Party and Event Planning: How Much Ice do You Need?

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It’s summer, which means it’s the peak of event and party season. The warm weather makes it a great time of year to enjoy the outdoors as long as you have a cold drink in your hand and some shade. But, whether you’re hosting an event or party outdoors or indoors, a principal concern must be how much ice you’ll need. After all, a room temperature beer or a mixed drink with no ice just isn’t that appetizing. If you’re hosting, you’ll want to be sure you have plenty of ice on hand to serve your guests.

But, how do you know how much to order?

It depends on a number of factors. Follow our checklist to discover how much ice you’ll need whether you’re planning a small party or a large wedding:

Indoors or Outdoors

You guessed it! Outdoor events require more ice than indoor events. No matter what you’ll use the ice for, make sure you order a bit extra for outdoor events. The weather can be unpredictable, and 90 degree weather will melt your ice more quickly than 80 degree weather. If you happen to get 90 degree weather on the day of your event, you’ll be glad you ordered more than you initially calculated.

Cooling or in Drinks

The next consideration is what you’ll be using the ice for. If you’re filling coolers or bins to keep beers and drinks chilled, you’ll need about 1 pound per guest. This way, you’ll have plenty of ice to keep your bins and coolers full of ice, keeping your drinks icy cold. Don’t forget to offer water in addition to beer, wine and soda.

For serving in drinks, depending on what drinks you’re planning on making, you’ll need a pretty hefty amount of ice. Ice-heavy cocktails involving crushed ice will need at least a half pound of ice per drink, so if you’re having 20 people over and each of them have 2 drinks, you’ll need about 20 pounds of ice. Drinks that aren’t so ice intensive also need a fair amount of ice. Assume that at most, a pound of ice will get you about 3 drinks.

Guests and Their Needs

Finally, you have to consider how many guests will be coming and what they need. For example, if you have children on your guest list, you don’t need to include cocktail ice for them. However, you may still need to include ice for soda or water for the children. You’ll also need to consider how much your adult guests will be drinking. If your event is open-bar for example, you can assume your guests will probably need more ice than if drinks are paid. Of course, you know your guests best, so make a reasonable estimate about how much each person will drink and order ice accordingly.

A Helpful Estimate

Need help with some additional numbers? Let’s say you’re hosting an outdoor party and you’ll be using ice to keep drinks cool and serve them. Assume you’ll need about 4 pounds of ice per guest.

Indoor party, same parameters? You can be safe with about 3 pounds of ice per guest.

As you can see, hosting a party involves lots of ice. But, remember, it’s well worth it to see your guests happily sipping away on cool beverages and enjoying a good time.

Need help getting your ice? Count on Crystal Ice to provide high quality ice, delivered on time every time. Contact us today!

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