New Year's Eve parties, no matter where they're hosted, go hand-in-hand with lots of celebrating, which of course, includes sipping our fair share of cocktails.
For the NYE hostess at home, there are a few essential tips to keep in mind when it comes to the bar at your party. We've outlined our top 10 bar tips below - and we promise, if you follow them, your party will be a success that's both fun and safe for everyone.
10 New Year's Eve Bar Tips
1. Stick to a signature cocktail, champagne or sparkling wine, and beer. The less variety you need to have on hand, the more volume you can stock, ensuring that you and your guests enjoy a festive home bar all night long.
Check out some of the cocktail recipe recommendations below or read our article about how to create a signature sip.
2. Know your quantities. The basic rule of thumb is to allow for 3-4 bottles of beer per guest, 1 bottle of wine for every 2-3 guests, and 1 quart of liquor will supply cocktails for up to 10 guests. That being said, you know your party guests best. If you've got bigger beer drinkers and fewer wine drinkers, account for it with your bar prep.
3. Embrace the sober drivers. Roy Rogers are great when you are 7 but a guest who is a sober driver deserves a fabulous mocktail. Be creative and supportive by identifying the sober drivers ahead of time and learning their preferences.
4. Champagne vs. sparkling wine? Sparkling wine has come a long way in recent years, and many guests prefer it over the dry taste of champagne. Don't be ashamed to stock your home bar with a variety of sparkling wines, especially if you are mixing a sparkling cocktail.
Try one of these sparking sips at your New Year's Eve party: Sparkling Wine Float (doubles as dessert!), Strawberry Wine Coolers, Winter Sangria, Velvety Vanilla Pear Cocktail or a Blackberry Sparkler.
5. Hydrate your guests. Many guests will be looking to soften their palate in between cocktails, so be sure to have plenty of soft drinks and water on hand. This is even more essential if you'll be dancing the night away!
6. Don't be short a glass. Many party supply stores will rent out glasses for the night, allowing you to serve with confidence and ensure that you have plenty of stem-ware on hand for those unexpected guests. If you're not renting, stock up on extra plastic stemware from the party store - you may not use it all that night, but if you're a hostess, you'll use it soon enough!
7. Be snack happy. Celebrating is hungry work, and while the focus on the night may be on the cocktails, be sure to have a few nibbles at the bar to keep guests happy. New Year's Eve parties aren't typically dinner driven, but serve up easy to make apps so no one gets caught by surprise by their cocktails!
Perfect finger foods for New Year's Eve: Tomato Soup Shooter with Grilled Cheese Garnish, Caprese Cheese Bites, Aged Cheddar & Bacon Potato Skins, Crunchy Mac & Cheese on a Stick, Buffalo Chicken Dip or Pesto Flat Breads.
8. Stay cool. With a long night of celebrating ahead, ensure your drinks and your bottles stay cool by stocking up on extra ice, both to serve and to store. One of the best tricks we've found to party indoors sans coolers - plug your kitchen sink, pour in the ice and load in the bottles.
9. Create stations. Keep the party moving by creating stations for each beverage, it will cut down on waiting times, keep the party moving and make it easier for your guests to help themselves.
Cut garnishes ahead of time and place them in a bowl with tongs for easy access, put out a glass with stirrers and if you have an extra shaker, offer that, too. Also, be sure to keep extra towels on the bar for accidental spills!
10. Java Time. This last tip is not just for sober drivers! Ending your party with a round of coffee to toast the sober drivers is a fabulous way to include them in the festivities and feel appreciated. It'll also give their passengers a bit of a boost.
This post was sponsored and inspired by Pear Tree Greetings, but the great ideas come from the creative minds of our contributors, not the advertiser. Inspire yourself and visit Pear Tree for birth announcements, photo Christmas cards and thank you cards.