When you’re throwing a party, be sure to offer lots of non alcoholic drink options for your guests. Create a special mocktail for the occasion or set up a special alochol-free “wine” and “beer” themed bar for nondrinkers.
Are you hosting a party for New Year’s Eve?
Treat the designated drivers at your party like VIPs by setting up a special bar filled with festive and fancy non alcoholic drinks and mocktails.
After all, designated drivers are the real life of the party!
Instead of the standard water and soda, I like to offer an assortment of non alcoholic drinks that are just as fun and festive as the beer, wine and cocktails I’m serving my other guests.
It’s such an easy thing to do, and it shows the designated drivers you value their decision not to drink so other guests can stay safe.
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You’ll find a good selection at your grocery store and even at big box stores and convenience stores. World Market is another great place to shop for fancy sodas.
I also like to shop at specialty grocery stores because they stock lots of different types of sodas and juices in interesting bottles. You’ll usually find these drinks, sold in singles, in the store’s cooler or deli area.
For my designated driver bar, I look for beverages that have beer or wine in their name, like Cheerwine, which is made here in North Carolina.
Or I search for drinks that look like fun, fruity cocktails, like mimosas or cosmopolitans. At Walmart, I found some sangria, bellini and strawberry daiquiri non alcoholic drinks that will be perfect for my holiday get-togethers.
I also pay attention to the bottles. I’m looking for pretty, curvy and interesting!
At my local specialty grocery store, I found a water bottle shaped like a flask. How cool is that?
On the day of your party, putting together your designated driver bar is easy.
Use a tray and gather all the beverages together, along with an ice bucket, cocktail napkins, an assortment of glasses and a bottle opener. Be sure to include some extras like orange and lemon wedges, cocktail picks and stirrers.
If space is tight, don’t worry. You can set your bar up on the kitchen counter or on a piece of furniture. A sideboard or a coffee table is a great choice!
Instead of a tray, you can also turn a metal box or suitcase into a cooler.
Line with plastic, fill with ice and nestle bottles inside. Just be sure to protect your furniture from water spots by placing something under the cooler.
I think it’s important to designate this bar space for designated drivers. So I made a sign with a quote about designated drivers: “A designated driver helps you party another day.” How true!
You can find the free, printable download by clicking here or on the image above.
I also made special glass charms for the designated drivers! I just added some metal letter charms to some tinsel and twisted them around the stems of the glass.
“DD” is short for “designated driver”, of course!
Setting up a special drinks station for designated drivers isn’t just good manners, it’s also good sense. Depending on which state you live in, you could be held legally responsible if someone who was drinking at your party is involved in a car crash or if you serve alcohol to someone under age.
With a setup like this, all your guests might choose the booze-free bar.
You may also want to offer a few mix-your-own mocktails to your lineup of non alcoholic drinks.
A version of this post first appeared on the ForRent.com blog.