WASHINGTON, D.C. – With the July 4th holiday around the corner and the outdoor entertaining season kicking into high gear, the Distilled Spirits Council is sharing tips for hosting responsible summer celebrations.

“As family and friends gather to enjoy backyard barbeques and summer garden parties, the Distilled Spirits Council encourages everyone to make responsible decisions to ensure safe celebrations,” said Distilled Spirits Council Senior Vice President Frank Coleman.

The Council offers the following tips for responsible entertaining:

  1. Designate a bartender: Assign a bartender who can serve your guests and keep an eye on how much everyone is drinking.
  2. Remember, alcohol is alcohol.  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.
  3. Provide food to complement your cocktails.Consider food pairings that enhance or contrast the flavor of the cocktails you’re serving: fresh seafood accentuates vodka or gin cocktails; smoked meats and even pickled vegetables complement Scotch or Bourbon cocktails; and citrus-flavored dishes match well with Tequila or rum cocktails.
  4. Make available non-alcohol beverages for your guests. Always provide non-alcohol alternatives such as a festive punch for those guests who choose not to drink alcohol.
  5. Ensure your guests have a safe way home. Ensure your guests have safe rides home either through designated drivers, taxis or a car service. Have local taxi service numbers available or consider prearranging a car service or ride app credit for your guests.

For more information on responsible and moderate drinking visit drinkinmoderation.org