"This time of year is our busiest time for liquor and wine sales," said Brian Boyer of Glazer Liquor Company, which stocks liquor in a majority of the stores in the Sikeston area.
Those sales come from people hosting or attending parties, as well as those looking for gifts, including something for hosts.
"A bottle of wine is a great gift, whether you drink it or you don't, and with a bottle of champagne, you can't go wrong," said Boyer. "It's just the gesture and the thought that counts -- some people even decorate with it."
One wine that is popular this holiday season at River Ridge Winery in Commerce is the Holiday Rose', said Brigid Farnham, a server there.
The red wine is a catch all -- not too dry and not too sweet. "Most people will enjoy it," said Farnham. Several customers have purchased the wine to serve at their holiday dinners or parties, and it is a popular choice for those giving wine as a gift this holiday season, she said.
Generally, red wines are the biggest seller during the season. "It's served at room temperature," said Farnham. "And with it being colder outside, it warms you up a little bit more than a white wine."
Wine is becoming a more popular drink for all.
"It is becoming a monster and it's gotten bigger and bigger every year," said Boyer. "It's OK to like wine now and you're not a snob if you drink it."
In fact, several beer drinkers now primarily drink wine, he said. And contrary to popular belief, wine isn't that expensive. "A majority of wine consumed in America is $5 to $9 a bottle," said Boyer.
And when choosing a wine, Farnham suggested people go down the middle road. "Stick to something semi-dry, semi-sweet that most people will enjoy," she said.
White zinfandel is a big seller when it comes to wines, said Boyer.
But wine isn't the only big seller when it comes to drinks for the holidays. "The Canadian blended whiskeys are the big items," said Jerry Callis, store manager at Food Giant in Sikeston. He said that, like wine, customers purchase the whiskeys for their own consumption, or to give as gifts. There are some seasonal, specially packaged liquor bottles with glasses, which are also popular, said Callis.
Other big sellers this time of year are drink mixes for daiquiris, margaritas, martinis and other mixtures, said Boyer. "A lot of people buy those," he said. A plus to those mixes, he said, is that someone who doesn't want to drink, such as a designated driver, can mix those with tonic or club soda and have a non-alcoholic cocktail.
Designated drivers should be a priority all the time, especially during New Year's. "Go out and have your fun, but have sober drivers," said Boyer.
Sgt. James McMillen, public information officer at the Sikeston Department of Public Safety, agreed.
"As always, have a designated driver or drink in moderation," he said. "But I would say that if you are going to drink, just don't drive. That way, there's no question about it."
McMillen suggested party hosts try to line up a designated driver, perhaps someone with a larger vehicle or SUV.
McMillen said that officers are always looking for drunk drivers, although the holidays are likely a bit more high profile. "A lot of times on the holidays, we do have more people out looking for that," he said.
Getting arrested for driving under the influence may be the least of a person's concerns, according to a news release from Capt. J. Tim Hull of the Missouri State Highway Patrol.
There are court costs, medical bills or perhaps jail time. If you kill or injure someone, you'll pay a price for the rest of your life," Hull said in a news release. "The highway is no place for a person who has been driving."
The MSHP will have all available officers on the roadways during the New Year's traffic crash counting period, which begins at 6 p.m. Dec. 31 and ends at 11:59 p.m. Jan. 4.
And with advances in tools and training, it's easier for law enforcement officers, especially with DPS, to identify drivers who have drunk more than the legal limit.
"They carry portable breath tests in cars now and make (suspected drunk drivers) blow on the scene," said McMillen. "The officers are a lot more educated and have more tools at their disposal."
SIKESTON -- The holiday season is overflowing with an assortment of tempting treats and beverages. However, for the 81 percent of adults in the United States taking at least one type of medication in a given week, holiday cheers can quickly turn to holiday fears. In fact, in the last 20 years, accidental deaths from mixing prescription medications and alcohol have shot up by more than 3,000 percent to more than 3,700 deaths annually, according to a 2008 study from the Archives of Internal Medicine.
Mixing alcohol with some prescription or over-the-counter medications, as well as some vitamins and herbal supplements, can put an individual at risk for a number of health issues. For example, the interaction of alcohol with allergy medicines and pain killers can impair central nervous system functions, resulting in fatigue, confusion or poor judgment. Mixing alcohol with antidepressants, sleep aids and blood pressure medicines can create blood pressure problems. For those on arthritis medicines, alcohol consumption can sometimes cause liver damage.
What consumers should know before mixing medications and alcohol:
* Alcohol can magnify a medication's side effects: Alcohol can magnify the effects of sedative and narcotic drugs on the brain, making daily tasks challenging and sometimes dangerous.
* Alcohol can increase susceptibility to intoxication: Some drugs slow the body's ability to metabolize alcohol, increasing susceptibility to intoxication.
* Reduces medication effectiveness: Alcohol can cause medications to be less effective, or even useless.
* Take as directed: Medications should be taken only as directed and any adverse effects should be discussed with a pharmacist and/or physician. Alcohol, even in small amounts, may interact with some medications and even worsen some health conditions.
Talk with your pharmacist -- Talk with a pharmacist about all medications you're taking, including prescriptions, over-the-counter drugs, herbal supplements and vitamins, to avoid any negative reactions. If there are issues with any medications, your pharmacist can help you to fully understand the potential side effects and how to properly take your medication.
Source: Medicap Pharmacy