For me, summer is the best season for cocktails. Seasonal organic fruits can star in a variety of creative drinks, including:

But many people think of summer as a “timeout” from normal routines, which means they tend to drink more, says Scott Walters, PhD, an associate professor of public health at The University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston. This contributes to a higher incidence of hangovers, assaults and driving under the influence.

“Our research has suggested that people can reduce the amount of problems they encounter by adopting simple drinking strategies to slow or spread out their drinking,” he says.

Dr. Walters offers the following tips:

  1. Decide ahead of time how many drinks you will have or when you will stop drinking.
  2. Alternate between alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages.
  3. Avoid doing “shots” of liquor.
  4. Drink plenty of water, and put extra ice in your drink.
  5. Don’t mix different types of alcohol.
  6. Drink slowly. Don’t gulp, chug or try to keep pace with others’ drinking. Eat before or during drinking.
  7. Keep track of the number of drinks you consume.