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How to Know How Much Ice You Need for Your Party (and Other Ice Tricks)

If you're having a party, make sure you have ice! Here's how to know how much ice to get for your party based on how many people are coming, plus what to do if you don't have ice cube trays, how you can keep drinks from getting watered down at your party, and more ice problems, solved.

By
Bruce and Jeanne Lubin,

How to Know How Much Ice You Need for Your Party (and Other Ice Tricks)

Ice Cube Math

If you run out of ice at a party, you’re in trouble! But how do you know how much to buy? Use this simple metric. If you’re serving mostly cocktails, the average person at a party will go through 10–15 cubes. When you buy ice cubes in a bag, you will get about 10 cubes per pound.

DIY Ice Cube Trays

If you’re having a party or your family just seems to go through a lot of icy beverages in the summer, stock up on ice cubes now! Use plastic or Styrofoam egg cartons as makeshift ice trays by filling each eggcup with water. You can even close the lid and stack them on top of each other!

Make a Giant Ice Cube

Remember: Ice melts from the outside in. So if you’re looking to keep punch or another large amount of liquid cold, one giant ice cube will last longer than lots of little ones. To make a long-lasting, large cube, fill a rinsed-out milk or juice carton half-full with water. Then peel off the cardboard when it’s time to use.

Keep Your Punch from Getting Watered Down

If you’re serving punch at a party, pour some of it into ice cube trays and freeze. This way, you can keep the punch nice and cold without diluting it. This also works well with wine, iced tea, or any number of other beverages.

Get Creative with Party Ice Cubes

When it comes to entertaining, it’s the details that make the party special. That’s why we love this creative idea for ice cubes. Place edible flowers (like violets, pansies, or impatiens) in ice cube trays, fill with water, and freeze. Then use the flower-filled cubes to make a specialty cocktail or any other drink look incredibly elegant. Mint leaves are a great thing to make ice cubes out of—they’re pretty and add a unique taste to drinks.

Ice Bucket Solution

It’s nice to keep an ice bucket next to your drinks on the table, but once the ice melts you’re left with a few cubes soaking in a puddle of water. To fix this problem, place a colander on the top of your ice bucket and fill it with the ice. Water will drip through the bottom, and the ice will be easier to grab with some tongs.

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