I am proud to be a Responsibility.org ambassador this year. While I was compensated to write the post, all opinions are completely my own.
A couple months ago, I wrote a blog post about healthy coping strategies during stressful times. In this post, I discussed the stress that has come with living through a pandemic. Often times, this shows up in our drinking habits. I’d like to continue the conversation of how our children are influenced by our actions, and the importance in modeling healthy and responsible behaviors. Today we’re looking at practicing a safe pour when it comes to enjoying a glass of wine or mixing a cocktail.
3 Ways to Practice a Safe Pour
As I always say, I don’t believe there’s anything wrong with having an alcohol beverage, so long as it’s done safely. Like everything in life, moderation is key. Here are three things to take into account when preparing beverages such as wine, sangria, or another mixed drink.
Know a standard pour amount
The summer time is often when we have fun outdoor gatherings with friends and family, which of course involves eating and drinking. There’s something about the warm weather that makes a cocktail that much more refreshing. If you are preparing drinks for yourself or others, be sure you are taking the amount of alcohol into consideration. Do you know what a standard pour is? In case you are curious:
- distilled spirit: 1.5 ounces
- wine: 5 ounces
- beer: 12 ounces
The amount of alcohol that is considered to be a safe pour may surprise you. Most likely it is less than what you realized. Keeping these amounts in mind may help you keep a slower pace of alcohol consumption, especially at a social gathering when you may not think about it as much.
Avoid the “free pour”
Do you love the look of the large wine glasses? I do too. What we don’t think about is how dangerous this can be. When you have a large glass of any kind, we are more prone to pour more into it, because it doesn’t seem as full. Seems obvious, I know. But it explains why one bottle of wine can be emptied so quickly! One way to ensure you’re pouring the correct amount is to use a jigger. This will help you easily measure out the appropriate amount of liquor. Jiggers can come is various sizes, but a standard one will measure out exactly 1.5 ounces. You can read more about them here.
Each of us is affected differently by different amounts of alcohol depending on factors such as gender, weight, the type of alcohol we are consuming, and even what we’ve eaten that day. An excellent resource to learn more about this is responsibility.org. On their site they include a Virtual Bar, where you can actually learn what your personal BAC (blood alcohol concentration) is and the effects that it may have on you. Below is an info-graphic from responsibility.org showing how alcohol affects men and women differently, even if they are the same age, height, and weight.
Be mindful of your consumption
Knowing what a safe pour is and avoiding large glasses are two effective ways to monitor your alcohol consumption. However, there are still other ways that our consumption can get out of hand, specifically at parties or social events. For example, we tend to let people top off our drinks, or we may just grab a brand new drink if we forget where we set ours down. This can be dangerous because it can cause us to consume more than we think we are. A great tip is that if you are going to have a second drink, wait until your glass is completely empty. This will allow you to track how many total glasses you’ve had, rather than continuously topping off a drink.
In addition, I always drink a glass of water in between drinks. This slows down the consumption, and helps to keep you hydrated as well. Also keep in mind that many of your guests may not wish to partake in alcoholic drinks. It’s always smart and courteous to provide mocktails, along with food and water, if you are hosting an event.
A summer cocktail
I am not a fan of elaborate cocktails that have a ton of ingredients and several different liquors. And I like to keep things simple. I do love champagne, so a summer favorite is this strawberry champagne. It’s easy, refreshing, and delicious on a warm day. Here’s what you’ll need:
- a very dry champagne
- strawberries (preferably fresh)
- lemon juice (freshly squeezed is best!)
Simply blend the strawberries and lemon juice in a blender until you have a smooth puree. Then pour the puree into a glass and pour the champagne on top. Easy as that! This doesn’t involve much measuring, so it makes tracking your consumption easy.
For more tips, head to responsibility.org and follow them on Instagram. Their mission is to inspire a lifetime of responsible alcohol choices. Their site covers a variety of topics with valuable information for parents with children of all ages. Using these resources may help you navigate difficult conversations with your middle school and teenage kids.
Do you have any tips on ensuring that you’re always using a safe pour and not consuming too much alcohol at a time? Let me know in the comments!