DEAR MISS MANNERS: I am not a drinker; I do not drink beer, wine or any form of alcohol. Yet I do like to socialize with friends, co-workers and family, and they will always order a drink (but, thankfully, not get drunk).
We are not always in a place where I can just order a cup of coffee, and I really don't like soda either, so I am wondering if there is an adult equivalent of ordering a "Shirley Temple," so I can blend in without looking like the one teetotaler in the bunch. Help!
(And just so you know -- no, I have never been a drinker. My non-drinking is not a result of any 12-step program. It is just my choice. So, no lectures from me while others imbibe.)
GENTLE READER: Are you asking Miss Manners for drink recommendations? Or just trying to fend off the "Aw, come on" lectures?
She finds that many can be fooled by water or juice and a well-placed citrus wedge. She also finds that asking for the "virgin" version of better-known cocktails is popular shorthand among bartenders.
But surely there must be more to this socializing than discussing what people do or do not drink. So if the request is overheard by the parties you are trying to fool, you need only say, "That's what I prefer."