The Dos and Don’ts of Serving Booze at Book Club Meetings

The Dos and Don’ts of Serving Booze at Book Club Meetings

booze at book club meetings

Sometimes it’s nice to sip a cocktail, a glass of wine, or a cold beer while discussing books with your friends. Booze certainly isn’t necessary at book club meetings, but it can make a nice addition. Read on for the dos and don’ts of serving booze at book club meetings.


Do have options
Not everyone likes red wine and not everyone will want a martini. When serving alcoholic beverages, it’s a good idea to have a couple of options. We’d also recommend stocking some non-alcoholic beverages like juice and soda.


Don’t ignore ABV
Everyone reacts to alcohol differently, but it’s safe to say that tequila and beer don’t have the same effect on people. That’s because tequila (and other hard liquors) contain much more alcohol per sip than beer or wine. We’d recommend sticking with lower-ABV options so your members can have a great conversation.


Do serve water
It’s the first rule of drinking: Hydrate! Make sure you offer your book club members water to go with their drinks. This will ensure that everyone stays well hydrated and wakes up feeling great the next morning.


Don’t forget food
Especially if you’re planning on drinking, it’s always good to have snacks around. You won’t want your book club members drinking on an empty stomach. Plus, snacks are delicious! For more tips on snacks, check out this article.


Do consider your glassware
If you’re holding your meeting outdoors, don’t break out your nicest wine glasses. Odds are, not all of them will survive the meeting. We’d recommend smaller plastic glasses for wine (rather than large Solo cups, for example). Make sure there will be a stable surface for your guests to set their drinks down on.


Don’t neglect napkins
Spills happen: Don’t get caught unprepared. We recommend getting some cute cocktail napkins for your guests to use as coasters. An extra roll of paper towels wouldn’t hurt, either.


Do get creative
Let your book club pick guide your beverage choices. Does a character in the novel own a vineyard? Sip some wine! Is a character a beer connoisseur? Sample some craft brews! The possibilities are endless.


Don’t drink and drive
This one is important. If you’re going to serve booze at a book club meeting, make sure that each member who drinks has a way to get home that doesn’t involve driving. Rideshares like Uber or Lyft are a great way to get people home. You can also encourage a member or two to serve as a designated driver.


Do be thoughtful
Some of your members might be in recovery. Some of your members might not be 21. Some of your members might prefer not to be around alcohol. Be considerate and think about your group before deciding to serve alcohol at a meeting.

Elizabeth Rowe
Elizabeth is a graduate of Columbia University's MFA program in Nonfiction Writing. She is based in San Francisco and can frequently be found at Philz with her nose in a book. Her current obsession is the My Struggle series by Karl Ove Knausgaard, and she thoroughly embarrassed herself when she met him shortly after the release of volume four (and she has the photos to prove it).


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