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Christmas is a time for gathering with family and friends and enjoying the many reasons to celebrate the season. Unfortunately for many people, drinking alcohol at these holiday gatherings and then driving home can cause wrecks, DWI arrests, and even loss of life. To do your part in stopping drunk driving following the party, hosts can serve mocktails (cocktails without alcohol) as an alternative. People who have to drive home such as single guests and designated drivers, guests who do not like the taste of alcohol, and pregnant guests can enjoy the social aspects of drinking without the dangers associated with it. If you’re expecting kids at your event, offering a Shirley Temple (extra cherries, please) or other special treats will make them love your party (and you) even more.
Having non-alcoholic drinks instead of the alcoholic versions has many benefits. If you choose ingredients well and avoid too much sugar or other additives, you won't have a hangover or that sluggish feeling the following day. You’ll also save money since alcohol costs quite a bit, and during the holidays your budget will like this. While you may crave the taste of this drink after enjoying it, you will not become chemically addicted to it like you can with alcohol. Possibly the biggest benefit of skipping the alcohol is that your reaction time, judgment, and emotions will be fully intact. This will help you handle things like unexpected emergencies, being pulled over for a minor infraction or speeding, or getting questioned by your future in-laws.
To offer virgin cocktails (aka mocktails) at your next gathering, you can just stock up on various mixers like juices and soft drinks. Adding fun garnishes is always a hit and lets your guests be creative. If you have enough time, though, you can also do some research ahead of time to design some very well-thought-out recipes. These visually appealing, very tasty options will be missing the spirits but not the holiday spirit. You can search on-line to find many great recipes. One of our favorite drinks in the south is a Bloody Mary. Whether you enjoy it for the spice of the drink or the crunch of the tasty garnishes, you won't even miss the alcohol.
When you prepare for the event, display your non-alcoholic options in a way that appeals to your guests. Presentation is everything. If they have to dig for ingredients, they might be more likely to just grab the beer or pour the readily available liquor. Make sure ice, cups, straws, and anything else needed are all visible and handy. Although it may not be scientifically proven, we believe that cocktail umbrellas make every drink taste better. You can prepare a fix-it-yourself bar of ingredients or you can have a pitcher mixed, labeled, and ready to pour. If you're expecting cold weather (we never really know what weather we'll get here in Louisiana even in December), a hot chocolate bar is a very easy choice. Just have a thermos or crock pot of already made hot cocoa plus a bar of various toppings like marshmallows, peppermints, chocolate sticks, whipped cream, and anything else you like. You can even use these free printables to help make your drink area festive!
Driving drunk (or even buzzed) is very dangerous, and accidents can bring guilt and possibly even liability to the party host. Party hosts can help improve the horrible DWI statistics by offering and encouraging non-alcoholic drink options as a choice for people driving home after the shindig is over. Hosts should still stop serving alcohol one to two hours before the party ends and make sure guests are sober before they leave, and having yummy non-alcoholic options makes that a little easier to do. For more information on ways we separate drinking from driving, call Smart Start of Louisiana or complete our contact form.
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