Wednesday, December 7, 2016

How to throw a holiday party, responsibly

An Edinburgh bartender at work (Photo: Bill Dowd)
• From the Dowd On Drinks archives

The Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS) expends a lot of effort in educating the public about responsible consumption of alcoholic beverages.

Here is the latest list of its “tips for hosting a responsible cocktail party.”

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 no more than two drinks per day for men and one drink per day for women.

 2. Remember, alcohol is alcohol. It is important to understand that a standard serving of regular beer (12 ounces), wine (5 ounces) and spirits (a cocktail with 1.5 ounces of 80-proof spirits) each contains the same amount of alcohol.

3. Make sure you provide food to complement your cocktails. Consider food pairings to enhance the flavor of your chosen cocktails. Examples: fresh seafood and breads accentuate vodka cocktails; spiced and smoked meats and cheeses complement bourbon and Scotch whiskies; and fruit enhances rum and tequila flavors.

4. Make available non-alcoholic beverages for your guests. Create festive non-alcohol punch for those guests who choose not to drink alcohol.

 5. Make sure your guests have a safe way home either through a designated driver or a taxi. Have local taxi service numbers available for your guest.Pay attention in advance to companies that sponsor free rides during holidays and keep those numbers handy.

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