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Tick-tock. The clock's counting down to the last minutes of 2009, but also to your New Year's Eve cocktail party. Russell Day, vice-president of Daniel et Daniel Catering in Toronto, and Stephanie Devlin, an event planner at Vancouver's Culinary Capers, did the math to make sure you have enough drinks and edibles to pull off a party for 12:

  • Six bottles of champagne and six bottles of wine (four red, two white)
  • 24 bottles of beer
  • Three 200 gram wedges of cheese
  • 72 appetizer pieces (six different varieties: two vegetables, two fish, two meat)

New Year's is a harmless annual institution, of no particular use to anybody save as a scapegoat for promiscuous drunks, and friendly calls and humbug resolutions. Mark Twain

You'll also need:

  • six bottles of mineral water (750 mL)
  • one bottle of cranberry juice (2 L)
  • one1 bottle each of vodka, gin, rye, Scotch and rum
  • five bags of ice (6 lbs)
  • three baguettes (to serve with cheese)
  • 24 chocolate truffles
  • four lemons (to garnish drinks)
  • six limes (to garnish drinks)

The app

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You've done it: dazzled your guests with those sinful mini lamb burgers on brioche, kept their wine glasses full of Australian shiraz throughout the evening, and popped the cork on multiple bottles of bubbly at midnight without causing any serious injuries.

Unless you really are the host(ess) with the most(est), you're ready to bid adieu to everyone. But after several hours of pounding back glasses of wine (and beer, and champagne, and whatever else you've provided) those people in your home are probably a little worse for wear than they were at the start of the night. If your friends don't have a designated driver - or you don't trust them navigating the snowy streets in their New Year's stilettos - simply turn on your iPhone.

The Rocket Taxi app uses GPS to track down the nearest cab companies so you can get your guests home in one piece. The Trip Calculator feature will even give you an estimated fare price. Be prepared for frugal guests who drunkenly suggest they just "sleep it off" at your place: You might have to have cab fare ready for them, too.

By the numbers

$550-million: Sales for the Liquor Control Board of Ontario last December. The amount was almost equal to 14 per cent of total annual sales.

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