Drinking culture is a huge part of college and something that everyone knows of yet not many people really talk about, especially if you are someone who doesn’t want to partake. When I was in college I realized that those who did not drink, or just did not feel like it for a night, would choose not to go because of the judgment they felt they would receive for being sober. There is such a stigma around not drinking that it limits social interactions for sober college students.
I personally don’t love drinking, but I do love dancing to loud music and hanging out with my friends. So some nights I would go out and do just that. What I’ve realized is no one really cares, and most importantly you need to just do what feels good for you.
If you are having a sober night, there are some many options for fun non-alcoholic drinks! You don’t have to feel left out. My dad was a bartender when he was younger, and he helped me put together a list of fun drinks to have when you go out that taste good and will put a cool looking drink in your hand. Now as a recent graduate attending networking events I use these tricks too because you want to have fun and still be on your game! Here are the top seven non-alcoholic drinks to order when you’re out:
I hope this is universal, it’s definitely a thing in the Bay Area! If you order a Blue Dolphin at the bar they will give you water in a mixed drinks glass, usually with lime. Perfect even if you just need some hydration!
Named after the cute child star who as a child was going out with adult stars and needed something she could drink. Shirley Temples are sweet and delicious. They’re a mix of ginger ale, a splash of grenadine and a maraschino cherry. You can always ask for it without the cherry if you want it to look more like a mixed drink, or if you don’t like maraschino cherries– like me.
Cranberry Lime Sparkler
This is my dad’s number one recommendation! It’s just a mix of cranberry juice and soda water with a lime wedge. Tastes good and is so refreshing! Every bar has the ingredients to make this drink. Plus it’s cute– which is why he recommended it to me.
Soda Water & Lime
This is just a toned down, no sugar version of a cranberry lime sparkler. I personally love soda water and with a lime wedge in a glass, it looks great too.
Ginger Ale & Bitters
This is my boss’ go-to drink for networking! It tastes good, will keep you sharp, and it looks like a drink. It tastes like ginger ale with an extra kick.
Lemonade with salt on the rim
Who doesn’t love lemonade? This looks like a margarita and tastes delicious. Lemonade with a salt rim is a great non-alcoholic option when you throw a party too! It doesn’t take time to mix or make.
Not every bar has it, but when they do ginger beer is a great option. It comes in a glass bottle like beers do, and is basically ginger ale but stronger ginger taste.
Be safe, hydrate, and remember that everyone is way too focused on what they’re doing to be stressing over what you are drinking.