How Cool People Order a Non-Alcoholic Beverage

In a word, yes.

drink verb \ dringk \
1. take (a liquid) into the mouth and swallow.

You sit down at a restaurant with a group of people, and you’re looking at the menus when the server comes along and says, “Can I start you off with any drinks?”

It’s assumed that drinks means alcoholic drinks, so you respond with a negative statement, such as “No, but I’ll have a vegan salted caramel milkshake.” No-but?

Saying no, when everyone else is saying yes, makes you the odd one out. It contains an air of exclusion and deprivation.

So when you server comes around and asks you if you want a drink, the answer is Yes! You plan to sip some version of a liquid, so you are indeed drinking.

Me: “Yes, I’ll have a seltzer with lime, neat, in a double old fashioned glass.”

That’s my go to drink if the non-alcoholic options are basic. I don’t drink sugar or iced tea because of the sugar, and I don’t order virgin drinks for the same reason.

There is no shame in asking for bubbly water, or whatever it is you drink. Ask for your drink with affirmative language and an air of confidence.

Why should you feel intimidated for deciding NOT to put an addictive and poisonous substance in your body?

Why aren’t non-alcoholic drinks just called drinks?

And why are drinks always assumed to be alcohol drinks?

Think about it.

The definition of drink from the Oxford Dictionary online:

drink verb \ dringk \
1. take (a liquid) into the mouth and swallow.

See? You’re drinking. Everyone is drinking.

Everyone is taking a liquid into the mouth and swallowing. Unless someone has a thing against liquid…Give those weirdos a judgemental stare.😐

Here’s how ordering your non-alcoholic drink sounds.

Server: “Can I get you guys some cocktails or wine?”

You: “Absolutely! I’ll have cranberry juice with seltzer and a splash of lime.”

Saying yes feels good and is life-affirming. You’ve made the decision to imbibe something that is healthy for you, so you have every right to start your drink order with a positive.

I’ve put this technique into practice in situations where all of my friends are drinking and I know it’s going to be difficult to be the only one.

I went with a group of friends to a bar after a movie and my friend John, says, “can I get you anything to drink?”

I replied, “Yes, please! I’ll have a selzter with lime, neat.”

It was fun to say yes and feel included rather than excluded. My friends respected my confident decision and John kept getting me refills. Friends even became curious and asked me with sincere interest if I had quit drinking forever or for a just a little while.

Try it out both ways.

Pay attention to how it feels to say yes. Then, the next time you are faced with the same situation, start your sentence with no. “No, I’m not drinking, but I’ll have a diet coke.” No-but is sure to stand out and create a different sense of yourself in relationship to the group.

How do cool people order a non-alcoholic beverage? In a word, YES.

Stay hydrated, folks.

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Writer, Copyeditor, and ESL Teacher. Lingthusiast and Native NYer. Ich lerne Deutsch.

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