Believe it or not, there are faux pas avoidance techniques specifically for the knock-back category.  Tackling the “how to drink” adventure is in no way neglectful of the fact we are all born with the ability to drink.  It is the refinement of this gift that needs attention.

Your stylistic beverage consumption may never be noticed or rewarded with accolades.  If your technique is less than stylish, you will be noticed.  For some of you, that might be a bonus.

I’m going to divide this into two categories; non-alcoholic and alcoholic.  If you only consume alcoholic beverages, you can skip to the second part.

FOR ALL DRINKERS:    Please sip rather than gulp AND sip without food in your mouth.

Non-Alcoholic Beverage Swilling Technique

Tea & Coffee

  • Dunking:  Biscotti, Oreo’s and all other dunkable treats should only be dipped when at a casual function and where others are dunking as well.   Don’t dunk otherwise.
  • Keep your pinkie finger inward when sipping.  Gone are the days when lifting your pinkie finger was considered fashionable.  Tell your Nana.
  • Do not cool your drink with ice.  Wait it out.  It’s considered rude but I don’t know why.
  • Teabags should be lifted from the cup, allowed to drip then deposited to a saucer or plate.  Please don’t squeeze.
  • Place your crinkled packets of sugar and/or creamery to the edge of your saucer or plate.
  • Spilled your coffee?  If your coffee cup is resting on a saucer, please do not pour the caffeinated goodness back into your cup. Start over.

Water & Soft Drinks (aka: Pop)

  • Ice-cubed drinks:  Do not chew the ice!
  • Casual occasions warrant drinking from the bottle or can but drinking from a glass or mug is better form.

Alcoholic Beverage Swilling Techniques


There is a resurgence in beer consumption as of late.  With all of the micro-brews and specialties hitting the market, it’s no wonder.  Even some of you Wino’s are making the switch.  Good quality beers are often served in a bottle but should be accompanied by a mug or glass.  Same general rules for soft drink swilling apply here also.


I am not personally aware of any serious accidents where eyes have been put out permanently because of tiny umbrellas but I think it could happen.  For this reason please follow these suggestions:

  • Remove anything non-edible from your pretty glass (swizzle sticks, umbrellas, etc.) upon receipt – exception: straw.  Deposit the accoutrements to the nearest plate or trash receptacle. If one is not handy, discreetly fold it into your napkin.
  • Edible garnishes:  Enjoy these little tidbits only after you’ve finished your drink UNLESS they are adjoined to a pick in which case, you may nibble while swilling.  Yes…you may use your fingers to fish out the morsel but only after you’ve drained the glass.  Draining your glass does not mean downing the liquid in one fell swoop.  It means sipping, remember?


No strict etiquette rules here but how about a helpful hint?  Hold your wine glass by the stem.  This will allow the wine’s temperature to remain optimal during consumption.  No stem on your glass?  Well…never mind.

I personally have red & white stemless wine glasses – little tumblers.  While I think they are cute and trendy, I don’t really care for them.  There is something satisfying about holding a stemmed glass.  My dislike for these types of glasses has nothing to do with keeping a moderate temperature.  I drink the wine much too quickly to notice such things.♥

K. Martini (aka: the quick sipper)