drink alcohol

How to pretend drinking alcohol if you’re not comfortable with it

Are you sometimes in situations where you are expected to drink for the sake of socializing? If for some reason you can’t or don’t want to drink, the best option is to just tell your friends or acquaintances. However, if you’re not comfortable with that thought, there are a few ways to make it appear like you’re drinking alcohol without actually doing it.

Get a drink that looks like an alcoholic beverage

Order a non-alcoholic cocktail.

If you’re at a bar, simply order a non-alcoholic cocktail by asking the bartender to make the cocktail non-alcoholic. Ask for a “virgin piña colada” or a “virgin margarita,” which “virgin” means the drink is made without alcohol. Or you can simply order a Shirley Temple, a non-alcoholic cocktail mixed with lemonade and grenadine syrup.

Order a soda instead of a cocktail.

At the bar, order a lemonade that will look like an alcoholic drink. Order a coke that looks like rum, or get a sprite or seltzer, which is similar to a gin and tonic or vodka tonic. Also, if you ordered a clear soda, ask for a straw and a lemon or lime wedge. You can also ask to be served the drink in a short glass. Order drinks online with discount codes.

Order a ginger ale that looks like a beer.

Ask for a ginger ale with no ice and a pint of beer. Your ginger ale looks so much like you’re drinking a beer.

Order a non-alcoholic beer.

Ask for a non-alcoholic beer at the bar and have it poured into a glass at the counter so other people can’t see the label on the bottle.

Drink grape juice that looks like wine.

Order an apple juice or light grape juice in a wine glass so it looks like you’re drinking white wine. Order red grape juice if you want it to look like red wine, or light grape juice or pear juice with sparkling water, which is similar to champagne.

Drink your soda or juice from a bottle.

If you’re at a friend’s house or at a private party, bring a bottle of soda, juice, or iced tea with you and drink from it. If someone asks you about it, you can simply say that you mixed your drink with alcohol.

Eliminate alcoholic beverages

Pour out your beer.

Take your beer bottle or beer can down the toilet and pour the contents down either the sink or the toilet. Then fill the bottle or can with tap water. No one will be able to see through the brown bottle or aluminum can and tell the difference. Make sure that you rinse the bottle/can thoroughly with water at least once so that you can completely remove all traces of the alcohol.

Throw away your drink.

If you have an alcoholic beverage, keep it in your hand and occasionally find a way to gradually down the drink. Pour some of the drink down the bathroom sink, into a garbage can, or into an empty glass if someone has already drunk their drink from it. Don’t throw away too much at once or wait too long for a chance to get rid of your drink. Occasionally move your mouth to the drink without drinking it. That way, nobody gets suspicious if your drink is suddenly empty. Tell a friend (or friends): “This tastes great. Here, try it” and let your friend try a sip, this will also empty your glass faster.

Spit the alcohol into another bottle.

If you have an alcoholic drink, have a water or soda bottle nearby. Take a sip of the alcoholic beverage and hold it in your mouth without swallowing it. Hold the liquid in your mouth for at least 30 seconds, then pretend to drink from the other bottle. Instead, you let the drink flow from your mouth into the bottle. If someone asks you about it, just say that you want to avoid having a hangover the next day and that’s why you drink water/soda too.

Pretend to drink liquor.

If someone offers you a pint of alcohol, pour it into a trash can, plant, or empty glass when the others are busy or finishing their shot glass yourself. Wrap your hand around the shot glass to hide that there is nothing left in it and then pretend to drink the shot. If you don’t have a chance to throw the liquor down, drink it, but don’t swallow it. Grab a water bottle (preferably your own) and pretend to wash the alcohol down with the water.


Pretend you’ve been drinking too by speaking louder, laughing more, or dancing. Don’t overdo it. A good actor will only ever imitate how drunk the people he is with are. There’s also a chance that the fun they’re having is contagious, causing you to behave this way naturally. It’s always easier to tell your friends you don’t drink than to go through the trouble of pretending to drink. Most people understand and don’t mind if another person doesn’t drink. If you need an excuse for not drinking, say that you’re the driver, that you’re on medication that doesn’t mix with alcohol, or that you have to get up early the next day. You’ll have to think of new excuses if you keep dating or hanging out with the same people. If someone asks you why you’re taking your drink to the bathroom, say, “I don’t want anyone drinking from my bottle” or “You should never take your eyes off your drink because someone might mix something in it.” If someone offers to get you a drink, just say you haven’t decided what you want to drink yet. Head back to the bar or the kitchen after your friend has left and get a soda or water. Drink from the shot glass. Keep the alcohol in your mouth without puffing out your cheeks. Go to the toilet and slowly let the drink flow out of your mouth into the toilet. The sound you make should resemble a stream of urine and fool other people that you are using the toilet. Keep in mind that it is not recommended to keep drinks that are high in alcohol in your mouth as this can burn your throat. If you’re in a restaurant and the waiter takes your order, order an alcoholic drink. When the drink comes, take a sip, look confused, and apologize quickly. Hurry up to the bar and swap your alcoholic drink for a non-alcoholic one. When you get back to your seat, explain that your drink was fake. If it seems like you need a drink more than once a night, you should let the waiter in on it. If the restaurant has a separate bar, it’s easier because you can go straight to the bartender and ask them to give you a non-alcoholic drink despite your (alcoholic) order. If you’re invited to a private party at home and you’re having trouble finding an unobserved moment, here’s what you can do: Tuck a handkerchief into the cuff of your long-sleeved shirt or use a tampon that you’ve unrolled, which will absorb more liquid.


Don’t let anyone talk you into drinking alcohol or force you to do so. If someone you think is actually a friend does this, then the person may not be a good friend after all. Some people can get upset when they realize you’re lying or spilled alcohol, especially if they invited you over. So it’s better if you honestly say you don’t drink and choose a soft drink instead. If you’re underage and the law doesn’t allow you to drink alcohol, you can get in big trouble drinking or going to a bar that serves alcohol. If you only pretend to drink alcohol, there is always a risk that someone will expose you. Then you will also have trouble finding a believable excuse. If this happens, admit that you lied, apologize, and say you don’t actually drink alcohol.

About the Author


Elizabeth Matthews

Elizabeth Matthews is a New York City-based freelance writer who covers a wide range of topics, including business, personal finance, SEO, and life hacks. Her work has appeared in Money, SavingGuru, Forbes, ABCNews, and Coupons.com.