Large commercial parties have different margarita machine requirements than your average house party. In order to make it as successful as possible, we have a few suggested guidelines for you to follow in your quest for frozen drinks for all. Below, please find Advanced Margarita Science 102.
The most important question is how long is the party. If the party has a beginning and ending time of 3 hours or less, freezing capacity becomes an issue. If you are going to server an estimated 400 drinks to 200 people in two hours, one machine is not going to cut it, as it pours a maximum of 100 per hour. So you say, okay two machines; make 200 per hour, for two hours is my four hundred drinks. Theoretically this will work. However, in real life, at a shorter party, everyone gets there at the same time and everyone wants the free cocktails right then. But you are only able to pour about two per minute from each machine, or four per minute, which means that it will take you almost an hour to get everyone one drink.
The point is this, the faster you need to serve your frozen drinks, the more machines you need. For a 200-person party lasting two hours, we would suggest a minimum of 3 machines and preferably 4, set up at two different stations.
Let's say its not a short party, but just a big party. You have tents coming, and caterers, and decorations, and tables, and chairs, and 300 of your closest pals. You figure it starts at around 7pm and goes until whenever and you want it to be a real party. We would suggest 2-3 machines and 500 to 700 drinks. This is in addition to beer and wine.
Well, you say, thats really not in the budget, I'll just get one machine and 200 drinks. Experience tells us that your guests will probably enjoy liquidy drinks for about an hour until it runs out.
At smaller parties, it is common for guests to pour their own drinks, and it works well. However, at larger parties, it leads to pouring too fast and liquidy drinks. One suggestion with larger parties is having a bartender serve the drinks. Bartenders are able to monitor how fast the drinks are poured, keeping the drinks frozen throughout the entire party.
Let's say your party is going to be even bigger. Let's say you have a 1,000-person benefit party for four hours. We still have one more trick up our sleeve, pre-chilling systems. These can increase pour capacity to up to four drinks per minute per machine. This pre-chills the mix before it is frozen by the machine.
A little bit of planning ahead for larger parties can equate to great drinks, great times and great party stories. If you have any more questions, please feel free to call and ask!