Tips for hosts

If you're serving alcohol or you've asked people to bring alcohol with them, here are some easy tips and ideas to make sure everyone has fun without drinking too much.

When you're having people over for dinner, a BBQ or just to catch up there's a lot to think about. If alcohol's included you're also going to want to think about making sure everyone (including you) has a good time and that no one over indulges and gets hurt or in trouble. The following tips will help you and your guests have a great get together.

Set your expectations in advance

Be clear what you're inviting people over for. Think about who you're inviting and if you know there are some people that are likely to get drunk talk to them in advance and put things in place to keep them safe.

Watch your drinking

If you're hosting, watch your own alcohol intake so that you can continue to have a great time keep an eye on everything.

Plan to do things other than eat and drink

The best bit about social occasions like parties and celebrations is catching up with people and having fun. Plan entertainment or activities to get people up out of their chairs and talking and laughing. But don't mix alcohol with any potentially dangerous activities.

Provide substantial food

Chippies and rice crackers are not a magic sponge and we all know what can happen when people drink on an empty stomach. Whenever you're providing alcohol, provide food that stays in the body longer and takes time to digest like bread, pasta, potatoes, meat and cheese. Make sure there is plenty available and keep passing it around. And remember to have some vege options too. Ask people to bring a plate so you don't have to provide it all yourself. Try to avoid overly salty food that makes people thirstier.

Serve more interesting non-alcoholic drinks

It's surprising how people will really enjoy something like a grapefruit and tonic with a chunk of mint in it for a change.

If you're serving spirits make them singles

Some people count the number of drinks they have and if you serve them doubles they will end up drinking twice as much as they'd planned.

Only refill empty glasses

Wait until your guest's glass is empty before you refill it and ask them if they would like another drink first. If someone says no to a refill, don't insist.

Don't keep serving your guests until they are drunk

If you see someone getting too tiddly, get them to ease off the alcohol and offer them some food or a non-alcoholic cocktail instead. If you need to talk to guests about slowing down, always be discreet and treat them with respect to avoid confrontation.

Don't host your party alone

Ask family members or friends to help keep everything fun and in control.

Push Play

Get out all the old sports gear for a game of backyard cricket, touch, softball or frisbee.

Make cocktails and serve in a punch bowl

No-one really knows how much alcohol you've put in (or left out!).

Appoint a bartender

Have one person serve and, if possible, measure the drinks rather than have a free-for-all. People normally pour themselves larger drinks than they would get in the bar, making it hard to keep check of how much alcohol they've had.

Look after young people around alcohol

Keep an eye on everyone, especially young people around drinks. They're not as bulletproof as they think. Get them involved in planning the get together so they can help plan ways to avoid too much alcohol as well. And remember your children watch your behaviour. They are more likely to do as you do, not as you say.

Supervise the kids

If young children are going to be there make sure there's a responsible adult or older person looking out for them and providing entertainment.

Set an end time

Make a time for the party/BBQ to end and stick to it.

Look after your guests

Don't let them drive home if they have had too much to drink. Ensure they get a taxi or offer them a bed for the night. Don't let people walk home alone.