Mocktails Give Drinkers and Non-drinkers Fun Ways to Celebrate Cinco de Mayo 

Hamilton, NJ –– Tomorrow is a red-letter day, Cinco de Mayo. New Jersey residents will celebrate Cinco de Mayo, a holiday of heritage and pride, in restaurants, bars, community centers, and in homes with music, dance, food and cultural activities.  However, the Cinco de Mayo holiday period, from 6 p.m. May 4th to 6 a.m. May 6th has emerged as a deadly time on the nation’s roadways and on highways across the state of New Jersey.  

To reduce such deadly episodes and prevent Cinco de Mayo from being a night of danger, designate drivers if you are making a night of it out on the town. If you are hosting a Cinco de Mayo party at home, mix the drinks yourself.  Don’t let guests mix their own drinks. Limit mixing drinks with carbonation, as carbonated beverages increase alcohol absorption. For safety’s sake, don’t have an open bar, and don’t encourage “one more for the road.” Better yet, provide your guests an array of non-alcoholic mixed drinks, such as virgin piña coladas and mojitos, mocktail margaritas, and doppelgänger alcohol-free sangrias, recommends AAA Mid-Atlantic.

“We urge everyone celebrating Cinco de Mayo with alcohol to understand the gravity of their choices and arrange a safe ride home before drinking,” said Sue Madden, spokesperson for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “It’s all about reducing drunk driving crashes. If party hosts serve mocktails, the fun can go on and everyone can be safer.”

“Cinco de Mayo has become a big night out for many, particularly among young adults,” notes the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). “But it is also a very dangerous night out because of alcohol-impaired drivers,” the agency warns. Getting behind the wheel under the influence of alcohol and drugs is a year round danger on New Jersey roads.  According to the New Jersey State Police fatal accident report for 2014, one-third or 31.3% of individuals who were involved, had consumed alcohol to some extent, and 12% of the drivers were reported as considered legally intoxicated.  

Serving as a great host or hostess of a holiday party involves the combination of checking (or hiding) car keys, monitoring your guest’s drinking, and serving some sparkling mocktails, recipes below.

“Fortunately, national Cinco de Mayo holiday period drunk-driving fatalities have decreased slightly from 90 in 2012 (45% of all crash fatalities),” notes NHTSA, “to 65 in 2013 (40% of all crash fatalities), to 33 persons in 2014 (33% of all crash fatalities).”

AAA’s mocktails provide enjoyable alternatives to alcohol-based drinks, plus they give non-drinkers a fun way to feel like they’re a part of the party. For example, AAA’s Great Pretenders party guide features 24 non-alcohol recipes from AAA Diamond-rated establishments. Here are a few fabulous Cinco de Mayo mock drink recipes:

Virgin or Innocent Mojito:

Ingredients:

  1. 2 oz. strawberry mix,
  2. 1 oz. lime juice
  3. 8 oz. club soda
  4. 4-6   mint leaves
  5. 2  lime wedges

Instructions: With a masher, mash the mint leaves, lime juice and lime wedge in the bottom of the glass. Once mashed, add ice and club soda. Pour strawberry mix over the top and serve. Garnish with a lime wedge (Submitted to AAA’s Great Pretenders party guide by Old Burdick’s Bar & Grill, Kalamazoo, MI).

Mocktail Margaritas:

Ingredients:

  1. ¾ ounce Rose’s lime juice,
  2. 1 ounce orange juice,
  3. 1 ounce grapefruit juice,
  4. 3 ounces Margarita mix,
  5. 3 ounces cold brewed tea.

Instructions: Rub lime wedge around rim of Margarita class. Dip rim into salt. Fill with crushed ice. Add remaining ingredients to a cocktail shaker and shake well. Strain into prepared glass. Garnish with lime pinwheel on edge of glass (Submitted Courtright’s, Willow Spring, Illinois).