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How to stock a bar for your holiday party

Plan the perfect party

Who has time to make canapés and polish crystal stemware? Let's keep hosting as easy as possible.


At least one or more nonalcoholic optionYou might have pregnant guests or people who simply don't drink. Don't leave them out! Mocktails let your guests enjoy their nonalcoholic drink, and are easy to make. If you don't have time to make them yourself, Page suggests buying Fizzy Lizzy drinks — fruit juice and seltzer-water mixed drinks. Add a little vodka, and "voilà! You have a Dizzy Lizzy cocktail."

Mixers and bittersA basic stash of mixers include orange juice, lemon and lime juice, pomegranate juice, and cranberry juice. For carbonated drinks, include club soda, tonic, cola, sprite or ginger ale. "Have salt and pepper, grenadine, and simple syrup on hand as well," says Lorin Gaudin, the New Orleans-based radio host of All Over Food.

Finger foodsAll those people drinking on an empty stomach can't be a good idea. Look for carb-heavy finger foods (or a vegetable plate for those counting calories).

Bar tools"It's important to have at least some tools, including a muddler, shaker, strainer, and shot glass," adds Gaudin.

Ice1 lb per person should be just enough

Enough drinksPlan on 2 drinks per person per hour for the first 2 hours, and 1 drink per person thereafter. Individual bottles of beer and sparkling fruit juice serve 1 person. One bottle of wine serves 4-5 people. And each cocktail will have 1.5 oz per drink.

WaterDon't be so hung up on what liquor you're going to serve that you completely forget the basics. A pitcher of water is good to have around, as well as coffee — to make sure guests are alert before they leave.

Number for a cab companyYou never know what you'll deal with by the end of the night!

Reprinted with Permission of Hearst Communications, Inc. Originally Published: How to Stock a Bar for Your Holiday Party

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