It’s not uncommon to have one of those nights where you’d like to stay in but you want to spend time with your buddies and maybe watch a game or just get together and bs for a while. Right? Going out to a bar requires cleaning up, looking your best, and maybe putting on some nice clothes that don’t smell like old gym socks. But it’s also a lot of work to go out and on top of that, it’s expensive. Going to a bar means paying so much per drink, tipping your bartender or server, possibly buying food, and feeling your wallet get lighter as the night goes by. That’s why staying home can be a great alternative, but just like the bar, there is a bit of etiquette to your drinking game that needs to be recognized, whether you’re hosting or if you’re headed over to another friend’s home. In fact, the latter option REALLY needs to be recognized when it comes to etiquette.
Most of us feel right at home at a friend’s house since, well, they’re friends or a friend of a friend. The point is we feel welcome and so long as we know the rules of the house and get along with the host there are rarely any issues, yeah? But that’s the point, there ARE rules to be followed since when you’re in someone else’s house it’s important to follow their guidelines, and this still applies when everyone has a few shots or drink in them. A few guidelines you might want to remember are:
- Most importantly, you are in SOMEONE ELSE’S home. It doesn’t matter if it’s a pig pen or the Taj Mahal, you need to respect them and their home in every way. That means upon getting a little tipsy or full-blown drunk one needs to recall where they’re at, since insulting a person’s home means you’re insulting the person, and very few, if any, individuals are bound to let this go.
- Drink responsibly, but don’t be rude. If a host offers you a drink or, better yet, tells you to help yourself, don’t brush them off and don’t over-indulge either. There’s a fine line to be tread when reaching into someone else’s fridge, and if you do feel the need to refuse, calmly explain your situation and don’t get offended if the host decides to rib you a little for being teetoal (sober sister, designated driver, or you just don’t drink for the sake of this article). Many hosts will graciously accept that you aren’t going to partake and will have other options that you can enjoy. Hey, not everyone is a drunken idiot waiting to get smashed.
- Don’t comment on the type of alcohol they have at their home. If someone has Monarch products because that’s all they can afford, either drink it and shut up, mix it with something and shut up, or just plain shut up and don’t drink it. It’s not only impolite to comment on their choice of liquor, beer, or even wine, but it also makes you look like a snob. If you don’t like what they’re offering, either make up an excuse that can go along with the point above or stay quiet. A good host won’t pressure you to drink, but don’t feel that this gives you the ability to shame them for their choice of beverage.
- If you do get drunk, do not mess up their house. Do you hear that one? I’ll repeat, DO NOT MESS UP THEIR HOUSE. This means don’t break anything , don’t fall over anything, and definitely don’t pee on the floor of their bathroom because you thought the toilet was three feet to the left instead of right in front of you (long story, horrible mess). The point is, if you feel yourself getting tipsy, either find a secure place to lean against, or sit your drunk, hopefully happy ass down.
- If you really want to go the extra mile, ask the host if there’s anything you can bring. Even if they say no, they’re okay, the gesture is usually appreciated since it means that you’re willing to contribute to the evening. It’s not expected, but it definitely raises their estimation of you a little bit. Plus, if they say yes, you might be able to turn them on to a different type of alcohol they didn’t know about before. Now THAT’S being a good friend, kind of.
How to be a good host
Just as important as being a good guest is the responsibility of being a good host, since no one is going to want to come over if your place reeks, has pizza boxes and fast food containers all over the place. Hey, I get it, if you live alone in a boxy little apartment that’s no good for partying then you might want to think about going to a friend’s house to hang out. But if you’ve got the room and the opportunity to have a few friends over, then you’ll definitely need to scrub a few things down and make sure that your home is inviting enough to sit in for several hours at a time. There are a few key things you’ll want to think about for hosting a party with alcohol though.
- You’re welcome people into YOUR home, so don’t be afraid to lay down a few ground rules and let people know what’s okay and what’s not. So long as you’re not a dictator then people will want to stick around. And if someone you know through another friend sticks their hand in your fridge for a beer, let it slide. It’s supposed to be fun, and most guests do know better than to trash your home. There might be one or two people out there that you might have to talk to about keeping your home in one piece, but be calm about it, and if someone gets too drunk and unruly, well, we’ll get there.
- As the host you can technically drink as much as you want, but the unwritten rules of etiquette tend to say that the host should be one of the more sober people there. You don’t have to abstain from alcohol altogether, but keep in mind that this is your home, and you do need to retain some control of yourself, or at least be able to take that control back when necessary. So pop a few bottles, have a few shots, live a little, but the last thing most people want to see is the host passed out on the couch. That’s a tad bit awkward.
- Try to have a variety of alcohol for people and yes, definitely have non-alcoholic options as well since there might be people that enjoy spending time with you and your friends, but don’t want to get sauced. There’s no need to shame people that don’t drink, especially if they’re friends or even friends of friends. Being a good host means trying to accommodate everyone as much as possible, though you don’t need to break the bank to do it since obviously alcohol is pretty spendy. If you really want to go that extra mile, try asking what people enjoy if there’s time before the party. If it’s a get-together for the evening it might not be possible, but for a planned party it’s definitely something to think about.
- If a guest is being a problem or causing trouble then try your best to calm the situation and resolve it without resorting to yelling, violence, or calling the cops. If it can’t be resolved, then make the hard decision and say that someone has to go. You’re the host as well as a friend, which means that sometimes you have to make the hard decisions to keep the party civil and to keep it going. If someone has to leave because they can’t handle themselves, that’s too damned bad…for them.
Drinking etiquette helps everyone to have a good time
It’s not a secret and there’s no real trick to it, just be a gracious, generous host, and if you make your way to someone else’s home, be an attentive and courteous, not to mention respectful guest. One doesn’t need to put on airs and act like high society in either setting, but there are unwritten and often unspoken rules to enjoying a party, and while some folks might get hammered and decide to make things awkward, the best parties are those where people can drink, laugh, and enjoy one another’s company while getting a bit tipsy, but not stupid or confrontational. Just drink, be merry, and all that jazz. Slainte, Kanpai, Prost, and Skal! Live it up and do it right, however that might be.
When drinking alone or with friends, it’s always wise to employ good drinking etiquette, not just so you can enjoy yourself, but so others don’t look at you think that it might be best if you did your drinking elsewhere. If you take nothing else from this article my Radasser’s, just take the idea that knowing how to drink, when to drink, and how much you can drink until it’s time to say enough. Enjoy your spirits, my friends.