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It's often a good sign when you sit down at a bar to be greeted by the bartender with a glass of water. We don't drink alcohol to quench our thirst—it's a full-sensory experience—so a glass of water not only satisfies the need for hydration, it also balances the social ritual allowing you to extend the enjoyment of your selected beverage. It sounds like an over-the-top description of simply drinking a glass of water—which it is—but we think every great drink deserves this "sidekick" and we can't over emphasize the importance of drinking water while you drink booze. Whether you ordered the expensive and obscure signature cocktail from the seasonal menu at your favorite bar or you are happily sipping beer at home, water should always be within reach. We don't often feature this unsung hero in photographs, but it is the most important beverage you can drink and serve, especially on certain annual occasions.

It's generally accepted if not a proven scientific fact that drinking alcohol dehydrates you. It's also commonly understood that a lack of water in your system can lead to headaches (and subsequently, hangovers the next day). Drinking water not only slows down your alcohol consumption, but it satisfies the growing need to quench your thirst over the course of an evening. We could dig around the internet and cite studies, but this is just common sense. For every alchololic beverage consumed, drink at least one glass of water with it.

You may find it harder to keep pace with someone bent on gulping one cocktail right after another, but you will feel better for it! Drinking socially involves conversation, pauses, sipping, more talking, and more sips (you get the idea). All we are saying is that you should let some of those sips be water. Sure, you get some water through melted ice, but it's probably not enough. And what if you are drinking wine or beer?

If you happen to be hosting a festive evening with guests tonight, we hope you have a wonderful time following recipes from Summit Sips, but be sure to serve plenty of water to your guests. Don't be afraid to pour someone a glass of water while they decide what else to drink. In our experience, a glass of water is rarely ignored. If you cannot serve water directly, or glassware is at a premium at your party, pick up a case of bottled water and let guests serve themselves. If you are attending an event this evening, be safe, drink plenty of water, and have a happy new year!

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