Whether you like it or not, there’s a huge difference between drinking at college parties and drinking at formal events. At these types of get-togethers, it’s usually not considered “cool” to get hammered. While that might disappoint you, that doesn’t mean you have to abstain from drinking altogether.
Drinking at restaruants, bars, and dinner parties call for a set of different drinking manners. If you want to appear composed at an outing with friends, family, coworkers, or complete strangers, keep these social drinking rules in mind.
1. Don’t Chug Your Drink
This isn’t a college drinking competition—you won’t get praised for downing five beers in one minute. As much as you might enjoy alcohol, you should avoid plowing through drinks. Not only does this get you too drunk too fast, but it’s also a sign that you need to grow up and get out of your college phase. Instead, try to keep the same drinking pace as the people around you.
2. Avoid Food/Lipstick Marks on Your Glass
Sometimes, a stain on your glass is unavoidable. You might unknowingly have food smudged on your lips before you take a sip of wine. This results in a messy-looking glass that you’re too embarrassed to clean off in front of everyone. To completely avoid this situation, always dab your lips with a napkin before you take a swig.
If you plan on wearing lipstick during your night out, I’d advise against it. Unless you’re wearing long-lasting lip stain, lipstick will always leave sloppy smudge marks all over your glass.
3. Avoid Hard Liquor With Meals
When you’re at a casual outing, it doesn’t really matter what kind of drink you have with your meal. However, a formal event calls for a more “proper” way of drinking.
Dinners with seafood, pasta, and salad are typically accompanied by white wine, while red wine gets served with red meats. When all the meals have been served, then you can start having your favorite spirit and dessert wine.
4. Chew First, Then Sip
Never drink with your mouth full. Your wine and steak combo may taste delicious, but you should keep this habit inside the comfort of your home. Make sure you fully chew and swallow your food before you pick up your drink.
5. Consume Garnish the Right Way
While some might say you shouldn’t eat the garnish on your drink at all, it’s actually okay to do—you just have to eat it the right way.
If the garnish is dunked far inside your drink, don’t eat it right away. Wait until you’ve consumed most of your drink before going for that garnish. Otherwise, you’ll have to dip your fingers inside your drink, which obviously isn’t very pleasant or polite. If the garnish is on a toothpick, you can eat it at any time as long as you aren’t sticking your fingers in your drink.
As for lemon or lime wedges, you have to decide for yourself. Citrus slices are notorious for not getting properly washed at restaurants and bars.
6. Hold Your Wine Glass Correctly
Yes, there’s a “right” way to hold your wine glass. You’re probably accustomed to holding your glass on the bowl portion, but that’s all wrong. You should hold your wine glass at the base of the stem (like in the photo above), and in between your thumb and pointer finger.
Surprisingly enough, there’s a reason behind holding your wine glass at the stem. Holding your wine glass at the bowl actually heats up your wine and leaves nasty fingerprints.
7. Refrain From Chewing Ice
After you finish your mixed drink, you might feel tempted to munch on those extra ice cubes. Try your best to refrain from this habit when you’re out.
8. Don’t Overdo It
The most important rule of social drinking is not to overdo it. You don’t want to drink more than you can handle, especially when you’re at a formal event or fancy dinner party. Getting too drunk will likely result in embarrassment, and won’t make you a very fun person to hang around. That said, don’t feel pressured into excessive drinking.
Stay Classy While Drinking
While you don’t have to follow all of these social drinking rules, they’re good to know. Just keep in mind that there are still cases where you’ll want to strictly follow all of these drinking manners.
An office party or a dinner with your boss are examples of outings that require proper drinking manners. But what about etiquette when you’re in the office? These workplace etiquette tips will help you stay polite at work.