The Best (and Cheapest) Way to Keep Track of Drinks at a Cocktail Party

published May 17, 2017
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(Image credit: Leela Cyd)

Whenever my mom sets up for a party, she always leaves a Sharpie marker next to a stack of plastic cups and the ice bucket. “This way, people can write their names on their cups,” she’d tell me when I was a kid, as if I hadn’t seen her do it a million times. Or as if she didn’t make me and my brother put our names on our cups even when we weren’t entertaining.

I used to hate it! Mostly because I thought it looked kinda cheesy. (But also because my handwriting was terrible and it almost always looked like I was drinking out of Hisa’s cup. What? Fancy Ls are hard!)

Now I totally understand the need for a drink marker system, but I’ve found a better way.

(Image credit: Sunnylife)

Drink Markers Are Good…

I like to use real wine glasses or cocktail glasses whenever possible. And I don’t exactly want to take a Sharpie to my stemless wine glasses. (Although, yes, I know they make special glass paint pens.) I have these cute silicone pineapples that come in six different colors and slide onto the rim of the glass. I use them when I have small gatherings, but there are only six in a set. And, believe it or not, I have more than six friends!

3 Drink Markers That Make Us Smile

(Image credit: Lisa Freedman)

But, This Trick Is Better

Sure, I could get another set or two for bigger events, but then I’m spending all this money on drink markers when I could be spending it on a bottle of wine.

My solution? It’s inspired by my mom: I leave a marker and some rolls of washi tape at the drinks station. This way, people can rip off an inch or two of tape, write their name on it, and slap it on their glass. The tape looks pretty and it’s very clear whose glass is whose. (Unless other people are still having trouble writing out their Ls!) And the tape pulls off at the end of the night without leaving a sticky residue.

3 Good Sources for Washi Tape

How do you keep track of peoples’ cups during a party? Drink marker charms: Yay or nay?