Selecting Appetizers for a New Years Eve Party
When planning a New Years Eve party appetizers are one of the items the host spends a great deal of time considering. This is because appetizers, along with cocktails, are one of the most popular food options for a New Years Eve party. Unlike other parties which typically take place during a meal time, New Years Eve parties usually start later in the evening. This makes planning the food for the party a little more complicated. New Years Eve parties may start at around 8:00-9:00 or even later. This is too late to serve dinner but because the party will last at least until midnight it is too long of a time to expect your guest to go without any food. For this reason, most New Years Eve parties feature light food items such as appetizers or sandwiches.
When selecting appetizers for your New Years Eve, it is important to consider the number of guests you will have at your party. While it might be acceptable to allow 4-5 appetizers per person when the cocktail reception is held in conjunction with a dinner, this is not appropriate for a New Years Eve party. Considering the duration of the New Years Eve party, the lack of more substantial food and the alcohol consumption which is likely it is much more appropriate to allow for 12-15 appetizers per person. Considering this large number, you should plan on providing at least five different appetizers for your party to ensure your guests will get to taste a wide variety of items.
When selecting appetizers for your New Years Eve party it is also important to consider the set up of the party. If you will be providing tables and chairs for the guests, it is appropriate to include appetizers which require a fork to eat. However, if you will not be providing seating, it is more appropriate to only include appetizers which can easily be eaten with the hands. You should also consider how convenient the appetizers are to eat. There are many great appetizers which can be quite messy or require elaborate dipping sauces. These types of appetizers are not a great idea for a New Years Eve party where guests are likely to be dressed quite elegantly. Sticking to items which are easy to eat and do not result in a great deal of mess will be greatly appreciated by all of the guests.
It is also important to consider appetizers in a number of different categories when selecting appetizers for your New Years Eve party. In particular you might want to consider serving both sweet and savory appetizers. If you opt to provide both types of appetizers, you have the option of either offering both types of appetizers throughout the evening or offering the savory appetizers for the majority of the evening and then switching to sweet appetizers just before midnight when the New Years Eve party is likely to end within an hour or two. Whichever option you select it is important to plan the number of appetizer according to your distribution strategy. For example if you plan to only offer sweet appetizers in the last hour of two of the party, you should purchase or prepare less of these appetizers than the savory appetizers. However, if you will be distributing both types of appetizers throughout the evening you should purchase or prepare a more equal distribution of appetizers.
Finally, in selecting appetizers, it is also important to consider how the appetizers will be distributed. This is important because if you will have servers circulating with trays of appetizers you can prepare differently than if the appetizers will be left on a buffet table. Specifically if you plan to offer appetizers on a buffet table, you may wish to select mostly items which do not have to be eaten hot if you do not have a method of keeping these items warm. However, if the appetizers will be passed by servers you can serve hot items because the servers bring out only small portions at a time and the rest can be kept warm in the kitchen until needed.