New Year’s Party alcohol alternatives

By HSC Staff Writer • Published: January 1st, 2009
Category: Health in a Heartbeat

Auld acquaintance is less likely to be forgot on New Year’s if you’re not lit up like a Christmas tree from excessive drinking.

And there’s more than fuzzy memories at stake.

According to the National Commission Against Drunk Driving, more than seventeen-thousand Americans die each year in alcohol-related traffic crashes.

Party hosts can make it easier for guests to drink in moderation… or abstain altogether… with a little planning. Because the holidays are strongly associated with alcohol consumption, keep the focus off drinking by scheduling games, dancing or other activities.

Offer nonalcoholic beverages, including a champagne substitute for toasting. Recipes for fancy liquor-free “mocktails” are available on the Internet. At the party, a designated bartender can help control the amount of liquor in drinks, and keep an eye on everyone.

Protein-rich foods slow the body’s absorption of alcohol, so keep snacks such as cheese and nuts available. Stop serving alcohol at least an hour before the party’s end, and bring out dessert and coffee.

Despite your efforts, it’s possible someone will want to drive home when they shouldn’t. Guests should consider using designated drivers, an idea you can suggest discreetly in written invitations. If all else fails, try calling a cab at your own expense, arranging a ride or offering overnight accommodations.

Be diplomatic, be upbeat, but above all be persistent… when sobriety returns, your guest will probably be grateful that a certain auld acquaintance didn’t forget about them… or all the other drivers on the road.