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John Wilson: How to be sensible about drinking at that office party

How to Drink Better: Eating before going out lines the stomach and sipping low-alcohol drinks also helps

Q. My Christmas work party looms. I am looking forward to it but don’t want to drink too much alcohol. What advice do you have?

A. As the office party season kicks off, a few tips on how to stay sober and avoid any embarrassing incidents. There was a time when friends would put pressure on you to drink excessive amounts of alcohol, but thankfully these days seem to have changed. If you do intend to enjoy a few drinks, here are a few tips.

Eat something before you go out, preferably a protein, to line your stomach. This will slow down the absorption process, so the alcohol won’t go straight into your blood system. If you are going out directly from the office, grab a banana, a sandwich, even a handful of nuts, before you start drinking. If there are snacks available at your party, make sure you help yourself.

Set yourself a drinks limit beforehand and stick to that, counting your drinks as you go. Or decide to switch to alcohol-free drinks at a certain time of the evening.


Drink slowly — don’t feel obliged to match the fastest drinker pint for pint.

Sip, don’t chug. If you have a nice craft beer or decent wine, sip it slowly and savour the flavour.

Don’t drink shots and try to avoid rounds.

Be wary of cocktails; it be can hard to know how much alcohol they contain. The sweetness in some can conceal high levels of alcohol and they can be dangerously easy to knock back.

Drink lots of water.

Alternate between alcoholic and alcohol-free drinks. There are plenty of very good alcohol-free beers now and alcohol-free wines are improving all the time.

If you are a beer drinker, go for a session beer; there are plenty of very good ones available,

Go for lower-alcohol wines. Try to find white wines that are 13 per cent abv or less. You can always add sparkling water to create a low-alcohol refreshing spritzer.