How to Throw a New Year's Eve Party

 

Author: Luci Abbott
Last update: 11/14/2008

It’s December 26th and you’re exhausted. You’ve had a rough quarter at work and are beat from holiday shopping, or the vacation with the kids simply wasn’t the rest and relaxation you were planning. New Year’s eve is coming up and you realize you’re just not up for heading out on the town this year but you know you’ll always enjoy spending it with close friends and family.

Let’s be real. New Year’s is fun, but going out comes at a price. It’s the biggest night of the year for people to go out and celebrate together. Streets are busy, venues are filled, people are a little tipsy and energy levels are high. You’ve decided that you’re going to stay in and invite your friends to a dinner and cocktail party.

But what is going to make this party different than all the other parties that you’ve thrown or even been to? Here are some tips and resources to help plan your new year’s party.

Party supplies – It ain’t a New Year’s party without top hats and noisemakers
Yes we realize that a huge industry has formed out of companies that sell new year’s and valentine’s day supplies, and yes, there’s often lots of hype about these nights, and yes, they can often be disappointing; but maybe the problem is that you’ve never taken things into your own hands before! You’ve always left someone else to organize your new year’s and they just didn’t get their act together to make it a special night like it should be. A new year’s party without proper supplies is just another party.

Whether you’re having just a few friends or are planning a 100 person cocktail party, we recommend getting some basic themed supplies. These online stores will ship you the perfect New Year’s party package of noisemakers, top hats and confetti and they won’t break the bank.

• New Year Favors (newyearfavors.com): Specializing in hats, favors and party supplies, New Year Favors has a wide variety of kits at wholesale prices.
• Party Supplies Hut (partysupplieshut.com/new-years-eve/): This online store offers thousands of party supplies to enhance your party and accent its theme.
• Plum Party (plumparty.com/nye): This site allows you to browse unique party supplies in a variety of categories.
• Windy City Novelties (windycitynovelties.com): With everything from feather boas, to fringed table cloths, you’ll be able to find everything you need to host an amazing party on this site.
• Akron Novelty (www.akron-novelty.com): This wholesale online store has a selection of New Years Eve favor package kits to choose from.

Food – Hors d’Oeuvres vs. Full Dinner
For those of you who live in the New York area, we recommend one place to save you some trouble – FRESH DIRECT! (www.freshdirect.com) They’ll prepare your NYE feast so you don’t have to slave.

For the rest of us outside of NY, you have to make the decision between ordering in, cooking your own feast, or supplying hors d’oeuvres.

Drinks – Champagne is a must
Choosing the right beverages to complement your catering or cooking is a vital ingredient in the perfect New Years party recipe. A traditional selection of beer, wine and spirits will keep the majority of guests well hydrated but because it’s a special occasion, champagne should be on the top of your shopping list! Here is a list of a few recommendations, one to suit every budget:

• Bargain: Chateau Deville Bordeaux Champagne $7.00/bottle
• Middle of the Road: Veuve Cliquot Brut $18.99/bottle
• On the Classy side: Mumm Brut Champagne $74.99/bottle
• Break the Bank: Moet and Chandon Cuvee Dom Perignon Brut Millesime 1980 $132,786/bottle

Lots of liquor stores will do special deals when you buy in bulk, so make sure you factor that into the equation. Perhaps a case of the 1980 Moet and Chandon could save you a penny or two.

Once you’ve found a bargain supply of your personalized poison, its time to mix up some delicious cocktails for your guests to enjoy. Nothing says New Years Eve, quite like a:
Bellini (Add fresh peach puree and juice)
Mimosa (Add orange juice)

Time, patience and ingredient permitting, give one of these elaborate concoctions a try:
Midnight Kiss Cocktail: Rim the edge of a wine glass with white sugar, pour ¾ oz. of chilled vodka into the glass and fill with champagne or sparkling wine. Top with Blue Curacao.
Pure Passion Cocktail: Spoon 13 oz. of passionfruit pulp among twelve ice cube trays and place in the freezer for four hours or until firm. Pour 4.25 oz. of brandy among 6 glasses and top with champagne or sparkling wine and the passion fruit ice cubes. Serve immediately.

For the true drinks connoisseur, check out www.snooth.com, the worlds most comprehensive wine database, where you can search, explore and read recommendations and reviews.

The Build Up –The Musical Climax
Get people into the spirit to say good-bye to the old and hello to the new. Use the beginning of the New Year as a point to improve the things in your life, get healthy, and stick to resolutions. It’s time to get excited about the new challenges, romances, and adventures coming up in the New Year. End the year with your friends and family in good spirit. You’ve settled your stomach with good food and it’s time for some classic music that everyone can enjoy. Try these songs on for size:

- Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong “Cheek to Cheek”
- Feist “1234”
- Mark Ronson “Valerie”
- Michael Jackson “Thriller”
- Natalie Cole “This Will Be… An Everlasting Love”
- Nina Simone “Ain’t Got No”
- The Ramones “What I Like About You”
- Reef “Place Your Hands”
- The Source feat. Candi Staton “You Got The Love”
- Rusted Root “Send me on my way”
- Sam Sparro “Black and Gold”
- Mary Mary “Praise You”
- Bloc Party “Blue Light”
- The Contours “Do You Love Me (Now That I Can Dance)”
- Curtis Mayfield “Move on Up”
- David Morale “Here I am” (Kaskade Mix)
- Frank Sinatra “The Way You Look Tonight”
- Hot Chocolate “You Sexy Thing”
- Imogen Heap “Have You Got It In You?”
- Kylie Minogue “On A Night Like This”
- Leo Sayer “You Make Me Feel Like Dancing”
- Stereophonics “Dakota”
- Stevie Wonder “Signed, Sealed, Delivered”
- Tom Jones “Kiss”


The Countdown – It’s a bloody tradition! Don’t mess it up.

