With New Year's Eve just around the corner, the Distilled Spirits Council offers the following tips and recipes for hosting responsible cocktail parties.
¢ 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.
¢ Remember - alcohol is alcohol. It is important to understand that a standard drink of regular beer (12 ounces), wine (5 ounces), and spirits (a cocktail with 1.5 ounces of 80-proof) each contains the same amount of alcohol: 0.6 fluid ounces.
¢ Make sure 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, and fruit enhances rum and tequila flavors.
¢ Make available nonalcohol beverages for your guests. Create festive nonalcohol punch for those guests who choose not to drink alcohol. Find a recipe for non-alcoholic Herbal Cooler Punch on page 2D.
¢ 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.
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.