Clermont County Safe Communities and the Clermont County Office of Public Information presented the fourth annual “Mocktails” event at the county’s medical social services building Dec. 2.
“Mocktails are non-alcoholic beverages that can be served anytime, not just around the holidays,” said Safe Communities Inc. Director Martha Enriquez. “They are a delicious alternative to alcoholic beverages. We hold the event around the holidays to discourage drinking and driving in order to reduce injuries and fatalities, because historically, alcohol-related traffic crashes seem to increase around this time of the year.”
Enriquez said that the goal of the mocktails program, since its inception four years ago, was to present a fun and lighthearted way to address the very serious issue of drinking and driving.
Competing for the top four awards this year were the Clermont County WIC, the OSU Extension, the Clermont County General Health District, the Clermont County Public Library, Rumpke, the Office of Public Information, the Clermont County Mental Health and Recovery Board, the Municipal Court DUI program, Clermont Mercy Hospital, the Clermont Recovery Center, and the Clermont County Educational Service Center.
The panel of five judges chose the Clermont County General Health District with the most creative display award to accompany its Lemon Loo mocktail, and the Mental Health and Recovery Board with the best drinking and driving message award, to accompany its Frozen Pomerita mocktail.
Winning the People's Choice Award was the Mango Tango mocktail, created by the Clermont County Educational Service Center, and voted on by more than 80 people.
The Clermont County Public Library's mocktail, which was creatively named the Dewey Decimator, won the 'Toast of the County' award, the top prize at the event.
Since drunk driving is one of the most frequently committed violent crimes in the the nation, killing someone every 33 minutes, the mocktails event is very important to hold every year, said Clermont County Communications Director Kathy Lehr.
"We wanted to help Safe Communities promote awareness and provide education about drinking and driving," Lehr said. "This event provides ways to serve drinks to guests at parties without contributing to the problem of drinking and driving. Plus, these drinks are fun alternatives to anyone's holiday menu, and they are definitely not boring."
For the mocktail recipes from the competition, visit next month's online edition of the Clermont County On The Move newsletter at www.clermontcountyohio.gov, or contact Safe Communities, Inc.