7 Ways to Be a More Hospitable Host to Non-Drinkers

updated Jun 8, 2019
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You’ve planned a wonderful party. You’ve picked out the right music (Daft Punk’s Pandora station), you’ve settled on the perfect bites to serve (finger foods all the way!), and handpicked the perfect cocktails to pour.

But to really nail the shindig, it’d be wise to account for those who don’t plan on drinking. Maybe some guests are pregnant, in recovery, or designated drivers, or maybe they have health or personal reasons — regardless, it doesn’t mean they have to miss out on the fun of your boozy bash. You want to make them feel just as comfortable as your guests who are planning on throwing a few back.

Here are our favorite ways to make people refraining from alcohol feel completely at home and comfortable.

1. Let everyone spike his or her own drink.

Set out a punch bowl or beverage dispenser filled with a non-alcoholic beverage like punch, lemonade, or iced tea. Then leave a few bottles of alcohol nearby and let guests add a nip to taste. Not only will the drinkers be able to control their own alcohol intake, but no one will be able to tell who is drinking and who isn’t, which eliminates any pressure/awkwardness some people may feel.

Get a Recipe

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2. Embrace the mocktail.

Mocktails are a cheeky word for virgin cocktails. By having these faux mixed drinks readily available, you’re letting your non-drinker friends still have something delicious. We’re big fans of Julia Child’s fave non-alcoholic drink, the Angosoda, but the only limit here is your imagination.

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3. Make sure your drink garnishes are on-point.

Fresh-cut lemon and lime wedges, mint leaves, ginger pieces, berries, cucumber slices, and basil leaves are just a few things that can elevate a seltzer, iced tea, or lemonade to new heights.

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4. Stock up on attractive non-alcoholic beverages.

Ginger beers, fancy seltzers, Italian sodas, and sparkling waters are all fabulous options to provide. LaCroix sparkling waters are particular cult favorites, and while they make interesting mixers for the drinking crowd, they’re also a treat for the non-drinkers in attendance too.

Read more: Good for Warm Weather: Sparkling Sodas

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5. Make a non-alcoholic version too.

If you’re planning on making a pitcher of sangria, whip up a virgin batch too. Make sure the beverage is clearly labeled so non-drinkers know you’ve got their back. They’ll definitely appreciate the gesture.

Get the recipe: Non-Alcoholic Sangria

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6. Have a bangin’ coffee bar.

Why should Bloody Mary bars have all the fun? If you’re having a boozy brunch, consider adding a (cold or hot) coffee bar. Flavored simple syrups and whipped cream will take your coffee bar from “meh” to “wowzers!”

More on Coffee for a Crowd

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7. Get healthy with an array of fizzy kombuchas.

Set out some bottles of kombucha, an effervescent, tart fermented tea. Kombuchas are packed with probiotics, which means they are good for digestion (and who doesn’t overeat at parties?). They’re also fizzy and refreshing. Make your own or look for fun flavors — like ginger lemon, hibiscus, and chai — at the store. Poured into a tumbler or highball glass, it will absolutely look like a cocktail.

How do you include non-drinkers during a party? Tell us in the comments!