By Kristin Bednarski
More than 200 UC East students were able to taste-test 10 Halloween-themed beverages Oct. 30 during the seventh annual Mocktails event hosted by Clermont County Safe Communities.
All of the Mocktails were created without alcohol, and the event was designed to raise awareness about the dangers of impaired driving.
“The message is you don’t have to drink alcohol to have fun,” Martha Enriquez, Safe Communities coordinator for the Clermont County General Health District, said.
Enriquez said they have hosted the Mocktails event close to Halloween for the past couple of years because it has become a party holiday.
“It is an appealing holiday for young adults,” Enriquez said.
Organizations in the county created an alcohol-free Mocktail for the event.
Mocktails ranged from a pumpkin pie flavored beverage to glow in the dark Jell-O shots and berry flavored beverages and more.
Mocktail creators also kept with the Halloween-theme for their beverages and decorated their booths and named their Mocktails accordingly.
Clermont County Library employees created the “Girl on Fire” Mocktail, which was named after the popular Hunger Games book series. Their Mocktail featured several fruit juices and a fiery look.
“It’s a nice way for all the departments to have a fun competition to raise awareness about a serious issue and spread the message,” Lisa Breithaupt, with the Clermont County Library, said.
Erica O’Neil and Stephanie Young, probation officers with Clermont County Juvenile Court, created Jell-O shots called “Rocket Fuel” for their Mocktail. They also provided information about impaired driving at their booth.
“It’s an interesting idea,” Michelle McCoy, a physical therapy assistant student, said about the event.
McCoy said the event livened students up for Halloween while also providing alcohol free drink recipes.
“There are a couple I got the recipes for,” McCoy said.
Judy Owens and Mandy Agnew, both nursing students, also said they enjoyed the event.
“It’s pretty neat,” Owens said.
Agnew said she is planning on making some of the Mocktails again.
“I think it’s neat that there is not alcohol,” Agnew said. “You can serve them wherever.”
UC East students and other guests had an opportunity to taste each of the Mocktails at the event and then vote for different Mocktails. Three local judges also selected the Toast of the County at the event.
The Toast of the County award went to UC East College of Nursing for their “Arrive Alive Ale.” The Best Mocktail award went to UC College of Nursing for their “Pumkin Pie in a Glass.” The Best Display award went to Clermont County Juvenile Court for their “Rocket Fuel” Jell-O shots. The Best Drinking and Driving Prevention Message went to UC East College of Nursing for their “Arrive Alive Ale.”
Susan Haumesser, who helped judge the Toast of the County, said she felt the event was really great for the community.
“My daughter was killed in 2006 by an under age drunk driver, driving the wrong way on I-275,” Hausmesser said.
She said the event did a great job of reaching out to younger people to spread the message about the dangers of driving impaired.
Enriquez said in 2011 there were nine alcohol-related fatal crashes in Clermont County. She said there were 210 total alcohol-related crashes and 767 driving while impaired cases in the county in 2011.
For more information about impaired driving or Mocktails, visit www.clermonthealthdistrict.org.
“Toast of the County”
UC East College of Nursing
Arrive Alive Ale
48 oz. 7-Up
64 oz Hawaiian Punch Fruit Juicy Red
1/2 cup ReaLemon 100% Lemon Juice
32 oz Canada Dry Club Soda
24 oz orange juice
1 qt. fruit sherbet
Combine all ingredients, stir well and serve. Makes 24 – 26 servings.