A Reminder about the Dangers of Mixing Energy Drinks and Alcohol

In recent years energy drinks, or flavored beverages which contain stimulants such as caffeine, have become increasingly popular among consumers. In fact, energy drinks such as Red Bull® and Monster® are very popular among teens and young adults in particular. In moderation such beverages may not be unsafe, but overconsumption or mixing energy drinks with alcohol can be very dangerous.

From 2005 to 2009 (the latest year for which figures are available), there was a sharp increase in the number of emergency departments visits associated with the use of non-alcoholic energy drinks – from 1,128 visits in 2005 to 13,114 visits in 2009. Additionally, about 44% of these ER visits involved energy drink consumption combined with the use of other substances such as alcohol, pharmaceuticals or illicit drugs (SAMHSA). More recently stories have surfaced regarding 5 deaths, including that of a 14 year-old California teen, which may be tied to consumption of Monster Energy Drinks, and the FDA is investigating (USA Today).

This news should serve as a reminder to service professionals and consumers alike that it can be a risky behavior to mix caffeinated energy drinks with alcohol. In fact, the FDA has raised concerns that caffeine additives may mask some of the effects consumers typically rely on to determine their level of intoxication. Drinkers who consume alcohol mixed with energy drinks are 3 times more likely to binge drink than drinkers who do not report mixing alcohol with energy drinks (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).

Servers and sellers of alcohol beverages are taking note. If your establishment currently serves energy drinks mixed with alcohol, you may want to consider removing these items from your menu. Additionally, as always guests should be monitored closely for responsible consumption. No one should be over served. Complete your alcohol awareness course with TAM® of Nevada in order to learn more about responsible beverage service and the effects of alcohol on the body.

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© 2012 National Hospitality Institute®, TAM® of Nevada

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Las Vegas Police Issue DUI Citations after Super Bowl Celebrations – A Reminder about Safe Beverage Service

Holidays, special sporting events, and other events which draw crowds looking to gather in a fun and celebratory environment can up the odds that some partiers may choose to drive while intoxicated. Las Vegas Police issued a warning to those planning to celebrate around town on Super Bowl Sunday; if you drink and drive, you will get caught.

After setting up a sobriety checkpoint and reminding people not to drink and drive, there were unfortunately still several incidents around town. On Sunday night there was a six-car crash reported on Rainbow Boulevard which resulted in one fatality, thought to be caused by a drunk driver (8 News Now). In another incident across town, a teenager was hit by a suspected drunk driver while waiting at a bus stop in the early AM hours on Monday (Action News 13). Police took 13 suspected drunken drivers off the road on Sunday evening, but even one drunk driver is too many.

While those consuming alcoholic beverages should be responsible about their alcohol intake, bartenders, and anyone else who serves alcoholic beverages also has a legal and moral responsibility to serve responsibly, and promote an alternative means of getting home if anyone appears intoxicated. For a list of steps service professionals can take to serve responsibly and promote safe beverage service, refer to our blog post, “DUI-Related Traffic Deaths Up This Year in Southern Nevada – Are You Doing All You Can to Help Prevent Drunk Driving?

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© 2012 National Hospitality Institute®, TAM® of Nevada

Heineken Promotes Responsible Drinking with New Ad Campaign

In an effort to help promote responsible alcohol consumption among consumers, beer giant Heineken is kicking off a new ad campaign telling their customers that, “Sunrise belongs to moderate drinkers.” (Bar Business Magazine). Liquor and beer brands have long promoted responsible beverage service, sales and consumption, but this new move from Heineken really highlights the idea of enjoying an alcoholic beverage, having a great time, and being responsible about your health and safety. Heineken’s campaign will be based around drinkers responsibly consuming alcoholic beverages and ending the night enjoying a sunrise.

The campaign will appear in both online and offline advertising, and will feature heavily in Heineken’s social media channels. You can check out Heineken’s Facebook page to see sunrise photos shared by other fans, and contribute your own. And remember, TAM® of Nevada is also on Facebook, connect with us socially to join the conversation about TAM training and responsible beverage service and sales, plus stay up-to-date on news, events, TAM® tips and more.

Have you seen Heineken’s newest ad campaign? Do you think it will help to promote responsible drinking?

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Heineken Launches “Sunrise” Campaign for Responsible Drinking

© 2011 National Hospitality Institute®, TAM® of Nevada

Tending Bar… With a Little Flair!

Flair bartenderLearn a new bartending skill and stand out from the pack.

There are a lot of things that go into a great bartender: a winning personality, an attention to detail, and a dedication to public safety, and the legal and moral issues of serving alcoholic beverages. Think you might be right for the job? To get a leg up on the competition, being able to entertain patrons with flair bartending techniques can be the cherry on top. And the best part? A flair bartender can do pretty well for themselves, especially if they can entertain while serving. A flair bartender will draw in more customers, making more money for the bar, and themselves.

Flair bartenders are known for using bar tools and liquor bottles as props to entertain while they are mixing drinks. It can be quite a sight to see someone juggling liquor bottles, mixing drinks behind their backs, carefully setting fire to mixed drinks, and more. Las Vegas is home to some of the best flair bartenders in the country, and boasts several bars and clubs that showcase their talents. If you’re considering a career as a flair bartender, Las Vegas is the place to be. Make sure to check out Vegas.com’s article, “Behind the Scenes: Flair Bartending in Vegas,” for a video interview with Rock & Rita’s flair bartender Anthony Pullen.

So you’re ready to become a flair bartender? TAM® of Nevada has some tips on how you can get started:

  1. Get educated on bartending techniques. Flair bartending requires a solid working knowledge of bartending skills, plus lots of practice, practice, practice! Before you start juggling liquor bottles, it’s important to learn how to mix drinks, and build up your bartending know-how of tips and techniques. It won’t matter how well you can entertain if you don’t know how to make a martini. Consider attending a bartending school if you haven’t already, there are several reputable establishments in Southern Nevada. Some of these locations also offer flair training, so be sure to ask for details of what their programs offer when you’re checking credentials. You can also get lots of practical education tending a bar and learning the ropes from other traditional, and flair bartenders.
  2. Obtain your TAM® Card. All hospitality professionals in Southern Nevada are required to obtain their alcohol education card prior to working at a location where they’ll be selling and serving alcoholic beverages. The Techniques of Alcohol Management® will give you the skills and knowledge you need to serve responsibly.
  3. Practice makes perfect. Every day at work you’ll have the chance to handle bottles and shakers, so practice spinning shakers in your hand and doing simple tricks when you have some downtime. Starting with the basics and working your way up to more difficult tricks, you’ll begin to feel comfortable with your props and impress your guests at the same time. You can also watch plenty of flair training videos online for tips and tricks to learning basic flair bartending moves. A great resource is TAM of Nevada’s YouTube channel; we’re always adding our favorite flair bartending videos and tutorials. Another tip? Try practicing at home with plastic bottles until you get the hang of things – you will inevitably drop some bottles, and nothing will put a damper on your day faster than a mess of shattered glass to clean up.

Flair bartending is not a skill one will learn easily or overnight, but it can be done! For more information on flair bartending news, training and industry information, and a place to network with other bar professionals, you can always check out the Flair Bartenders’ Association.

Our most important advice of all of all? Remember to have fun! What is the best advice you would give to someone looking to start a career as a flair bartender?

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© 2011 National Hospitality Institute®, TAM® of Nevada