Parties are one of the great joys of the holiday season. Just don't let the festivities get the better of you by downing one too many hot buttered rums. The Distilled Spirits Council of the United States has five tips for staying safe:
Designate a bartender who can serve guests and keep an eye on how much they're drinking. Federal guidelines define moderate drinking as no more than two drinks for men and one drink for women.
Monitor your own drinking. A serving of beer (12 ounces), wine (5 ounces) or spirits (a cocktail with 1.5 ounces of 80-proof) each contains the same amount of alcohol.
If you're having a party, provide food with your drinks. Fresh seafood and breads accentuate vodka cocktails; spiced and smoked meats and cheeses complement bourbon and scotch; and fruit enhances rum and tequila.
Make nonalcoholic beverages available for your guests.
Designate a driver or call a cab if people are imbibing. Hosts and hostesses should have local taxi-service numbers available.
-- Tricia Colianne