Plan ahead when hosting a New Year’s Eve party

| December 28, 2018

COSHOCTON – New Year’s Eve usually brings to mind parties at a friends’ house with food, games, and ringing in the New Year with an alcoholic beverage in hand. Make sure this New Year’s Eve that you plan ahead when serving alcohol at a party or attend a party.

“It is important that people plan ahead,” said Beth Cormack, executive director of Coshocton Behavioral Health Choices. “People in recovery, even for people who are not in recovery, if they don’t plan ahead, they can drink a lot more than they intended.”

You can still have a great time with friends and ring in the New Year with a sober New Year’s Eve party.

“Sober parties are completely acceptable,” said Cormack. “So many people are worried about drinking and driving that they choose to host sober parties. Make sure they [the hosts] make that loud and proud that we can have fun without alcohol.”

This year, the recovery housing is planning a party on New Year’s Eve. Those in recovery are invited to come and have some food with friends and are encouraged to stay on site for the rest of the evening.

Cormack said it doesn’t matter what type of alcohol you consume. It all affects you in the same manner.

“Alcohol is alcohol,” she said. “It doesn’t matter if you’re drinking whisky or beer. It can still, and does, have an effect on you.”

A shot of whisky is the same as drinking five ounces of table wine or 12 ounces of beer. Drinking 10 ounces of wine has the same alcohol percentage as two beers.

“They need to watch the quantity and not necessarily watch what they are drinking,” said Cormack. “A lot of people seem to sense when the situation starts becoming uncomfortable for them. For people who are in recovery, it’s hard because when you look at a room with 10 people, at least two or three of them have had some type of substance abuse in their lifetime, but they won’t go around and announce that they have or have had a problem, so they may feel isolated. In reality, about 25 to 30 percent of people have dealt with substance abuse in their lifetime.”

While an occasional glass of wine with dinner won’t necessarily create a problem, an addiction is formed when people begin drinking for the wrong reasons.

“We use it for what it does for us, how it makes us feel,” said Cormack.

For some, the holidays are a joyful time filled with friends and family, but for others, it is a time of depression and remembering happier times, which can cause them to turn to alcohol for temporary comfort.

“The holidays can be a great time and the worst time,” said Cormack. “It doesn’t have to be the death of a loved one that we’re grieving. It can be a divorce or the kids are all grown up and we remember the Christmas snow and the kids running around in their pajamas. We remember how it used to be and we think of alcohol as the holiday cheer and it gets us in trouble.”

It can also be helpful to make your New Year’s resolution to quit drinking.

“I think New Year’s resolutions are always a good time because we are reflecting on what we really want in life,” said Cormack. “You’re not going to fix it in a day or a week, but it will hopefully encourage people to visit a local treatment facility and talk to a counsellor. They are there to help keep you on track and get the results you want at the end of the day.”

Cormack reminds everyone that if you are planning to drink at a friend’s home this New Year’s Eve, have a designated driver, even if you don’t think you’ve had that much to drink.

“You can do all the black coffee you want, but it doesn’t work,” said Cormack about trying to sober up before driving. “You just have to give it time.”

It is recommended to wait at least one hour before driving for every ounce of alcohol consumed. Buzzed driving is just the same as drunk driving. In 2017, the Dayton Daily News, Columbus Bureau, reported there were 314 deaths in Ohio that were attributed to drunk driving, and drunk driving arrests in Ohio have averaged 38,000 per year over the past five years.

“They think they’re fine, but they don’t know they’re having trouble walking or speaking,” said Cormack. “They’re numb to it. They think they’re okay, but they’re not.”

Cormack said that drinking has been accepted as normal in today’s society and that can create a problem.

“As a culture, we need to change the way we feel about alcohol,” she said. “It can be as dangerous as heroin or meth if it’s abused. It has such a detrimental effect when we’re not cautious.”

Here are some non-alcoholic beverages to enjoy this New Year’s Eve. Provided by Beth Cormack.

Non-Alcoholic Orange Slush Punch

Refreshingly sweet with a tart, citrus twist—you had us at punch. This big-batch drink takes a little more prep time since it needs to freeze overnight. But it’s worth the wait. Trust us!

