Socializing with friends and colleagues over a drink or entertaining family, friends and neighbors with food and cocktails are pleasurable pastimes enjoyed by millions of American adults. For those adults who choose to drink, they should do so in moderation and responsibly at all times – even when at home or over virtual experiences.
Here are some tips to keep in mind while spending more time at home.
Everything in Moderation!
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans defines moderate drinking as consuming up to one drink per day for women and up to two drinks per day for men.
Know Your Standard Drink
According to the Dietary Guidelines, a “drink-equivalent” is defined as 1.5 fluid ounces of 80-proof distilled spirits (40 percent alcohol) such as rum, vodka, gin and whiskey; 12 fluid ounces of regular beer (5 percent alcohol); or five fluid ounces of wine (12 percent alcohol). One drink contains 0.6 fluid ounces of alcohol.
Since beer, wine and distilled spirits products may come in different sizes and alcohol content, these clearly defined drink-equivalent amounts are intended to serve as your guide.
Avoid the ‘Free Pour’
Your glassware may be deceiving! Beware of large glasses that trick your eye in thinking your drinks are smaller than they actually are. When pouring a beverage, it’s helpful to use a measuring tool, such as a jigger, so you know exactly how much alcohol is going into your drink.
If you don’t have fancy bar tools at home, remember that 3 tablespoons = 1.5 oz (standard pour).
Be Mindful of Your Consumption
If you choose to refill your drink, only do so once your glass is empty to keep better track of your consumption. This is also important when having a drink away from home. For example, if your server offers to “top-off” your glass of wine, request that he/she check back when you are done with your glass to ask if you would like another. Remember that many factors affect your blood-alcohol concentration – or BAC – including your gender, weight, food and water intake and other variables.
Complement Your Drink with Food Pairings
A nice cocktail can accentuate the flavors of your meal. Having food with beverage alcohol also slows the rate at which alcohol is absorbed in your bloodstream. Be sure to offer your guests food when serving drinks. A good host also has available water or another non-alcohol option such as a flavorful mocktail for your guests.
You can get creative with a culinary theme or food pairing that complements your favorite spirits.
Distillers take pride and time in crafting the perfect product for us to enjoy. It is important to sip, savor and enjoy these fine spirits responsibly.