A pretty glass punch bowl with slices of pineapple and maraschino cherries floating on top provides refreshment for your guests and serves as an attractive centerpiece. The tricky part is figuring out just how much punch to prepare for your party.

Find a recipe you like; for the purposes of this article, the following fruit punch recipe will be used as an example. Mix 64 ounces of unsweetened pineapple juice with 64 ounces of canned fruit punch, then add a 2-liter bottle of ginger ale. Note: All ingredients should be chilled before blending.

Add together the amounts, in ounces, of all the liquids in the recipe. Keep in mind that 1 liter of liquid is equally to approximately 33 ounces. Therefore, in the recipe given in Step 1, you would add together the 64 ounces of pineapple juice with the 64 ounces of punch, plus 33 ounces of ginger ale. Your total is 161 ounces.

Estimate how much punch your guests will consume. To do this, think about the number of guests, the length of your party and the kinds of foods you will be serving. If you are hosting an hour-long bridal shower, for example, and plan to serve only a sweet dessert, 1 or 2 cups of punch will be adequate. However, if you are serving salty snacks at a party that will last for several hours, you will probably want to allow 3 to 5 cups of punch for each guest.

Determine how much your punch cups hold. Most glass or small, clear plastic punch cups hold approximately 4 oz. Simply do the math: A recipe making 161 ounces of punch will provide approximately 40 servings. If you are expecting 20 guests and plan on two servings per guests, the recipe works perfectly. On the other hand, if you are expecting 40 guests and you want to allow four servings for each guest (640 total ounces), you will need to quadruple the recipe.

If you plan to double, triple or even quadruple your punch recipe, consider making just one batch at a time. Simply keep all the ingredients chilled in the refrigerator and ready to go; doing this will prevent wasted ingredients if you end up not needing as much as you originally thought. If you decide to put a block of ice in the punch bowl and float fruit on the top, plan on using a new block of ice and fresh fruit for each batch of punch.