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13 November 2014

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You are in: Shropshire > Entertainment > Christmas > Booze-free Christmas?

Cocktails

Non-alcoholic cocktails

Booze-free Christmas?

With a new report highlighting Britain's drinking culture, we ask if you can you have a good time this Christmas without damaging your bank balance and your liver.

A new poll claims that almost half of young men and women need alcohol to enjoy themselves at the Christmas party. The survey, for the government's Know Your Limits campaign, found that 45% of drinkers (aged between 25 and 34) needed alcohol to feel confident around colleagues.

"Moderate your alcohol to overcome the horrors of the Christmas party "

Liz Tucker Health awareness promoter

The figures dropped to 13% for those aged over 55, with almost of third of all people interviewed in the poll, saying they relied on alcohol to get through the Christmas party.

Health awareness promoter Liz Tucker suggested: "While it is the season to be merry, think carefully before overdoing it this Christmas.

"You can all too easily become over confident, and say or do things you wouldn't do when sober. You'll also enjoy the next day so much more. I would encourage people to find alcohol-free ways of overcoming the horrors of the Christmas party." 

How to survive the festive season

  • Know how much is too much: Government guidelines recommend women drink no more than two to three units a day (one 175ml glass of wine or three single vodkas), while men keep under three to four units (two pints of standard beer or four single vodkas).
  • Don't binge: Even if you don't drink all week, you cannot 'save up' your units and then drink them all in one night. Drinking more than the recommended daily limit is potentially dangerous and qualifies as a 'binge'. 
  • Don't drink on an empty stomach: Eating a meal, preferably with carbohydrates like bread or pasta, before you start drinking will work to slow down the effects of alcohol.
  • Make soft drinks part of your celebration: If orange juice or cola doesn't cut it, then whizz up some fresh fruit smoothies at home or ask for a virgin cocktail at the bar (they're easier on the wallet too).
  • Slow down: An expensive wine, quality beer or sophisticated spirit is best savoured rather than downed, so sip slowly and alternate alcohol with soft drinks to see celebrations through to the early hours.
  • Avoid having a 'hair of the dog': Treating a hangover with more alcohol will make you feel far worse in the long run. Instead, have a healthy snack to raise blood sugar levels and drink lots of water to rehydrate and get rid of your headache.
  • Give your liver a break: Having a healthier, less hungover Christmas needn't mean abstaining from alcohol altogether. Instead, why not treat your liver to some regular breaks? The NHS recommends taking alcohol off the menu entirely for at least two days after a heavy session.

Calculate your units

Did you know that half a bottle of wine equals 4.7 units which is more than the recommended daily amount for both men and women. If gin is your tonic, then two large pub measures equals 2.7 units - the limit for a woman.

Shropshire County Council's Steve Chadwick said: "It's important to remember that drinks served at family or friends can be more generous than pub measures."

Christmas drink drive campaign

Steve Chadwick's Road Safety team has joined forces with Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service to push the don't drink and drive message this Christmas.

The campaign, called The End, is particularly aimed at young drivers who are the most at risk of being involved, injured or killed in a drink-drive accident.

In 2007, in Shropshire, there were 46 vehicle collisions with 67 people injured as a result of drink-driving.  

"We want people to think about what The End represents, the end of much of what young people take for granted in their lives, " warned Mr Chadwick.

Non alcoholic cocktails

As part of The End campaign, the road safety team has been giving out free non-alcoholic drinks at supermarkets in the county. Here are a few of them:

  • St Clements - Mix 100ml of fresh orange juice with 100ml of bitter lemon, or more if you like. Stir in ice to serve and garnish with a wedge of orange.
  • Cinderella - Shake together equal parts pineapple juice, orange juice and lemon juice.  Strain over ice cubes, top with soda water and splash in a little grenadine.  Garnish with a slice of pineapple, or a pineapple chunk and a cherry on a stick, drink with straws.

  • Nursery Fizz - Pour equal parts orange juice and ginger ale over ice cubes.  Garnish with a slice of orange and a cherry, serve with straws.

  • Grecian - Blend together four parts peach juice, two parts orange juice, one part lemon juice and a scoop of crushed ice.  Pour unstrained into the glass, add a squirt of soda water and garnish with fresh fruit.

last updated: 17/12/2008 at 13:54
created: 10/12/2008

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