The Van Buren County SAFE Coalition would like to encourage you to avoid making alcohol the main focus of social events this holiday season. Entertain guests with music, dancing, games, food, and lively conversation. Did you know that one in three adults prefers a nonalcoholic beverage? Make sure to offer plenty of nonalcoholic choices such as sparkling water, fancy juice drinks, soft drinks, and bottled drinking water. Also provide guests with nutritious and appealing foods to slow the effects of alcohol. High protein and carbohydrate foods like cheese and meats are especially good. They stay in the stomach much longer, which slows the rate at which the body absorbs alcohol. Avoid salty foods, which encourage people to drink more.
Require bartenders to measure the correct amount of liquor into drinks (no doubles), and instruct them not to serve anyone who appears to be impaired or underage. Have the bartender check the ID of anyone who appears to be under the age of 30 (no ID, no alcohol). Stop serving drinks at least 1 hour before the end of the event. Instead, serve coffee, non-alcoholic beverages, and desserts at that time.
Your responsibility as a host is even more important when the party is over. Be prepared to offer your guests alternate forms of transportation, such as: Ask someone who was not drinking to drive a guest home; Call someone to come and drive them home; Offer your place to spend the night; If the person insists on driving despite his or her obvious intoxication, take the keys, ask for help from other guests, or temporarily disable the car; If all else fails, say you will call the police (and do so).
The following non-alcoholic drink recipes are a courtesy of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and Join Together, a national resource center for communities working to reduce substance abuse. Many of these unique drinks can add “flavor” to your party by giving your guests healthy, tasty alternatives to alcoholic beverages. Enjoy!
Fill a 10–12 oz. glass with ice cubes
2 oz. orange juice
1 oz. lemon juice
1 oz. flavored syrup
Fill with club soda. Garnish with an orange slice or a cherry.
1/2 cup pineapple juice
1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup club soda
1 tbsp. cream of coconut
1 tbsp. grenadine syrup
In a shaker or tall glass, combine ingredients; shake or stir to blend. Add crushed ice.
6 oz. frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
1 pkg. frozen sliced strawberries
6 oz. frozen lemonade concentrate
1 quart carbonated water
1 quart ginger ale
Sliced oranges or lemons
Combine frozen lemonade, strawberries (half-thawed with juice), and orange juice. Place in a punchbowl with ice. Just before serving, add carbonated water and ginger ale. Garnish with thin slices of orange, lemon, or banana. Serves 20.
Blend the following ingredients in a mixer:
1/2 cup orange juice
1/4 cup frozen strawberries
1/4 cup cranapple juice
1/4 cup half-and-half
Pour into a tall glass.
1/4 cup whipped cream
1 tbsp. powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
Beat until stiff. Pour 3 cups of very strong coffee (decaffeinated is fine) into four cups. Float whipped cream mixture on top. Garnish with 1/2 tsp. grated orange peel. Use cinnamon sticks in each cup as servers.