AAA party guide features recipes and tips for parties

In the middle of the holiday entertaining season, AAA comes to the rescue of holiday hostesses with a new edition of its annual “Great Pretenders Party Guide.”

In addition to 24 fabulous non-alcoholic recipes from AAA Diamond-rated establishments, the guide contains tips for entertaining and suggestions for en-suring that guests arrive home safely after partying.

Among the hotels and restaurants featured in the guide are The Ritz-Carlton Dearborn, The Saltwater Restaurant at the MGM Grand Detroit, The Grand Ho-tel on Mackinac Island, and The 1913 Room in the Amway Grand Hotel in Grand Rapids.

Others include Chicago’s Sixteen (the Trump Tower’s Signature Restaurant), The Conrad and the Westin River North.

The editors suggest party hosts assign a bar-tender to serve alcoholic drinks instead of letting guests prepare their own to help keep track of and the size and number of beverages consumed.

When preparing punch, the editors recommend using a non-carbonated base, like fruit juice, because alcohol is absorbed into the blood stream faster with a carbonated base.

And the best foods to serve, according to the guide, are high protein cheeses and meats, because protein stays in the stomach longer, thus slowing al-cohol absorption.

The guide can be downloaded by visiting www.AAA.com/pretenders. It is not available at AAA offices this year.

Here are a few of the easiest and most intriguing “mocktail” recipes for starters:

TENDERBERRY
International Hotel
Rochester, Minn.

6 strawberries
3 ½ ounces thick cream
1 ounce grenadine
3 ½ ounces ginger ale
1 scoop crushed ice

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Pour into a glass and decorate with strawber-ries.

NOHITO
The Conrad Chicago

4-6 mint leaves
¾ ounces fresh lime juice
2 ounces white cranberry juice
2 ounces apple juice
½ cup crushed ice
2 ounces club soda

Combine and crush mint leaves and lime juice. Add remaining ingredients, except club soda. Transfer into a cocktail shaker. Add crushed ice and shake vigor-ously 6 to 8 times. Pour into a tall glass. Top off with club soda. Garnish with a mint leaf and lime slice or wedge.

MOCKTAIL MARGARITA
Courtright’s
Willow Springs, Ill.

¾ ounce Rose’s lime juice
Salt
Crushed ice
1 ounce orange juice
1 ounce grapefruit juice
3 ounces Margarita mix
3 ounces cold brewed tea

Rub lime wedge around rim of Margarita glass. Dip rim into salt. Fill with crushed ice. Add remaining in-gredients to a cocktail shaker and shake well. Strain into prepared glass. Garnish with lime pinwheel on edge of glass.

DREAMSICLE
The Ritz-Carlton Dearborn

4 ounces orange sherbet
2 ounces pineapple juice
1 ounce coconut cream
½ cup crushed ice

Blend ingredients in a blender and garnish with a pineapple chunk and a cherry.

POMEGRANATE COOLER
Saltwater Restaurant,
MGM Grand Detroit

½ cup crushed ice
1 ounce pomegranate juice
¾ ounce fresh lime juice
¼ ounce simple syrup or corn syrup
2 ounces ginger ale
1 ounce tonic water

In a cocktail shaker, pour ingredients over ice. Stir lightly. Pour into a highball or Collins glass. Garnish with a lime twist.

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