Watch what you drink
Doctored alcohol a factor in some Mexican resorts
What’s the major reason some travellers choose allinclusive resorts? Though this may sound cynical, my guess is that it’s the unlimited (bottom-shelf) booze that usually is part of the deal.
Overindulging, of course, can get one into trouble where liquor is concerned. But in certain parts of the world, having just two cocktails may be a problem.
I’m talking, much to my dismay, about Mexico.
A slew of vacationers have gotten ill there after imbibing, with a few tragic cases ending in death. The U.S. State Department has just updated its travel advisories page with a warning about in-country alcohol use after two members of a Wisconsin family were found face down in a pool at the Iberostar Paraiso del Mar in Playa del Carmen.
One survived while, tragically, the other died.
But we don’t want to put all the blame on Iberostar.
There have been incidents across Mexico during the past six months, which authorities are blaming on adulterated alcohol (mostly, it’s been overly strong grain alcohols being mixed in with tequila and other liquors).
According to the Associated Press, Mexico’s National Health Authority has seized more than 1.4 million gallons of sub-par alcohol.
Though there’s no scientific tally of where most of the incidents are occurring, anecdotally the biggest problems seem to be at the all-inclusive resorts of Mexico, who may be cutting corners by buying cheaper alcohol.
So what’s the advice if you’re planning a Mexican vacation and want to enjoy a margarita? In most cases, the problems have occurred after two or more drinks, so indulge carefully and slowly.
Drink your first cocktail, and then wait a bit to see if the effect seems overly strong before indulging in another.
Also, keep a close eye on your companions for signs of trouble. If you do start to feel odd, contact medical personnel immediately. Frankly, the safest measure, for now, may be to stick with cerveza (beer) or soft drinks.
Pauline Frommer is the Editorial Director for the Frommer Travel Guides and Frommers.com.
She co-hosts the radio program “The Travel Show” with her father, Arthur Frommer and is the author of the bestselling “Frommer’s EasyGuide to New York City.”
Margaritas may be off the table for your next Mexican vacation.