AAA’s ABCs of smart party-giving tips
A – Alcohol. Be sure your guests are the life of the party. Have a car key collection when your guests arrive and tag the keys. When guests leave, detect their level of intoxication. If you feel they would be unsafe behind the wheel, call them a cab or arrange for other transportation, such as a Tipsy Tow. Mix drinks yourself, avoid open bars. Limit mixing drinks with carbonation, as carbonated beverages increase alcohol absorption. Close your bar 90 minutes before your party is over– and don’t encourage “one for the road.”
B – Buffet. Always serve high protein foods, such as cheese and meats. They stay in the stomach longer and slow down the rate of intoxication. Mashed potatoes and beans (as well as other starchy foods) are great, too. Minimize salt. Salt makes people thirsty and speeds up intoxication. Serve dips and spreads with unsalted or low-salt crackers or raw vegetables. Also, consider cold-cut trays, cheese fondues and cheese balls. Always provide non-alcoholic mocktails, soft drinks, juices, punch and sugar-free beverages.
C – Carpool. Remember, only time will make your guests sober. Not coffee and not cold showers. It takes about one hour to burn off an average drink. Five ounces of wine, 12 ounces of beer and one and one-half ounces of liquor all contain about the same amount of alcohol. Keep watch on behavior. Sleepy, too talkative, too giddy, and uncoordinated guests are under the influence. Arrange cab rides, Tipsy Tows, rides with the “designated driver,” or invite intoxicated friends to sleep over. For irate intoxicated guests, “hide” their car keys until they have found another ride home. You may feel as if you have lost a friend that night, but you will have an even better friend the next morning. Be first a friend – then a host.