April 19, 2014

Mostly clear

AAA suggests mocktails for holiday celebrations

MEDINA — This Friday, the Medina AAA store is encouraging residents to find nonalcoholic alternatives for holiday cocktails this season.

Last year, alcohol contributed to 169 crashes in Medina County, 12,548 in the state, and 470 deaths on Ohio’s roads, according to the Ohio Department of Public Safety.

Across Ohio, more alcohol-related crashes happened in December than any other month.

“In an effort to curb alcohol-related crashes this holiday season, AAA stores are holding events to encourage Ohioans to celebrate responsibly,” according to a news release from AAA.

The Medina store will host its third “First a Friend, Then a Host” Holiday Mocktail competition, where store associates will create nonalcoholic cocktails, or mocktails. The community is invited to sample the mocktails and vote for a favorite.

The event will be 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday at the store, 150 Northland Drive.

Some of the planned drinks are “Chilly Pineapple Upside Down Cake,” “Misty Cranberry Cider” and the “Mistletoe Mocktini.” Visitors also can take home the free 2013 “First a Friend, Then a Host” recipe book, which includes winning recipes from the 2012 Holiday Mocktail competitions.

The event is part of 22 similar competitions that will take place at AAA stores throughout Ohio this month.

“These competitions are designed to generate conversation about drunk driving and encourage the community to incorporate non-alcoholic fun into their holiday celebrations,” the news release said.

AAA offers the following tips to keep partygoers safe this holiday season:

• Plan ahead. Choose a designated nondrinking driver before any holiday celebration.

• Don’t drink and drive. Never get behind the wheel of a car when you’ve been drinking.

• Be a real friend. Don’t let friends and family drive drunk.

• Host responsibly. Remind guests to stay safe and offer nonalcoholic beverages.