30 Minutes to Cheers! Throw an Impromptu Party (Really)

Affordable Kitchen Images
Drinks, snacks, and a bit of decor are all you need to throw a great party. And, with this guide, you can do it all in 30 minutes. Start the clock!

Start with the Bar Cart

Odds are you've got enough in your liquor cabinet for a cocktail recipe or two. So, pull out those bottles and stock your bar cart. Make sure to include mixers, cups and napkins on the cart as well. Guests will surely gravitate toward it upon their arrival. Plus, it is a natural landing spot for any bottles brought as host gifts.


Put 'Em On Ice

A metal bucket goes a long way as a stylish cooler for your indoor party. Fill it three-quarters of the way with ice and whatever bottled drinks you've got on hand. This allows guests to serve themselves, and gives you a chance to mingle instead of tending the bar.


Make a Pitcher

Instead of making drinks throughout the night, pick a pitcher recipe and just pour! Choose one or two pitcher beverages based on what's in your fridge, whether that's pineapple, basil, or strawberries.

Charcuterie Platter

Everything on this antipasto charcuterie platter is available at the grocery store. Just hit the produce aisle, the bakery, the deli, and the dairy aisle. Once you get home, nothing has to be cooked. Just plate it up!

Quick Dips

This beet hummus is done in 20 minutes. Other easy dips can be done just as fast. Make sure to put beets and endives on your grocery list for an appetizer that is tasty and colorful.

Party Appetizer Math

Running out of food is every host's nightmare. Take the guess work out of the prep work by downloading our free appetizer quantity guide to make sure you have the perfect amount of snackage.

Clutch Party Snack: Glitter Popcorn

Every party needs a little bit of sparkle. Microwavable popcorn plus edible glitter equals a glammed-up party snack in less than 10 minutes.

Entertain from Your Freezer

This stromboli can be pulled from the freezer, as can guac, meatballs, or even empanadas. If your freezer is stocked, you just thaw it out and warm it up. Pull the stromboli out while you do the rest of the party prep.

Champagne Cake with Fresh Strawberries

Who says that the box of cake mix buried in your pantry can't be fancy? Instead of adding water to the mix, add champagne. Just 20 minutes of prep time means that you are ready to host at a moment's notice because, as Julia Child famously said, "a party without cake is just a meeting."

Muffin Tin + Mason Jar = Win-Win

It's time to bring the muffin tin out of the kitchen. Tea candles, garden flowers and Mason jars turn a baking pan into a fun and eclectic centerpiece. Our garden flowers include roses and dahlias, but in a rush, just snip whatever is currently in bloom in your garden.

Quick & Stylish Party Storage: Wine Box

Repurpose an old wine box into a party pack. Fill it with wine, napkins, and utensils. Leave it out as a place for guests to get refills, or find a corkscrew. While this wine box has been gussied up with a coat of paint, a bare wine box gives off an industrial-chic vibe.


Share the gallery

Better Homes & Gardens may receive compensation when you click through and purchase from links contained on this website.