We’ve all felt the pressure on a night out, whether it’s a swift one at the local or a full session on a Bank Holiday weekend (why do we go so crazy on those precious eight days a year?). The UK obviously has a big drinking culture, albeit a diminishing one, and I’ve known the feeling of seemingly being the one person in a group who just doesn’t fancy consuming too much booze. I can’t drive so I can’t even fall back on the designated driver excuse. At the same time, I want to get involved and try different drinks so sometimes, you’ve gotta rely on cocktails – here’s how to make it work, and why it will work.
There’s a cocktail for everybody
For a lot of non-drinkers I know, the decision to not drink usually comes down to the taste. Don’t give up yet – there is a cocktail for everybody out there! If you want to explore your options, head to a decent bar, tell the mixologist what flavours you enjoy, and they can make you something. That way, you always start the night with a drink you enjoy.
Your units are under the radar
From sight alone, nobody can tell if you’re drink contains three different spirits or is 100% lemonade, and most people don’t really know how much booze is in each different cocktail anyway. If somebody questions why you’re nursing your drink, you can get away with saying ‘don’t you know how strong this is!?’ even if it’s just a white wine spritzer. Bonus points if it’s laden with garnishes or served in a martini glass – those things look deadly serious.
You won’t get caught up on rounds
If you ask for a cocktail amongst several beer drinkers, you can count on being excused from the round – they’re typically just too expensive! That way, you haven’t got to keep up the pace with a whole group of people and your underdrinking will go unnoticed.
Grab yourself a Martini Glass
If in doubt, ask your bartender to make a fruit juice look intense with the right glassware – by this stage, everybody else will be too far gone to notice. If they ask you what you’re drinking, make up a weird cocktail name so obscure that it sounds gnarly – ‘oh this old thing? It’s just a Brooklyn Amur – one of my faves.’
I hope this helps next time you get stuck in this situation – for all your fellow drinkers know, you’ve put away three Aunt Roberta’s and are planning on staying out all night. If nothing else, at least holding a cocktail all night makes you look pretty fancy.