By Julia Millay Walsh
Updated October 21, 2014
Credit: © Amy Neusinger /

This piece originally appeared on

There's no easier way to kill the mood of a party than by running out of alcohol for your guests. TV personality Clinton Kelly recently visited The Rachael Ray Show to share his go-to formula for calculating how much alcohol to buy for your guests. Boy, do we wish we'd learned this sooner. Plan for two drinks per person during the first hour of your party, andone drink per person for every hour after the first. So, if you have a four-hour party, you'll need to stock five drinks per person.

Now, how about ice? Kelly suggests purchasing one pound of ice per guest for an indoor party, and two pounds of ice per guest for an outdoor party (since it melts faster outdoors).

Not sure how many guests to invite in the first place? Unless you're planning for a kegger-style packed house, Kelly recommends dividing the square footage of your home by five to figure out how many people to invite. So if your space is 100 square feet, you can invite 20 guests.