Create a celebratory—but appropriate—mood with these expert etiquette tips.
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group of friends enjoying baby shower
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Serving cocktails at a baby shower—where, in most cases, a pregnant guest of honor chooses not to drink—may feel awkward at first, but offering a variety of boozy beverages is perfectly appropriate, say our experts. "Is it okay to serve alcohol at a shower? Yes!" says etiquette author Myka Meier, who runs an online finishing course through Beaumont Etiquette. "Just because the parent-to-be may not be drinking does not mean their guests aren't!" Serving up an array of party-ready mixed drinks and fizzy blends for toasts is an accepted shorthand for marking a happy occasion. "It's a celebratory gathering, and such gatherings typically include alcoholic beverages, especially for toasting," says etiquette expert Pattie Ehsaei. (Of course, if you're not sure whether a full bar would set the mood the baby's parents are hoping for, it's fine to ask them whether they prefer a dry event.) Plan your menu with three rules in mind—and then plan to say a few words while you all raise a glass to the new little one.

Keep it light.

When planning your cocktail options, stick to lighter beverages—think a Champagne toast, not shots of Patron. "Light alcoholic beverages are best, like wine, spritzers, Champagne, and mimosas," says Ehsaei. "Hard liquor generally should not be served at baby showers to prevent guests from overindulging." And if you're a guest, expect to sip, not shotgun.

Offer non-alcoholic options.

"It would be great to also serve mocktails, ice tea, and flavored lemonade, like strawberry or cherry, for those who do not or cannot consume alcohol," says Ehsaei. Non-alcoholic wines in decorative bottles are also a pretty addition to your bar. "They gently remove the alcohol while preserving the flavors and aromas like any other premium wine," says Ehsaei.

Don't forget the food.

Another key, says Meier, is to make sure your menu complements your drinks. "Baby showers can come in many forms, from a brunch to a tea party or even a unisex cocktail hour," she says. "Be sure if you are serving alcohol, there is plenty of food to go with it. The etiquette is to ensure the host offers a variety of food and non-alcoholic beverages in addition to any alcoholic ones offered."

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