Parties are for drinking out of cups, and keeping track of your cup is an important part of that. I have, in my time as a hostess, encountered a few guests who just “aren’t into labels” but, seeing as organisation and order are the cornerstones of a good party, labelled drinking vessels are very important to me. Instead of foisting cute wine charms on people—which always fall off—or trying to shout my guests into submission, I grab a roll of painters tape, and tell them to use fake names.
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This two-pronged approach to drink labelling is effective because it appeals to the senses and the ego. Painter’s tape is cheap (much cheaper than twee washi tape), sticks to any surface, and is as long or short as you need it to be, which means no name gets squashed by an oppressively small label. But, more importantly, it is fun to use. (Look, we all get our kicks where we can.) Pulling the tape off the roll is extremely satisfying—it makes such a great sound!—which means people are much more likely to use the tape. (I am not making this up; people love this tape.)
Secondly, people love showing off how cool and interesting they are, particularly by way of witty references, and especially at parties. Telling them to use fake names lets them craft their own clever conversation starter, meaning they’re more likely to hold on to their cup so they can show off said witticism. (Bon Appetit suggests a similar approach here, wherein the host picks all the names. This is good, but letting people pick their own is better, I think.) If the sensory siren’s call of painter’s tape combined with the a chance to look clever is not enough to get your guests to label their beverages, I’m not sure how to help. These people clearly enjoy beverage-related chaos.