One of the problems with being sober at a party is that when you are thirsty there is nothing for you to drink. Beverages surround you, but you can’t drink any of them. It’s like the universe is playing a cruel joke on you—like holding a Reese’s peanut butter cup over a little kid’s head and yanking it away right before they grab it.
Over the years, I have learned to either BYOB something I can drink or play survival of the fittest and drink the chasers. People really don’t like you to drink the chaser because they never remember to buy enough for themselves. I swear, every time I go to a party they are like, “Well, we bought three handles, but only one liter of soda…”
The chaser is always the after thought. I feel like people are more likely to give you a shot, which is significantly more expensive than a chaser, than they are to offer you just the chaser.
I do have some friends that will purposefully set aside chaser for me, or let me have some before they mix in booze. It is a very nice gesture that is greatly appreciated.
Since I have to fend for myself, I’ve brought some pretty weird things out with me to drink. The following is a compilation of all of the things I’ve brought to parties in order to “drink” with everyone else:
• Water: I will either find myself a cup from people’s cupboards and fill it in the sink, or I will just bring a water bottle out with me. This tends to really confuse people because they are afraid that you are chugging vodka. Sometimes, if they don’t know me very well, they will ask for some, and it gets weird because I have to say, “No really, it’s water. I’m sober.” Which they often don’t believe, and are offended.
• Diet Coke: I love diet coke. I have a problem. I know it will kill me, but I’ve come to terms with it.
• Red Bull: This will also probably kill me, but at least I can keep up with people when I drink it. Although, I would not suggest drinking 36 oz. of red bull in 30 minutes because you will not sleep. You will lay in bed, be really annoyed at the clock that is ticking really loud, and text all your phone contacts at 5AM telling them to “wake up and be your friend.”
• Tea: I always feel, dare I say, hipster when I bring tea with me to places. “Hey, I’m just casually sitting here enjoying this herbal infusion of Organic Dandelion root, Japanese Honeysuckle, and Indian Sarsaparilla and pondering life’s great questions.” I’m not hating on tea, because I love tea. It’s just a little mellow for going out.
o Kumbucha: This is fermented tea. Good for incognito non-drinkers because it smells like wine and it tastes kind of funky and vinegary. I have a love-hate relationship with Kumbucha. It’s weird but in that “I want to stop drinking it but I can’t” kind of way.
• Coffee: This confuses people because they associate coffee cups with morning time. I like bringing out coffee. It’s delicious, keeps me awake, and I don’t drink it fast so it lasts quite awhile.
• Juice: Juice is great, but people might take it and use it as chaser. So be careful and watch it like a hawk.
• Slurpees and milkshakes: Both normally purchased when friends are getting drunchies. It’s drinkable dessert, and I love sugar. You cannot go wrong with these. Also it is harder for people to steal them for their own beverages.
My friends will sometimes have some sort of event with a specialty drink. For these events, I have my own alternatives that look similar but don’t make me want to cry the next day.
I normally opt for sparkling grape juice on wine nights. Everyone drank this when they were 12 and it was just as delicious then as it is now. Also, virgin margaritas and other virgin drinks are underrated—it’s just like a Slurpee but more fancy and also quite delicious. I even like a Virgin Bloody Mary at Sunday brunch. Who knew that tomato juice and spices could taste so great? They serve it with pickled vegetables, my personal favorite are dilly beans—if you haven’t tried them you are missing out.
So at your next social event, make sure to reserve a glass of chaser for your sober friend. They will love you forever.