Drinking on the First Date: What’s the Etiquette?

You hear tons of advice about dating. Don’t do this, make sure to do that … there’s a lot to remember! One important controversial topic is drinking alcohol on a first date. If you do not drink alcohol, the simple answer is to not drink on a date just to fit in. If you do drink, though, you want to make the right impression. Consider the following factors before ordering a beverage with someone new.

Time of Day

Between brunch, lunch, happy hour and dinner, there are a lot of time options and each calls for different types of drinks. One of the best ways to decide what to order is to simply look around at what other patrons (and your date) are drinking. There are traditional drinks for each time of day, so it is a safe bet to stick with them. For example, brunch calls for mimosas or a Bloody Mary. Beer and wine are more appropriate at happy hour, and lunch may be best without any alcohol.

Type of Establishment

Going to a bar calls for different etiquette than going to a fancy steakhouse. Choose a drink that fits the environment you are in. If the restaurant offers specials on particular drinks, give them a shot to embrace the vibe of the establishment.

Don’t feel like you need to hide what you really enjoy, but it may be better to stick with classic drink choices on a first date.

Amount of Alcohol

It is usually not a good idea to get drunk with someone the first time you meet him or her. Having a drink or two to loosen up helps ease the awkwardness of the situation, but completely losing your inhibitions can be a disaster. Drinking too much can give off a bad impression or get you into a situation you don’t want to be in.

Take cues from your date in this area. If he or she stops drinking after two beverages, it is probably advisable for you to stop as well.

Beverage Options

There are a couple of cocktails that can be trusted at most locations. Moscow Mules are a trendy drink that show you have a diverse palette and keep up with the times. Martinis with premium vodka, like Ketel One, have a sense of sophistication and class. A glass of wine is a classic choice, and beer gives off a relaxed vibe.

Getting Home

No matter your drink choice, remember to be safe. While it is not advised to get drunk, there may be times when your drink is stronger than you expect or you have one too many without thinking. Always have a backup plan for getting home if you can’t drive yourself.

It is important to be yourself on first dates, but keep in mind that everything contributes to your first impression. Drinking is one area where you can reveal a lot, so choose something that shows off your personality and drink responsibly.

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