I remember the days where closet drinking before going to a party or bar was part of the night's itinerary. It was a requirement to have a good buzz flowing before calling the Uber to take you to that bar where you see everyone from your high school at. The pregames were the best part of the night, but it wasn't ever because of the alcohol, it was because of the atmosphere and those who were in it. The number of times I've heard "Wait, why aren't you drinking tonight? C'mon, get drunk with us" is endless, but think about it. Where were you when you were asked that? You were at the goddamn pregame and being there doesn't mean you need to be ripping shots. Being social doesn't require alcohol.
I asked 20 people how they cut back on alcohol while still being social.
1. "Taking half shots and sticking to low calorie drinks! Pacing yourself."
2. "Inviting friends to do things other than drinking! Or just ordering drinks that are non-alcoholic or low in alcohol content. I'd rather slow slip a White Claw than rip a few shots."
3. "I just put water in my cup!"
4. "Drinking regular seltzer or drinking a really fruity mocktail."
5. "Drink water or juice instead of alcohol!"
6. "I'll pregame with a few shots really fast and then be good to go for the night."
7. "Picking which social events to drink at, skipping drinks at dinner, and waiting until you get to the party."
8. "Order a mixed drink that takes awhile to finish instead of doing shots also because I don't want to yak."
9. "I'll make a really watery or juice-diluted mixed drink."
10. "Smoke that good good instead."
11. "Drink slow with a straw or for games, like flip cup, carry one drink and fill it slowly so you can still be involved."
12. "I'll just bring a certain amount of cash out and leave my debit card at home, that way when I'm at a bar, I'll only bring enough for 1-3 drinks and then be done for the night."
13. "Switching up drinks that I would usually have to drink a lot of in order to feel tipsy."
14. "By realizing you don't need alcohol to socialize."
15. "Drinking an energy drink while you're sipping on a mixed drink, no one will notice."
16. "Vodka sodas, then next I'll just get a soda, then another vodka soda. Just to hold something."
17. "I'll stick to a drink like a White Claw or a Truly because those take so long to drink because of all the carbonation."
18. "I just don't drink when if I don't want too. Don't feel pressured because you're in a social setting."
19. "I'll make sure I eat a big dinner because usually then I get too full to where I barely want to drink a lot."
20. "I try to Google different kinds of low-calorie drinks to make that are strong — if they're too strong then it will take me forever to finish."
At the end of the day, or should I say at the end of the night, is alcohol really a requirement in order to be social? If you like to get that good buzz flowing than more power to you, but don't feel like you need to. I for one will be dancing on the dancefloor with a sugar-free Redbull in my hand.