1 packet (3 oz) Jell-O™ orange flavored

1 packet (3 oz) Jell-O™ cherry flavored

2 cups sugar

5 cups boiling water

8 cups orange juice

3 liters ginger ale

In a large bowl, stir sugar with orange and cherry Jello. Add boiling water, whisking until gelatin and sugar is dissolved.

Add orange juice, stir.

Transfer mixture to two large freezer-safe containers. Freeze overnight.

To Serve: Place mixture in a large punch bowl. Use a wooden spoon to break the mixture up. Top with ginger ale.


Pineapple Ginger Sparkler

Fresh enough for spring and summer, spicy enough for warmer months, this delicious drink is a go-to for just about every party.

4 cups (1 liter) ginger ale, chilled

4 cups pineapple juice, chilled

1 piece (2 inch) fresh ginger, sliced thin

1 orange, thinly sliced

1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, destemmed

In a 64 ounce pitcher, combine the ginger ale and pineapple juice. Top with oranges, ginger and basil.


Cherry-Infused Dr. Pepper™ Punch

This cherry-infused punch pops with Dr. Pepper™ flavor! (See what we did there?)

2 liters Dr. Pepper™ soda

1 bottle (32 oz) pure cherry juice or pom-cherry juice

1 liter Ginger Ale

1 jar (13.5 oz) maraschino cherries, undrained

1 cup pomegranate arils

Crushed ice

In a large punch bowl, combine soda, cherry juice, ginger ale and cherries. Add enough ice to fill punch bowl. Sprinkle pomegranate arils on top for garnish.


Paloma Fizz Mocktails

A refreshingly unique drink with a hint of savory rosemary.

For the Rosemary Simple Syrup:

1/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup water

1 sprig fresh rosemary, coarsely chopped

For the Drink:

1/4 cup pink grapefruit juice

2 tablespoons rosemary simple syrup

2/3 cup seltzer water or grapefruit soda

Rosemary sprig for garnish; Grapefruit slice for garnish; Crushed ice

To make Rosemary Simple Syrup: Add 1/4 cup of water and 1/4 cup sugar to a pot. Add rosemary. Bring to a simmer and cook until all sugar is dissolved, about 3 minutes. Strain into a small resealable container. Let cool completely.

To make the drink: Pour grapefruit juice and simple syrup in a Tom Collins glass. Stir to mix. Fill glass with ice and top off with seltzer water. Garnish with a sprig of rosemary and a slice of grapefruit.


Margarita Mocktails

This delicious gourmet margarita is actually a mocktail. No liquor at all. And I promise you won’t miss the alcohol!

2 oz. honey or agave Save $

1 oz. limeade concentrate Save $

1 oz. fresh lime juice Save $

1/2 oz. grapefruit juice

2 drops almond extract (optional) Save $

1/4 teaspoon orange extract or orange bitters Save $

3/4 cup ice Save $

1 tablespoon flake salt Save $

1/2 teaspoon chili powder Save $

Limes for garnish Save $

In a blender, combine honey, limeade, lime juice, grapefruit juice, almond and orange extracts and ice. Blend until smooth.

Rim a margarita glass with salt and chili.

Pour blended margarita in glasses. Garnish with a lime.


Peach Bellini Mocktails

peach bellini mocktailsBeverageHosting a brunch? Try these quick and simple booze-free bellinis. Chill the ingredients ahead of time so the sweet flavors won’t be diluted by ice. Prefer a less sweet version? Swap out the ginger ale for orange or peach flavored seltzer water, instead.

1/4 cup peach nectar, chilled Save $

3/4 cup ginger ale, chilled

1/4 cup fresh berries (blueberries, raspberries and sliced strawberries) Save $

Pour peach nectar evenly between two champagne glasses. Top with ginger ale and fresh berries. Serve immediately and enjoy.

Tags: ,

Category: People & Places

About the Author ()

I have been employed at the Coshocton County Beacon since September 2009 as a news reporter and assistant graphic artist. I am a 2004 graduate of Newcomerstown High School and a 2008 graduate of Capital University with a bachelor’s degree in Professional Writing. I am married to John Scott and live in Newcomerstown. We have two beautiful daughters, Amelia Grace Scott and Leanna Rose Scott.

Comments are closed.