WASHINGTON, DC, Dec. 19, 2001 – As the party season reaches its peak, the Distilled Spirits Council today launched an initiative to encourage responsible celebrations during this holiday season. As part of the effort, the Council posted tips on how to host a responsible cocktail party on its website at: www.distilledspirits.org. The holiday section also includes information about beverage alcohol equivalence and a link to The Century Council, a not-for-profit organization funded by the leading distillers to combat drunk driving and underage drinking. “These upcoming holiday weeks mark the biggest time all year for home cocktail celebrations with friends and family,” said Dr. Peter Cressy, President and CEO of the Distilled Spirits Council. “As people gather to enjoy the holiday and ring in the New Year, the distillers urge everyone to celebrate the season responsibly.” The Distilled Spirits Council offers the following tips for hosting responsible celebrations this holiday and all year long: 1. Designate a bartender who can serve your guests and keep an eye on how much everyone is drinking. 2. Alcohol is alcohol is alcohol. It is important to understand that a standard serving of beer (12 ounces), wine (5 ounces) and a cocktail (containing 1 ½ ounces of distilled spirits) each contains the same amount of alcohol. 3. Make sure that you provide food to complement your cocktails. Research food pairings to enhance your chosen cocktails: fresh seafood goes great with vodka, heartier meats and cheeses complement whiskey and fruit goes well with rum. 4. Make available non-alcohol beverages for your guests. Try creating a festive non-alcohol punch for those guests who choose not to drink beverage alcohol. 5. Make sure your guests have a safe way home either through designated drivers or a taxi — make sure to have those local cab service numbers handy.