Dubai is on the fast track to joining the ranks of the top cities that never sleep. The people here are night owls and enjoy painting the town red for both work and leisure occasions. When you’re out so often, you may tend to get tired of having to choose the right drink – specifically if you’re attending a different event that may require some thought around drink or menu selection.
So, we’ve got a few tips for you to take note of around some basic drink selection etiquette for your next event.
Fortunately, if you’re in Dubai, you won’t find any lack in availability of both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages and concoctions — something that you will certainly appreciate when you’re in the celebratory mood.
Now, if you’re the type that’s always having a hard time selecting the right beverage to drink or serve during a particular event or occasion, here are some simple tips and techniques that can help you out:
1. Consider the type and theme of the occasion or event
Certain types of beverages are more appropriate for specific occasions. For example, champagne and sparkling wine are always great for celebrations such as weddings, anniversaries, Christmas and New Year’s Eve parties. A glass of these beverages will never fail to liven up the mood and enhance that overall festive feeling.
To play it safe, consider the tone or style of the event. Is it formal or informal? If it’s an elegant affair, such as an after-wedding reception or some kind of black-tie event, it is best not to serve bottles or mugs of beer since it just wouldn’t be in line with the tone or theme. Wine and champagne will work best in such events. Beer, though, would be great if you’re out with your friends or co-employees and you simply want to have some fun after a busy and stressful day at work.
2. Know the preferences and limits of your guests or the people you’re with
Although Dubai is a global city, it is still predominantly a Muslim state and, as such, there are many people here who do not drink alcohol. If you are hosting an event or hanging out with people who will not be indulging in alcohol, show them respect by either removing alcohol from the menu, or speaking to them beforehand and establishing whether they would be alright with alcohol being served at the event.
Regardless of the occasion, it is also important to know if you are in the company of a recovering alcoholic. Be respectful of their situation and if you’re really hankering for a drink with an umbrella or a cherry, just order a mocktail instead of a cocktail and ask the others to do the same.
3. Take note of the date and time of the event
If you’re celebrating an occasion during the middle of the week, it may be best to just have one glass of wine or beer and stay away from any hard liquor. After all, you still have to wake up early and need all your wits about you when you arrive at work. A huge hangover won’t allow you to function at your best at the office.
In addition, consider the time of the affair as well. If you’re celebrating something before lunch, keep in mind that it’s too early to drink something that will get you tipsy. It’s then best to stick to non-alcoholic drinks (coffee, tea, juice, or soda).
However, if you’re really craving a cocktail during an informal brunch with friends or colleagues, you won’t go wrong with ordering a Bloody Mary, mojito, and other delicious mocktails. They complement both savory and sweet dishes. Wine (red, white, or sparkling) is also an acceptable drink for brunches as well.
4. Know the basics of food and spirits pairing
Correct food pairing makes the world of a difference in your dining experience. A helpful rule of thumb to remember if you want to order wine, for example, is that red wine works well with beef and red meat. White wine, on the other hand, is best paired with chicken, turkey breast, and other types of white meat.
Other recommended pairings include bourbon with barbecued meat, vodka with smoked fish and caviar, and gin with seafood platter or grilled prawns.
5. Ask for recommendations from the wait staff, sommelier, or bartender
You can be sure you will order the right drink to celebrate a particular occasion by asking the wait staff (or the sommelier, if there is one) and the bartender. No one can be in a better position to give you tips on what to order (and drink) during an event than a pro in the food and beverage industry – someone who knows the ins and outs of social drinking.
For instance, bartenders would usually advise ladies to order margaritas for a ladies night celebration because it’s such a jovial drink. If you’re celebrating your promotion with your friends, you won’t go wrong with that strong yet elegant drink called a martini.
6. Try something new
Lastly, you don’t always have to go with traditional alcoholic choices and with what others recommend. Go over the menu; no doubt you will be surprised by selection of offered beverages.
Order a drink that catches your eye and don’t be afraid to try something you’ve never had before. Regardless of the time of the day and your reason for celebrating, be adventurous with your choice of drink every now and then. It’s the perfect opportunity for you to do so.
Celebrations and get-togethers are always more fun and memorable if you enjoy the best food and drinks. To always have the perfect dining and wining experience, it may be worth your while to learn more about the art of social drinking and food and spirit or beverage pairing.