The Unspoken Liquor Rule To Remember At Parties And Potlucks

Wine, beer, or spirits — no get-together would be complete without a few drinks. While there's a brave new world of nonalcoholic tipples being marketed, chances are that most parties and potlucks will still have their fair share of boozy beverage options supplied by both hosts and guests. That said, although etiquette like drinking responsibly may be common knowledge for most party-goers, there's another rule of imbibement with which you should probably familiarize yourself.

At relaxed potlucks and parties with pals, it's wise to consider a few things as you scope out what's available for consumption. For example, if you brought the bottle, you've got the green light to pour. However, you might want to think twice when reaching for alcohol that someone else brought, especially if you're unsure that you'll like it. 

Should there be a chance that you won't finish what's in your glass, then it's best not to take the liberty of opening an unheard-of liqueur or stealing the last sip of aged wine that your friends have been enjoying all night. Why? Pouring a glass only to refrain from drinking it is seen as both wasteful and terribly, impolite. The bottom line is this: only pour a drink if you have every intention of finishing it to the last drop. But, there's more.

Pour something that's sure to be a crowd-pleaser

On average, partygoers will consume a drink for every hour that goes by. However, if fellow guests have been nursing the same drink for hours, pacing yourself with the crowd just isn't in the cards. At which point, feel free to treat yourself to a glass of something you know that you (and any other guests, for that matter) will enjoy — we've got a few suggestions. Opting for a "beloved" bottle will prevent any alcohol from needlessly being poured down the drain once the gathering is over.

Likewise, if someone else brought something totally out-of-the-box that piques your interest — whether that be a funky bottle of biodynamic wine or a spirit from a far-off land — ask before helping yourself, even if the bottle was meant to be shared. Not only is this courteous, but it's also a great way to learn about the tipple from the person who brought it.

Last but definitely not least, as the celebration draws to a close, you might notice that one of the bottles you contributed to the party hasn't been opened. Rather than collect it on your way out the door, leaving the beverage behind for your host is usually the proper thing to do. It's an easy way to say thank you and end the evening on a pleasant note, you'll never seem like a clueless (or worse, rude) guest ever again!