it involves football, obnoxious announcers who have to find a way to fill 20 hours of airtime, and some of the best commercials ever made. The question is, do you need more than just beer for the legions of fans soon to be descending on your small, but functional, studio apartment?


Assuming you need further explanation, realize that within your group there will be three types of people: those rooting for Team A, those rooting for Team B, and those who don’t know the difference between an end zone dance and the freaky moves they witnessed at last night’s rave.

For the Team A and B drinkers, beer will do just fine for the group whose team wins the game. The other group will need something heavier. Think along the lines of your old friend JD. For the rave crowd, you’re probably going to need things like mai tais, highballs, and various drinks with strange names and very unnatural colors. Good luck with that.

What kind of wine should I buy for a wine-tasting party?

Epicurious, a pretentious website for those who love to eat, claims that the in-home wine tasting party is a great way to enjoy both your friends and some good wine. We’ll let you do with that thought whatever you want. Needless to say, plenty of people are holding their own wine-tasting parties in the comfort of their own living spaces.

For a wine-tasting party, the key is to purchase wine according to the personalities of your individual guests. If you and your friends don’t normally consume the fruit of the vine, you will probably be safe with a five-gallon jug of Cousin Jim’s Red Cabinet. (Please note: Cousin Jim doesn’t know how to spell Cabernet.)

If you’re dealing with a more sophisticated crowd, look for wines with very French-sounding names. Perhaps a nice Riesling or Merlot, and a bottle or two of Sauvignon. Whatever you do, don’t try to pronounce the names at least until after you’ve had a glass or two. At that point no one will care.

For other types of parties, just use your imagination. In most cases, you’ll do fine as long as it tastes good and you don’t run out.