The Best Things To Bring To A Party That Aren't Booze

Photo: Jade Wulfraat, Unsplash

Back when I was a person bestowed with enough square footage to host parties, I always appreciated anyone bringing anything. When people asked what they could bring, I always said “more booze,” because I was in my early 20s, and running out of booze seemed borderline apocalyptic. But then I’d end up with bottles of shitty beer, shittier wine, and (one fateful night) dragonfruit vodka, wishing I had asked people to bring a hot dip or something.

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Do not misunderstand: Booze is good, but in the end, the real heroes bring treats that soothe and delight drunk people. Comforting, nostalgic, low-to-no-effort snacks and sweets that distract the drunk from drinking even more are particularly welcome, but these offerings would be appreciated by even the most sober guest.

Chocolate chip cookies

Our very own Melissa Kirsch swears by the power of Entenmann’s chocolate chip cookies, but if you want to win the entire party, make like Mara Wilson (of Matilda fame) and roll in with a batch of cookies that are still warm from the oven.

Pizza rolls and the like

Cookbook author and intrepid podcaster Laurie Woolever might be a genius, but she is definitely, without a doubt, an excellent house guest. Not only does she show up with Pizza Rolls (which are always welcome), but Bagel Dogs. Name a more iconic duo, I dare you.

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I try to be a good guest and never arrive empty-handed

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Flavoured seltzer

People give seltzer lovers a lot of guff, but I would be about half as hydrated as I am without a gently flavoured seltzer. Bringing it to a soiree, as Nick Douglas suggests, benefits the non-imbibers as well as the booze guzzlers, as it gives the former something to drink and hold, and the latter something to replenish with.

Spiders

Michelle Woo’s father-in-law brings root beer and vanilla ice cream to every party he attends and (rightfully) is hailed as a hero. If I was in charge of giving out medals, I would give this man two—one for spreading untold joy, and one for reminding me that I should be enjoying more soda spiders—a truly underrated two-ingredient dessert. (Bonus points for bringing a bottle of creaming soda.)

What non-alcoholic offerings do you like to bring to a party? I hope you don’t bring flowers. Not only are they not edible, but they demand attention, and most hosts do not have much of that to spare.


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