It’s almost midnight, your fabulous musical playlist has everyone dancing and the champagne and cocktails are flowing. The only thing standing in your way of achieving the perfect New Years eve party is the countdown itself. Its funny how such an easy task of counting backwards from a starting number usually no greater than 60, can prove to be such a challenge. It doesn’t really matter if you officially ring in the new year exactly on time but it is important to keep everyone counting together – especially if you have a huge crowd. Either do the honor yourself or designate someone to begin and lead the countdown, it puts an end to the ‘Is it time?...Now?...Start now?’ queries floating around your party. Make sure you have loads of noisemakers and confetti for everyone to throw around when the big moment arrives. Yes, it’s a huge mess and yes, you’ll probably be the one sweeping it up tomorrow but for when the clock ticks over to 12:00, its half the fun!

Transportation - Making sure your guests get home safely
Throwing the perfect New Years Party isn’t all about the bash itself, there is also the responsibility of making sure all your guests manage to make it home in one piece. No matter what country, state or city you are in, finding a cab home on New Years Eve is about as easy as finding a needle in an enormous haystack. No matter how hard the challenge of finding alternative transportation, it is vital that your guests don’t drive home if they have had too much too drink. No one wants to start the New Year in the emergency room. Private car services, public transport, designated drivers or simply having people spend the night at your house can all assist in ensuring a safe end to a memorable night.

New Year’s Day – Recover and Relax
Perhaps the worst thing about throwing an amazing party is being stuck with the clean up. Put those last straggler guests to good use and get them to help you do the majority of the hard work at the very end of the night. Trust us, the mess will be far more overwhelming in the morning when your head is throbbing and the new years day sun is beating down. Once the last bunch of colorful confetti has been swept away and the thousands of champagne bottles have been put in the recycling, its time for some well deserved rest and relaxation.

New Years Day is the perfect opportunity to get together with family and friends, for a relaxing picnic or restaurant brunch. There’s nothing like an afternoon with close friends and tasty food to cure any ailments from the night before. For a quick and easy, homemade brunch, give some of these recipes a whirl:

Pancakes with fresh fruit topping:
Ingredients:

TOPPING:
- (10 ounce) package frozen raspberries, thawed
- 2 medium ripe bananas, sliced
- 1 (8 ounce) can pineapple chunks, drained
- ½ cup packed brown sugar
PANCAKES:
- 1 ¾ cups all purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 tablespoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs
- 2 cups of buttermilk
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:
In a blender, combine raspberries, bananas, pineapple and brown sugar; cover and process until blended. Transfer to a small saucepan; cook and stir over low heat until heated through. Set aside and keep warm. For pancakes, combine the dry ingredients in a bowl. In another bowl, beat the eggs, buttermilk, oil and vanilla. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Pour batter by 1/4 cupfuls onto a greased hot griddle. Turn when bubbles form on top; cook until the second side is golden brown. Serve with warm fruit topping.

Herb scrambled eggs
Ingredients: (quantities will vary depending on number of guests)
- Rindless bacon, halved crossways
- Free range eggs, at room temperature
- Pouring cream
- Butter
- Dill
- Flat leaf parsley leaves
- Bagels, split, toasted and buttered to serve

Directions:
- Heat a medium non-stick frying pan over medium heat until hot. Add bacon. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes each side or until crisp. Remove to the plate and wipe the pan clean.
- Whisk eggs and cream together for two minutes or until well combined. Stand for a couple of minutes to let foam settle.
- Add butter to hot frying pan and swirl to coat. As the last of the butter melts, add egg mixture. Cook for 1 minute or until just setting.
- Using a spatula or a flat-edged wooden spoon, push set eggs toward center of pan, titling pan to allow uncooked egg to run over the base. Sprinkle dill and parsley over eggs and cook for 1 minute. Remove from heat, spoon eggs onto bagels and top with bacon and bagel tops. Season with pepper.


Other Handy New Year’s Party Planning Links


Supplies:
• New Year Favors (newyearfavors.com): Specializing in hats, favors and party supplies, New Year Favors has a wide variety of kits at wholesale prices.
• Party Supplies Hut (partysupplieshut.com/new-years-eve/): This online store offers thousands of party supplies to enhance your party and accent its theme.
• Plum Party (plumparty.com/nye): This site allows you to browse unique party supplies in a variety of categories.
• Windy City Novelties (windycitynovelties.com): With everything from feather boas, to fringed table cloths, you’ll be able to find everything you need to host an amazing party on this site.
• Akron Novelty (www.akron-novelty.com): This wholesale online store has a selection of New Years Eve favor package kits to choose from.

Food:
www.freshdirect.com – every New Yorkers dream, a fully catered party delivered right to your door.
• www.allrecipes.com
- In case our selection of brunch recipes doesn’t catch your fancy, browse tens of thousands of others and create the perfect New Years Day after party meal.


Drinks:
www.drinksmixer.com - one of the largest online collections of cocktail and drinks recipes, something to suit every taste and budget!
www.shopping.com - huge variety of wholesale liquor to browse, buy and enjoy.


Music:
www.mixlister.com/partyplaylist - having trouble creating the perfect New Years party playlist? Jump on this website, choose your theme, browse and listen to playlists.
www.partymusicgo.com - helps you ‘sort through the junk’ and helps you create the perfect atmosphere with a wide selection of music.

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New Years Resolutions & Tips

Before the clock strikes, visit our tips on how to make New Years Resolutions to help keep them this year.

Be safe when you celebrate. Our New Years Eve safety tips are always worth repeating.