Watch what you drink

Doc­tored al­co­hol a fac­tor in some Mex­i­can re­sorts

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - DESTINATIONS - BY PAULINE FROMMER Pauline Frommer is the Edi­to­rial Direc­tor for the Frommer Travel Guides and From­ 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

What’s the ma­jor rea­son some trav­ellers choose allinclu­sive re­sorts? Though this may sound cyn­i­cal, my guess is that it’s the un­lim­ited (bot­tomshelf) 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.


Mar­gar­i­tas may be off the ta­ble for your next Mex­i­can va­ca­tion.

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