The skinny on skinny drinks

In this diet-crazed culture, “skinny drinks” have gained a lot of popularity. Whether it’s a trendy SkinnyGirl® Cocktail or replacing a traditional mixer with its diet counterpart, consumers are on the lookout for ways to enjoy a night out without doing too much damage to their waistlines. While this may be a nice option for the calorie-counters, there can be adverse effects that are worth mentioning.

Reports show that sugar slows the effects of alcohol by about 20%. This means that the more sugar in your alcoholic beverage, the slower your body feels the effects of the alcohol. According to a recent study at Northern Kentucky University, replacing diet soda for regular soda in mixed drinks resulted in faster intoxication. The results were similar to other tests conducted at the University of North Texas. Your night out on the town might be cut short if you aren’t aware of how quickly you are drinking.

Bar owners need to educate bartenders and wait staff of these findings so that they can be on the alert for those drinking diet soda and sugar-substitute mixed drinks, as these consumers will reach the legal limit more quickly. This is especially true for female customers who already have a lower body weight and tend to eat less while socializing than their male counterparts. Educating servers on issues like this can reduce liability immensely. Your servers may even pass on this nugget of information to customers or encourage consumption of food with these types of mixed drinks to slow absorption of alcohol into the bloodstream.

There is nothing wrong with wanting to have your cake and eat too. Alright, bad analogy, considering the topic, but you get my point. Just like indulging in a decadent dessert, moderation is key. Your bartenders are not responsible for ensuring customers see through their New Year’s Diet Resolutions, but they are responsible for monitoring intoxication on the premises. A little extra attention can go a long way toward keeping your business out of trouble.