Who doesn’t love Rachel Ray? You can imagine how thrilled I was when I was asked to contribute to the Rachel Ray Everyday New Year’s Countdown story called “Happy Hour.” It is featured in the December/January Issue on page 138. Here are a few of the highlights! You can read the entire story here: www.rachaelraymag.com.

11:00 – One Hour to Go: Greet your guests at the door and leave a little goodie for them on the coat rack or hanger. As they take off their coat they can get in the New Years spirit by wearing the hat or feather boa you left for them. Place a stack of cards, pens, and a small box on the table and ask each guest to write out their wishes for 2010. Take turns reading them out loud (anonymously of course!) over cocktails later in the night.
11:15 – 45 Minutes to Go: Set out savory appetizers and snap photos and videos of your guests that you can email them the next day.
11:30 – 30 Minutes to Go: Refill the appetizer platters and check on the drinks and punch. Make a round thru your party and pick up empty plates, glasses and napkins. Remember to use small serving trays and buffett trays and refresh the food more often so that it always looks fresh and stays warm.
11:45 – 15 Minutes to Go: Cue the celebration and send subtle hints that it is time to gather for the countdown. Dimming the lights or blowing out candles in the rooms they should move from should do the trick. Get help from a friend to assemble some trays of sweets that you can put out after the countdown. Assembling them now will save you time later. Unwrap a few bottles of Champagne so they are ready to pop!
12 – Celebrate!
One of the hardest parts of a coctail party is figuring out how many drinks will be needed! Below is my cheat sheet to help you figure out your numbers.
# of People 10 25 50 100
Bottles of Wine per 2 hours 5 13 25 50
Bottles of Champagne per 2 hours 3 10 20 40
Bottles of Beer per hour 20 50 100 200
Bottles of Liqour per hour 1 1/2 3 6 12
Mixers for Liqour drinks per hour (1L) 4 9 17 33
Lemons and Limes 3 7 13 25
Ice (lbs) 5 13 25 50
Paper Cocktail Napkins per hour 40 100 200 400
Linen Cocktail Napkins per hour 20 50 100 200

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