The Oregon Liquor Control Commission has a few suggestions for hosts who serve alcoholic beverages during holiday parties at home.
When setting out food and drink for the gathering, remember that about one third of your guests probably won’t be drinking any alcohol, and those who do will need food to go with it.
Popular non‑alcohol party drinks include eggnog, lemonade, smoothies, soda/seltzer water, bottled root beer, fruit juices, coffee/lattes, flavored iced tea, bottled water, fresh fruit punches, and, of course, hot chocolate. Snack food should be of the high-protein variety.
And for safety’s sake, keep the party alcohol-free during the last hour at a minimum, to give your guests a cooling down period.
Food for thought
Here are some of the OLCC’s other tried and true holiday tips:
1. Always serve food with alcohol; high-protein and carbohydrate foods such as cheese and meats. They stay in the stomach much longer, which slows the alcohol absorption rate.
2. Have several jiggers or self‑measuring 1 oz. bottle spouts at the bar to mix drinks. Guests are less likely to drink excessively when standard measures are used.
3. Don’t push drinks on your guests or hurry to refill their glasses when empty. Some guests may not wish to appear rude and accept drinks they really don’t want.
4. If you serve alcoholic punch, use a non‑carbonated base such as fruit juice -– the body will absorb alcohol slower.
5. Instead of serving alcohol for the last hour of the party, serve non‑alcoholic beverages and food.
6. Have a non-drinking friend drive an alcohol-impaired friend home.
And here are a couple of other things to remember: party hosts may be held liable if an intoxicated guest causes injury to a third party; and charging for alcohol at a party is unlawful without a liquor license.