Your personal craft cocktail mixologists


How to survive a drinking event while sober

In honor of Dry January, we wanted to talk a bit about how not to drink at a drinking event!

So you're at a party, wedding, or work event where alcohol is the main focus, but you're not drinking for any variety of reasons. The social pressure to have a drink in your hand however is strong and it can feel awkward floating around empty handed. For those who feel lost navigating a social situation empty handed, this article is for you!

The most obvious solutions are water or soda - but those can get boring after a while, and if you're at a good bar or have a good event bartender on hand, mocktails are a solid option for something a little more fun.

The secret to a good mocktail is the same as that of a good cocktail - fresh ingredients. Any combination of fresh fruit and herbs with soda water (or club soda or seltzer) will usually yield a delicious result. If you're looking for something healthy and tasty, ask the bartender for cucumber, lime, mint, and soda water. No sugar, no alcohol, but it looks fun and is super refreshing!

For those who are limiting their alcohol intake, but are still ok to be exposed to alcohol, another fun option is bitters and soda. Bitters are a super flavor-packed liquid that a bartender adds to certain cocktails to add flavor. They do contain alcohol, but they are served in dashes (small drops) because the flavor is so strong. Soda water topped with two to three dashes of bitters can scratch that itch of wanting a boozy drink without actually having a measurable ABV.

If you want something sweeter, check with the bartender what syrups they have. Any syrup with seltzer is usually a safe bet. Most bars will have simple syrup which is just plain sugar; but we've also seen things like rooibus tea syrup, prickly pear syrup, pumpkin spice syrup, lavender syrup, etc. - syrups are pretty easy to make or buy, so most cocktail bars will have a few different options.

The other thing any good cocktail bar should have is fresh squeezed citrus. Some less cocktail-oriented bars will use sour mix because it's more shelf stable, but the good bars will use actual citrus juices squeezed that day - it's worth asking what they use! When you bring fresh citrus juice into the game, you get a ton more options. A classic is the Lime Rickey, which we make as equal parts lime juice and simple syrup mixed with bubbly water. You could also get a sparkling lemonade with the same ratios using lemon juice instead of lime.

The astute observers might also realize that this can also easily turn in to lemon or limeade! We served a family event recently and made limeade with equal parts lime, simple syrup, and water, shaken and served on ice - according to one happy young customer it was "the best limeade ever!"

Ok, so you've been sipping on your fancy mocktail for a while but then that one friend calls out for shots. To make matters worse, they insist everyone participate - It's really poor form and it happens all too often. How do you handle this? Refusing and setting a hard personal boundary is the best, but sometimes folks don't feel comfortable doing that. If you'd like to participate, ask for a non-alcoholic shot! If people are shooting tequila, a shot of lime juice would be a reasonable non-alcoholic complement. Shots are generally not a pleasant experience, so citrus and sour/bitter things tend to work well as non-alcoholic shot equivalents as they make your face pucker in the same way.

One thing we try to be cognizant of here at Snazzbar is that alcohol is not for everyone. For some people, consuming it in moderation is okay, but for others, avoidance is the safest bet. A good bartender should help you feel included in the event if you choose to take the healthier path. Talk to us at about designing a cocktail & mocktail menu for your next event!

How to have a covid-safer team outing with a private bartending service

If you're getting your coworkers together in person, it's tempting to just choose to go to a bar after work and throw a few cocktails on the company tab. In the pre-covid times, this used to be an easy go-to. Now, even getting your team in to the office is a big challenge. Let's say you figure out how to do it in a way that everyone feels comfortable with - requiring vaccines, getting negative tests, and masking indoors. All of that can help to reduce the risk of spreading COVID in an office setting, but as soon as you're outside of that controlled environment, the unknowns grow.

If you head to the bar, who knows if the other patrons are vaccinated or covid-free? They certainly aren't masked; it's hard enough to convince people to wear a mask in general let alone in a bar where they would need to remove it to drink! One safer alternative would be to rent a private room or rent out the whole bar, but that can quickly get expensive.

Enter: the private bartending service. What if there were someone that could bring the cocktail bar experience to you? A company like Snazzbar can provide you with your own knowledgeable and covid-conscious bartender at your own venue. If your office has a private patio or other outdoor space, even better! Beyond covid safety, you also avoid the usual challenges of a bar: talking over others, waiting for a queue to order, or finding a corner to stash your bags and hope no one takes them.

Of course, a personal cocktail bartending service like Snazzbar can also do more than just pour drinks. If you're looking for an activity to help break the ice, Snazzbar can offer things like classes and tastings! Have you ever wanted to learn how to make cocktails yourself? Snazzbar offers a few out-of-the-box classes on basic recipes and technique, and can also work with you to develop a class with a more specific focus. Got a bunch of whiskey lovers? How about a guided tasting to learn about the differences in production methods and histories of your beverage! Does your crew include some non-drinkers as well? Mocktail menus and classes are an inclusive option that preserves the spirit of the event without the spirits. And for the distributed, fully remote teams, virtual classes are available as well!

As we all adapt to the new normal, it's important we think of new and creative ways to safely bring people together. While going to the bar may be out of the question for some folks, you can still bring the experience to your team and even learn something new along the way! A personal event bartending service like Snazzbar is a helpful tool to have in your post-covid event planning toolbox.

About Snazzbar

Snazzbar is your personal craft cocktail mixology team for events, parties, weddings, and more. We strive to bring the cocktail bar experience to your event - no more generic white wine/red wine/light beer served by someone who looks like they'd rather be home watching TV. We design menus with classic and modern cocktails paired with fresh ingredients and engaged bartenders. Our service is "everything but the booze" - we provide knowledgeable staff, planning, equipment, non-alcoholic ingredients, and a detailed shopping list for you to source the alcohol from your preferred vendor. Snazzbar bartenders are TIPs or ServSafe Alcohol certified and carry liquor and general liability insurance.