The general culture of parties dictates that alcohol is the primary requirement to set “the mood.” However, many party organizers are increasingly moving away from this and instead hosting parties with non-alcoholic beverages. Reasons for this transition vary, whether it’s to cater to teetotaler guests or to be considerate to recovering alcoholics.
Whatever the reasons are, there’s no need to have a boring gathering just because there aren’t any intoxicating substances to lighten up the mood.
Tips for Hosting a Non-Alcoholic Party
Taking away the pressure put by the liquor culture at social events improves the experience for all participants, for both drinkers and teetotalers. Often, outings regard dietary limitations, so non-alcoholics ought to be offered similar treatment. There are several beverage providers for non-alcoholic drinks in Australia, so make sure to do the much-needed homework.
Plan everything thoroughly beforehand and have the food and drinks menus sorted as well as the theme if there is one, down to the guests that’ll be present. Ask everyone to RSVP if it’s possible so that the host can carefully prepare for everything. It also helps to know the size of the gathering to plan for the food and activities. Here are some of the tips in preparing for a big party with no alcohol.
State It on the Invitations
There’s nothing as frustrating as planning to go partying only to find out that everyone will be sipping on orange juice only! So let the guests know beforehand that there won’t be any alcohol so that they can prepare themselves. Whatever means of communication (email, direct message, or social media), ensure to communicate explicitly that it is a “sober party,” and that guests can’t bring their alcohol.
To make it exciting, could challenge the guests to bring their own booze-free drinks and get the best mixer a prize! Keep in mind that the invitation may not get RSVP’d when people see the “non-alcoholic” part, so be prepared for this, and try not to take it personally.
Choose the Perfect Timing
When imagining a fun party (with alcohol), most people think of a dusk-to-evening event that most likely happens over the weekend. So switch it up and choose something different. If the guest list includes recovering alcoholics, this time of day may even be a trigger, so set the event for brunch (late morning or early noon).
Depending on the theme or the reason behind the party, one could have it even earlier in the morning. This time is the time of day when no one is likely to be craving an alcoholic drink at that time.
Opt for an environment that will distract people from the lack of alcohol. Have a garden-themed party with pretty decorations or a barbeque braai that’ll shift the focus to the surroundings or food. Choose a novel setting that allows the guest to focus on the experience as opposed to the liquor.
Rent out a roller-skating arena, bowling alley, paintball space, or assemble at an amusement park and enjoy multiple rides. Putting the attention on the setting or activities gives visitors less chance to miss having a beverage nearby. If the venue is providing food, ensure that it’s a place that serves non-alcoholic drinks in Australia so that they can cater to everyone’s needs.
Have Multiple Non-Alcoholic Options
Besides being an excuse to leave the house, most people look forward to the food and drinks as the highlight of the party. So make sure not to don’t disappoint in that area, even if serving up alcohol-free beverages. Incorporate lots of colours and flavours to impress all the guests and distract them from the lack of booze. Depending on the guests, the host could choose to incorporate “mocktails” and serve them up in fancy glasses to recreate the party feel.
However, if there’ll be any recovering alcoholics in the midst, steer clear from these as they may become triggers. Creative alcohol-free beverages offer unique flavour profiles as well as the visual impact of the alcoholic assortments, minus the spirits. Sparkling drinks and ciders could be used to fulfil visitors’ needs for bubbly drinks, without the liquor. However, dynamic beverages with various hues and astonishing syrups could easily be conversation-starters as they are.
Go for beverages that add to the chosen theme. For some fantastic ideas on what to serve for non-alcoholic drinks in Australia, an excellent place to start would be non-alcoholic wines with the same rich flavour and aroma of authentic wine. Options like ginger beer, soda water, and lime or zero percent beers are great options unless people want a party completely free from alcohol, in which case it would be better to have sodas and other drinks that aren’t mocktails.
Don’t be afraid to incorporate garnishes and fancy glasses with skewers and even have flavoured rims too! Experiment with flavours and play around with colours and give the drink’s character.
Make Food the Center of Attention
Think of this as an opportunity to show off. If the food is incredible, it’ll likely take attention away from the lack of alcohol in everyone’s system. So ensure that the food choices are plenty and tasty!
In planning the menu, consider incorporating finger foods and snacks if it’ll be a buffet-type event, or if it’ll be had as an entree. These could be flavoured wings, chips or mixed nuts to keep their hands busy so they don’t crave reaching out for booze. Take note of any special diets of food allergies among the guests to cater well for everyone, and have vegan and vegetarian options at hand.
Another option would be to open a contest and ask everyone to bring their unique dishes and share all the food that’ll be obtained. Have prizes ready for such competitions to make things exciting for everyone.
Have Exciting Activities Lined Up
Despite what people have to say, parties certainly don’t need alcohol for guests to have a good time. And to prove this point, make sure there is plenty of entertainment to keep everyone busy. Let creativity take over and, while keeping the age-range that’ll be present in mind, have lots of fun games ready.
If there are no available actual board games like monopoly or dominos, get cards and or play charades, making sure not to leave anyone out. Depending on the calibre of people present, if they’re the sporty types, take it outside and play outdoor games, be it football or basketball. An easy option to also settle for is investing in good music and having everyone on the dance floor.
For a lot of people, it’s difficult to imagine a party without the jolly mood created by alcohol. However, brave hosts have defied the norm and successfully hosted parties with non-alcoholic beverages and proven that these can still be just as fun. So when looking for ways to make alcohol-free parties exciting, hopefully, the pointers raised above are enough to make every guests’ time memorable.