How to Pretend to Drink Alcohol

Two Methods:Getting Your Drink to Look Like AlcoholGetting Rid of Alcoholic Drinks

Do you find yourself in situations in which social drinking is expected? If you can’t or don’t drink for any reason, the best option is to simply tell your friends and acquaintances. But if you don’t feel comfortable with this, there are a few ways to make it appear to others that you’re drinking alcohol without actually having to.

Method 1
Getting Your Drink to Look Like Alcohol

  1. Image titled Pretend to Drink Alcohol Step 1
    Order a mocktail. If you’re at a bar, order a mocktail by simply asking for any special alcoholic drink to be made “virgin.” For example, ask for a “virgin pina colada” or a “virgin margarita.” Or, simply ask for a drink like the Shirley Temple, which is a non-alcoholic cocktail made with citrus soda and grenadine.[1]
  2. Image titled Pretend to Drink Alcohol Step 2
    Get a soda instead of a mixed drink. Order any kind of soda at the bar, which will look the same as a mixed alcohol drink. Order Coke to look like a rum and Coke, or get Sprite or soda water to look like a gin and tonic or vodka tonic, for example. Ask for a straw, too, and a lemon or lime wedge if it’s a clear soda. You may also want to ask for it in a short glass.[2]
  3. Image titled Pretend to Drink Alcohol Step 3
    Order a ginger ale to look like beer. Ask for a ginger ale, without ice, in a pint glass to make it appear like a draft beer.
  4. Image titled Pretend to Drink Alcohol Step 4
    Order a non-alcoholic beer. Ask for a non-alcoholic beer at the bar, and have them pour it into a glass so people don’t see the label.[3]
  5. Image titled Pretend to Drink Alcohol Step 5
    Drink grape juice to look like wine. Order or pour your own apple or white grape juice into a wine glass to look like white wine, regular grape juice to look like red wine, or sparkling white grape or pear juice to look like champagne.[4]
  6. Image titled Pretend to Drink Alcohol Step 6
    Drink soda or juice in a bottle. If you’re at friend’s house or house party, bring along a regular soda, juice, or tea bottle and drink from that, explaining to anyone who asks that it’s mixed with alcohol.

Method 2
Getting Rid of Alcoholic Drinks

  1. Image titled Pretend to Drink Alcohol Step 7
    Pour out a beer and fill it with water. Take a beer bottle or can with you to a restroom and dump the contents down the sink or toilet. Then refill it with water from the tap and drink that instead. No one will be able to see the difference through the brown bottle or metal can.
    • Be sure to rinse the bottle or can out at least once before you fill it with the water you intend to drink, to get rid of any residual alcohol in the bottle or can.
  2. Image titled Pretend to Drink Alcohol Step 8
    Slowly empty a drink. If you have an alcoholic drink, hold onto it and, very occasionally, find opportunities to get rid of a small amount at a time. Pour some into the sink in the bathroom, a trash can nearby, or someone else’s finished drink cup. Don’t get rid of too much at a time, or leave too often to empty it.
    • Put your mouth to the drink occasionally without actually drinking any so it doesn’t look suspicious that your drink is disappearing on its own.
    • Tell a friend (or several), “Mmm, this is good, try this!” and have them take a sip so your drink disappears faster.
  3. Image titled Pretend to Drink Alcohol Step 9
    Spit alcohol into another bottle. If you have a drink with alcohol, keep a water, soda, or tea bottle nearby. Take a sip of the alcoholic drink, but hold it in your mouth without swallowing. Keep it there for at least 30 seconds, then pretend to drink from the other bottle, instead backwashing the alcohol into it at the end. Explain that you’re just trying to hydrate and avoid a hangover, if anyone asks.
  4. Image titled Pretend to Drink Alcohol Step 10
    Fake taking a shot. If you’re offered a shot of alcohol, pour it out in a trash can, plant, or empty cup when no one is looking or while others are doing their shots. Hold your hand around the shot glass to disguise that there’s nothing in it, then pretend to take the shot.
    • If you can’t get away with pouring the shot out, take it but don’t swallow it. Reach for a soda bottle (preferably your own personal one) and pretend to drink from it as a chaser, backwashing the alcohol from your mouth instead.[5]


  • Act like you’ve been drinking, too, by talking a little louder, laughing more, or dancing. Keep it subtle without overdoing it; a good level of drunk or tipsy behavior is matching whatever those around you are doing. Chances are that the fun, loud actions of others who are drinking will almost be contagious, making you act more like them naturally.
  • It’s always easier to just tell peers that you’re not drinking rather than go through the work of pretending. Most people are understanding and don't mind if someone chooses not to drink.
  • If you need an excuse for why you’re not drinking, say you’re driving that night, you’re taking medication that you can’t mix with alcohol, or you have to get up early the next morning.[6] You will have to come up with new excuses if you continue to use them with the same friends.
  • If anyone asks why you’re taking your drink into the bathroom, say "I don't want anyone to drink it,” or "You should never leave your drink alone—someone could slip something in it."
  • If someone offers to get a drink for you, just tell them you haven’t decided what you want yet. Go back to the bar or kitchen when your friends aren’t around and get a soda instead.
  • Take the shot. Hold it in your mouth without puffing out your cheeks. Take the contents of your mouth to the bathroom and trickle it out of your mouth slowly. The sound should simulate a stream of urine so as to not let the sound of spitting out the shot be heard and also to fool others that you are just using the toilet. Remember that holding drinks with high alcohol content in your mouth is not recommended, since it will burn the insides of your mouth.


  • People can get upset if they catch you lying or pouring out alcohol, especially if they paid for it. Choosing not to accept a drink and being truthful about opting for something non-alcoholic is safer.
  • Don’t let anyone pressure you to drink alcohol. If it’s someone you consider a friend, maybe they are not such a good friend after all if they’re trying to force you to do something you can’t or don’t want to do.
  • If you are a minor under the legal drinking age, you can get into serious trouble for drinking alcohol or even being at a party or bar where alcohol is served.
  • If you fake drinking alcohol, there is always a risk that you'll get caught and you won't be able to, believably, explain your way out of it. If this happens, admit that you lied, apologize, and say that you're actually not a drinker.

Article Info

Categories: Mocktails