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You don’t have to drink alcohol to be social, and overdoing it can be dangerous.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans advises drinking in moderation. What does that mean? Generally, it is defined as up to one drink a day for women and up to two drinks a day for men.
One drink is:
One day consists of a 24-hour period, so don’t stockpile five days’ worth of drinks for your next party. Even occasional binge drinking can do permanent damage to your heart. It can cause enlarged heart and even trigger a heart attack, stroke or heart rhythm problems.
Instead, fill your flute or mug with non-alcoholic beverages. Drink a glass of water before and after every alcoholic drink. It will help you stay hydrated and full. A little sparkling water can go a long way toward helping you feel festive. Another good option is sparkling fruit juices, but there are others, too.
If you’re hosting a holiday get together, make sure some tasty non-alcoholic drinks are on the menu. Here are a few easy and fun recipes to consider.
Punch Drunk on Love Serves 12
1 48-ounce bottle of chilled, sweetened cranberry juice cocktail3 ounces of thawed, undiluted lemonade concentrate1 bottle (about 24 ounces) of chilled sparking water
Combine the first two ingredients in a pitcher and stir well. Add the chilled sparking water and stir gently. Serve immediately in champagne flutes or martini glass. Add a rosemary twig, cranberries on a toothpick, lime twist or other festive garnish.
Cozy by The Fire Serves 6
5 cups of apple cider 3 tablespoons of packed brown sugar 1 teaspoon of allspice1/2 teaspoon of ginger1 teaspoon of whole clovesA shake of nutmeg and salt
Whisk all the ingredients together. Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium-low heat. Strain and serve warm in mugs. Garnish with cinnamon sticks and an orange slice or twist.
Please, Sir, I’ll Have S’more Serves 6
First, make the cocoa mix:3 cups of sugar2 cups of natural unsweetened cocoa powder2 teaspoons of table sa/lt
Mix and store in resealable container or bag.
Next, make this s’more drink mix: 6 cups of skim or almond milk 12 tablespoons of the cocoa mix from above 1 cup of mini marshmallows 3 tablespoons of melted butter 6 plain graham crackers
Place the graham crackers in plastic bags. Crush into fine bits, then pour them onto a plate. Use a pastry brush to rim mugs with melted butter. Dip the butter-rimmed mugs into the graham crackers.
Add 2 tablespoons of heated drink mix to each mug. Add 1 cup of hot milk to each mug and stir. Add a small handful of marshmallows into each mug.
Remember, if you do drink, don’t drive. Not even after drinking a few cups of coffee. Only the passage of time will help you sober you up. So, cheers to your health. Raise your “mocktail” and toast a safe and happy holiday season.
Originally published 12/9/2015; Revised 2021
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