The countdown is on to 2019. That means it’s time to firm up your New Year’s Eve plans. Instead of fighting the crowds out and about, host your own fun and festive fete in the comfort of your own home!
Host the Ultimate New Year’s Eve Party with Help from the Commissary
Use this handy guide to help you throw a party to remember.
Logistics & Planning
Before you go crazy with party planning, let’s lay out some basics. Who, what, when, and what to wear.
Decide on your guest list. Go with just a few close friends for a smaller, intimate and super personal event. Or invite the whole neighborhood over for a major blow out bash!
Will your party be adults-only or are children welcome? Make that clear on your invites. Your guests will need time to find a good sitter.
Then decide if you’ll be dressing up or keeping it casual.
With a rough guest count, party formality, and child-friendly level determined, you’re ready to plan an awesome New Year’s Eve event! Look to your local commissary for great food options!
Formal & Festive Party Plan
Your party is child-free, or at least has kids supervised away from the adults-only gathering.
Keep your party popping with bubbly cocktails! Or try these simple mixes…
- Mix creme de cassis into sparkling wine for a Kir Royale! Top with a fresh or frozen raspberry
- Add a small scoop of lemon sorbet to a champagne flute. Top with a tsp of vodka, then finish with sparkling wine for a Sgroppino
Make your small plates light and classic, think easy to eat while still being fancy.
- Use puff pastry shells to make mini quiche, fill with spinach dip and top with melted cheese
- Pan sear scallops and wrap in bacon before broiling briefly to finish cooking through
- Set out a variety of cheeses, olives, pickles, and cured meats with tasty crackers
If you’re having a sit-down dinner, consider serving a Smithfield ham with vegetables and mashed potatoes.
Try this brussels sprouts recipe:
You’ll need: 1-2 packages frozen brussels sprouts (or about 1-2 lbs fresh); 1 lb bacon; 2 cups dried cranberries; 2 cups chopped walnuts or nuts of your choice; maple syrup or molasses or brown sugar (your choice!)
- Set the oven to 400º. Slice fresh sprouts into quarters, leave frozen spouts whole for now. Spread evenly onto a rimmed baking sheet, season with salt and pepper to taste. Bake in oven for 15 min; remove and quickly slice frozen sprouts into quarters. Return and bake until the sprouts are starting to crisp.
- While the sprouts cook, prepare the bacon. Fry on the stove or bake in the oven (400º for about 15 min). Once crisp, roughly chop.
- In a medium pan, quickly brown the nuts and cranberries.
- Once the sprouts are starting to crisp, remove from oven. Add the chopped bacon and nut/cranberry mix, drizzle your sweetener (sugar, syrup, or molasses) over the top. Season with a sprinkle more of salt and pepper, to taste.
- Return to oven until fragrant and browned. Serve hot.
Stay classy with chocolate mousse cups!
DIY your own simple version with chocolate and vanilla pudding, whipped cream, cookies or cake, and candy sprinkles.
- Prepare your pudding as directed.
- Layer the pudding, cake or cookies, and whipped cream into small clear plastic cups.
- Top each dessert cup with a final flourish of whipped cream and add sparkle with the candy sprinkles.
As midnight approaches, pass out another glass of sparkling wine or a champagne cocktail to your guests. Toast to the new year together!
Family-Friendly & Casual
For parties that include everyone, adults and kids, keep the atmosphere fun and festive with family-friendly food and drink options.
Treat your younger guests to fancy juice boxes, warm apple cider, or sparkling juices.
Adults could choose from a selection of local wine and beer. Help everyone try new things by inviting guests to share their favorite brews and bottles!
Another option is a self-serve bar. Set out the ingredients, and recipes, for classic cocktails and let your guests help themselves.
- Tonics: 2 oz gin or vodka, 4-5 oz tonic water, garnish with lime
- Old Fashioned: one sugar cube, 2-3 dashes Angostura bitters, 2 oz Bourbon or Rye whiskey; add to a rocks glass with several ice cubes, garnish with cherries and an orange slice
- Gin Martini: shake 3 oz gin with 1 oz sweet vermouth in a cocktail shaker with ice; pour into a martini glass, garnish with olives or a lemon slice
- Selection of whiskey, scotch, vodka, and rum plus mixers and garnish
Nibble on finger foods that both kids and adults will enjoy!
- Mini weiners: cook mini hot dogs in a sweet and smoky BBQ sauce; serve hot
- Meat & cheese plate: slice a selection of cheeses and serve with cured meats, pickles, olives, and crackers
- Chips & dips: serve potato, tortilla, and pita chips with dips like ranch, French onion, salsa, and hummus
Set up a potluck buffet and invite guests to bring their crowd-pleasing favorite side dish to share! Set up a few mains to help round out the menu.
- Mini chicken parm: in a 9×13 baking dish, arrange a single layer of precooked frozen chicken snacks from the freezer section; cover with prepared tomato sauce and top with cheese; cook at 350° until cheese is bubbly and chicken is heated through
- Turkey meatballs: cook turkey meatballs in a prepared tomato sauce; serve with sliced buns and shredded cheese for sandwiches or pasta
- Sliders: prepare precooked frozen mini burgers according to the package; serve with additional toppings, like pickles or ketchup
Make dessert super easy and sure to please with low-prep classics.
- Fruit pies: enjoy fresh pie, straight from the oven, with frozen prepared holiday pies; serve with whipped cream
- Pudding pie: prepare pudding as directed, then pour into a graham cracker crust; chill until slightly firm and top with whipped cream
- DIY sundae bar: serve a selection of traditional ice cream flavors and set out different toppings, like syrup, nuts, and sprinkles; invite your guests to design their own sweet treat
If any little ones make it to midnight, pop a bottle of sparkling juice, like grape juice or apple cider. They’ll feel extra fancy if you serve it in plastic champagne flutes!
Adults can toast with their favorite sparkling wine or a champagne cocktail.