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'Tis the Season to be Jolly. . .and Responsible
December 1, 2011 - Carla Tracy
The holiday entertaining season is bearing down on Maui like the south swells from New Zealand. Parties are like waves, one after another. Hosting one yourself? You may want to take note of the Distilled Spirits Council of America’s five tips for responsible entertaining.
“As family and friends gather to celebrate the holidays or mark special occasions, the Distilled Spirits Council encourages everyone to make responsible decisions to ensure safe and happy celebrations,” says its president, Peter Cressy.
1. Designate a bartender who can serve your guests and keep an eye on how much everyone is drinking. The Federal Dietary Guidelines define moderate drinking as up to two drinks per day for men and up to one drink per day for women.
2. Remember – alcohol is alcohol. It is important to understand that a standard drink of regular beer (12 fluid ounces), wine (five fluid ounces), and spirits (a cocktail with 1.5 fluid ounces of 80-proof spirits) each contains the same amount of alcohol, 0.6 fluid ounces of alcohol.
3. Make sure that you provide food to complement your cocktails. Consider food pairings to enhance the flavor of your chosen cocktails: fresh seafood and breads accentuate vodka cocktails, spiced and smoked meats and cheeses complement Bourbon and Scotch whiskies, fruit enhances Rum, and south of the border fare pairs with Tequila flavors.
4. Make available non-alcohol beverages for your guests. Create festive non-alcohol punch for those guests who choose not to drink alcohol.
Herbal Cooler Punch: 2 cups brewed peppermint tea, 2 cups brewed red zinger tea, 2 cups cranberry juice. Mix and serve over ice block with lemon wedge. Ice block can be easily prepared by freezing water in one quart container (or whatever size carryout container you have available). Microwave for a few seconds once frozen for ease of removing from container.
5. Make sure your guests have a safe way home either through designated drivers or a taxi. Have local taxi service numbers available for your guests.
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