Making your non-drinking guests feel special at your work party

At Club Soda we love a party, especially when it is thrown by friends to celebrate, share important news or bring people together for the hell of it.

You always put in so much effort. Nice food, great playlist, inspiring speeches, great wine, quality beer … a carton of cheap orange juice, water … ah!

We really don’t want to be a party pooper. But if you’re not drinking then the choices are often a bit of a let down.

The good news is that Club Soda can help you fix that.

Here is our handy guide to extending the fun and love at your party to everyone, regardless of what they are drinking. Here are our 5 top tips.

  1. Make sure you have as much choice in the soft drinks as alcoholic ones

Serving beer, wine and champagne? Then find three equally nice choices for your non-drinking guests. Here are some ideas:

Wine – why not try making up some nice jugs of posh cordial with chilled water. We like this Jasmine Tea cordial from Waitrose and a nettle cordial has a hint of Sauvignon about it. Or you could try a de-alcoholised wine.

Serving beer – stock some of the nice German low alcohol or no-alcohol ones as well You can see some of our suggestions and expert reviews here, Erdinger Alkohfrei is easy to get hold of – and our member Darren thinks it is great.

Personally I prefer soft brews, Alfresco drinks are in Sainsbury’s and their lemon, apple and elderflower and lime have a hoppy taste and only 36 calories.

If you are serving bubbles then make sure your soft drink is just as luxurious. Belvoir do lots of lovely elderflower drinks. We like it topped up with fizzy water for sparkle.  Hackney company Square Root do posh and seasonal soft drinks by the individual bottle so people can pick their own tipple. And of course there is the Carl Jung de-alcoholised fizz.

Mixing cocktails? Then the best mixologist, Tony Conigliaro, does a mean apple mojito.

And if your winter or Christmas party demands mulled wine, then try Bottlegreens Spiced Berry, or pop into Holland and Barrett for some Rochester Mulled Berry Punch which can be heated and dressed with the normal bits and pieces.

  1. Be proud and dress to impress

This drink is as important as the wine, beer or cocktail. Let it do the job.

  • Add it to your invite. It may tip the balance for someone you would love to come if they see they have something more than a glass of water to nurse for the whole the evening
  • Let it be seen alongside all the other drink choices (it’s hard to pick something you can’t see!)
  • Dress it and chill it – ice, a twist of lime, and an appropriate glass make all the difference.
  1. Water is for everyone

Fizzy or still, it is not just a non-alcoholic drink option, it is rehydration for everyone.

  1.  Talking to your venue or caterer

Remember, it’s your party. Give them enough notice and they can get anything you want. Don’t let them fob you off with what they do already, or just something cheap and nasty. If you don’t think what they have suggested is good enough for your guests, then be demanding. Feel free to point them here for some ideas.

  1.  Making a soft drink an acceptable choice

Choosing not to have a boozy drink is not a rebuff of your hospitality. In fact it is a real testament to the importance of this event to your guest. They came along to your event with the normal expectation that there would be little or nothing for them to drink. They came to see you.

Instead of asking them why they are not drinking, or feeling they are being neglected without your wine or beer, your time will be much better spent talking about all those mutual interests that bring you to this shindig in the first place.

If you are organising a business event, by taking this approach as a company, you make it easier for your colleagues to make their own choices at the event too. And if your guests are also your customers, you wouldn’t want some of them to feel less valued?

Club Soda can help

Got a drinks do coming up? Then let Club Soda help you pair your non-alcoholic drinks for you. We will find the perfect soft drink to wow your guests and give you use of our signature party drink.

Laura Willoughby

Laura Willoughby MBE is founder of Club Soda and is on the City of London Angel Academe mentoring scheme for small businesses. Club Soda helps you change your drinking whether you want to cut down, stop for a bit quit or stick. They run socials, workshops and an online service to help individuals and an innovative workplace scheme to help employees change the culture of drinking in their company.