The Supposed ‘Short Straw’

Designated Driver


A person who abstains from alcohol at a social gathering so as to be fit to drive others home.

AKA: the short straw.

Or is it?

I should begin this blog by condemning those who think it’s “okay” to have a couple drinks and proceed to drive home. It’s not “okay”, you’re a grade A fool.

With that out the way, let’s look at some alternatives: taxi, night bus, Uber, driverless cars (almost) or walk.

However, if the pennies are tight, you have public-transportophobia or live on the other side of town you may have to draw straws. Good luck.

When the inevitable occurs and it’s your turn to take the wheel — perhaps cover the seats, but don’t worry about being the odd one out.

We’ve all been in this situation; the bartender asks you what you would like, time ticks faster, heart rate increases and having no alternative at your fingertips you reluctantly say, “Coke”, to which he/she replies, “is Pepsi okay” — I guess so.

If you fail to prepare, prepare to fail.

Abstaining from alcohol doesn’t have to be a chore, it can be a joy — if you’re prepared.
Ever heard of a mocktail?



A non-alcoholic drink consisting of a mixture of fruit juices or other soft drinks.

As far as a “go-to” mocktail — only you can pick your poison (antidote?). There are many to choose from and in the main take inspiration from their alcoholic cousins.

For example: Cuddles on the Beach — The basic idea for a non-alcoholic Sex on the Beach is to remove the vodka and then replace the peach schnapps with peach nectar. Easy-peasy, and it tastes very much like the original.

Example 2: Nojito — A Mojito with all the flavour, but none of the rum.

Example 3: Virgin Mary — Essentially a Bloody Mary without the vodka, but with a really flavorful, savoury recipe for the tomato base.

If, on the other hand, you’re more of a Rodney than a Del-boy you might be reading this with a frown on your face. So, what’s the alternative for the mans — man. Well, firstly, I’d say there’s no harm in trying something new. Secondly, I’d recommend a tasty 0% beer such as Bavaria Wit beer — has the fruity notes of an ordinary wheat beer without the alcohol content. While somewhat thinner than the alcoholic stuff, it’s refreshing with a nice fizz. If the venue doesn’t stock it (they should) simply ask for a non-alcoholic beer. There are many on the market and if your pub/bar doesn’t stock any, maybe don’t go back.

For the fuss-pots out there that don’t like the sound of any of the aforementioned… water?

No, we’ll find you something…

ViVa White Peach and Melon — the “functional drink” has arrived. From Venice Beach, California to The White Cliffs of Dover. A low-sugar, slightly tropical beverage with a creamy texture, and additional shots of chamomile and valerian root, for “stress relief” — good for the social anxiety.

If you’re not content with any of these substitutes, perhaps get a taxi — or a tongue transplant.

Pleasant driving! Definitely get those seats covered…