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Barbara Burke

Good For You

By Barbara Burke

Wednesday, December 1, 1999


Use booze wisely
when entertaining

HAWAII received a grade of B- when Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) released its "Rating the States" report card last week. Each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia was evaluated on their efforts to combat drunken driving and underage drinking.

Hawaii's rating improved from a C+ grade in 1996. Alcohol-positive drivers involved in fatal crashes in Hawaii decreased about 10 percent since the 1993-95 survey. Still, 56 of Hawaii's 120 traffic deaths last year were reported to be alcohol-related. MADD encourages Gov. Benjamin Cayetano and the Legislature to support tough repeat-offender laws and vehicle sanctions.

Currently, more than 300 people in the United States are killed in alcohol-related crashes each week. This is the equivalent of two jetliner crashes.

When a jetliner crashes, there is media attention and a public outcry. The drunken-driving problem deserves comparable treatment, attention and action, says MADD.

During this holiday season, do your part to promote responsible drinking. Here are some tips to consider when planning a party where alcohol is served:

Bullet Ask guests to appoint a designated driver before the party begins. This person should drink only nonalcoholic beverages to ensure that people get home safely.

Bullet Prepare plenty of foods so guests will not drink on empty stomachs. Foods high in carbohydrates will help slow alcohol absorption. Avoid too many salty snacks, which make people thirsty and drink more.

Bullet If preparing an alcoholic punch, use a noncarbonated base such as fruit juice. Alcohol is absorbed into the bloodstream more slowly with a noncarbonated base.

Bullet Offer a variety of creative nonalcoholic beverages.

Bullet Do not push drinks! Remember that drinking alcohol at a party is not mandatory for having a good time.

Bullet Choose a reliable "bartender" to measure drinks.

Bullet Close the bar at least one hour before the party ends. Continue to serve alcohol-free beverages and food, such as a dessert and Kona coffee.

It is a myth that coffee can sober up someone who has had too much to drink. Only time will do it. It takes about one hour to oxidize each drink.

Guests are more likely to select nonalcoholic drinks when they are interesting and festive. Here are two crowd-pleasing nonalcoholic recipes.

HOT CRANBERRY-ORANGE PUNCH

2 cups cranberry juice cocktail
6 cups orange juice, strained
1/4 cup sugar, or to taste
8 whole cloves
1 cinnamon stick
1 orange, sliced

Simmer first 5 ingredients for 45-60 minutes. Garnish with orange slices. Serve hot. Makes 10 servings.

Approximate nutrition information per serving: 120 calories, 0 g fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 0 mg sodium*

MOCK PINK CHAMPAGNE

1/2 cup sugar
1 cup water
6 ounces frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
6 ounces frozen grapefruit juice concentrate, thawed
28 ounces ginger ale, chilled
Grenadine syrup

Heat sugar and water until sugar dissolves; cool. Stir in concentrates; refrigerate. Just before serving, stir in chilled ginger ale and grenadine syrup. Serve chilled. Makes 8 servings.

Approximate nutrition information per serving: 180 calories, 0 g fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 15 mg sodium*

For information on "Rating the States," visit MADD's Web site: http://www.madd.org.



Barbara Burke is a Hawaii-Pacific University instructor
who has been teaching and writing about food
and nutrition since 1975.





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