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11.09.2000: Etiquette Schmetiquette
common-sense manners
for real-world living
1 2 3

Miss Manners is for prisses. Etiquette Schmetiquette is back for it’s second installment, dishing all-new, down-to-earth advice on common-sense etiquette for quasi-adult quandaries. This week: booze-free parties and kid-free weddings.

Liquor-less parties...
I'm twenty and in college. Having just moved into my own apartment, I'm thinking about throwing a party sometime in the near future. However, I am NOT comfortable serving alcohol (even if I could purchase it legally). I've always felt that people can spend their own money on liquor, but I'm not going to endorse their drinking. Most people my age just don't have the self-control that, say, my parents or grandparents exert when it comes to alcohol. Is it rude not to supply some sort of alcoholic beverage to guests? I'm asking for future reference, since my twenty-first birthday is coming up (and thus my excuse for a lack of liquor will disappear).

A wary host.

A: It’s your party and you can serve what you want to – so I see no reason why you should feel rude for offering an array of non-alcoholic tasty beverages in place of the standard beer, wine and liquor. Anyone who thinks otherwise needs to get out of that freshman mentality that says that how much fun you have is directly proportionate to how much liquor you’ve had. While I personally quite enjoy the occasional harmless night of drinking and debauchery, the fact is that some of the craziest, most memorable nights of my life have taken place sans liquid stimulus. And anyway, no one expects to find hot dogs at a barbecue hosted by a vegetarian, so why assume that a non-drinking host should provide tequila and microbrews? 

Offer up some exotic fruit nectars (I’m a big fan of Kern’s All-Nectar Mango, in particular), fill a cooler with some gourmet sodas, whip up some frosty smoothies, make up a big batch of punch, fresh sparkling lemonade, hot cider for the winter months – frankly, as long as you, the hostess, have gone to the trouble of presenting something more

 exciting than water or milk to drink, guests will be so impressed by your efforts that, unless they’re truly lushes, they’ll find no cause for complaint.

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