A gentleman’s guide to day drinking

Are the decadent daytime events piling up in your diary? Remain the perfect gentleman throughout, with our guide to sophisticated day drinking.

Day drinking is one of life’s simplest pleasures. ‘It’s always seven o’clock somewhere’ is a phrase you might often hear repeated, as drawers are rummaged in search of corkscrews at 11:00am on a Sunday; but we don’t feel it’s necessary to introduce too many excuses to the day drinking game. You’ve earned a break, after all; and summer is undoubtedly a time to indulge.

That said: there are ways and ways to day drink. Like any other pastime, day drinking is an activity in which you should look to partake in an unfailingly gentlemanly manner. So, to help you avoid the etiquette-clad pitfalls that can unwittingly befall even those with the best of intentions, we’ve put together a list of the key ‘dos’ and don’ts’: so that you can drink away those summer days in a sophisticated, genteel manner. Cheers!

Do: keep it seasonal

We’re talking about summer day drinking specifically here, gents. A whisky might be just the thing for a nightcap, and we’re the first to advocate for festive cocktails at the appropriate time of year; but if you’re on drinks duty for the next lunchtime barbecue, you’ll want to take stock of the season.

Rosé should be a summer drink of choice — and it’s a wine that truly comes into its own during the day. Refreshing, cooling and with the perfect hint of decadence that accompanies a daytime beverage, it should be just the thing. Of course, white wine rarely goes amiss, either; and an Aperol Spritz will usually make a positive splash. A rum cocktail can be a pleasant surprise; and then, of course, there’s the trusty cider — a wonderful all-rounder, it’ll do you proud at your next afternoon garden party (assuming you opt for a luxury bottle, of course…)

Don't: get too drunk

No one likes the guy who peaks too early and starts embarrassing himself (and everyone else) left, right and centre. A day drinking event — whether that’s a genteel garden party, or a day at one of the nation’s greatest events (tennis, racing, a music festival; you name it) — should be treated with the respect it deserves, and that means keeping the frivolity and merriment strictly sophisticated.

Have fun, of course — and let those overburdened shoulders take a well-earned break. But ‘drunk and disorderly’ is not an attractive look; so if you can feel your head becoming a little too light, or as though you might be on the brink of divulging confidences you’ll later regret — consider switching to water for a while. You’ll thank us the next day, when your phone is mercifully free from inebriated texts; we promise.

Do: stay hydrated

Much on the same theme, we can’t emphasise the importance of hydration enough. The British sunshine is both surreptitious and unreliable; it bursts out just when we least expect it (often when we’re a few glasses of wine into the afternoon).

We’d never want you to succumb to the discomfort of dehydration, and all the sunstroke risks that accompany this unhealthy state during the warmer months — so be sure to keep a water bottle close by. Plus, you’ll escape the nighttime hangover that can often accompany a particularly heavy bout of day drinking, which can only ever be a bonus. (If the hangover does descend, however, we’ve got some handy tips on how to handle it…)

Don't: start too early

Trust us. It’s certainly true that it really is always seven o’clock somewhere; but if you start drinking too early, there’s a chance you’ll peak too early. You don’t want that hangover setting in while the event’s still going.

One of the perils of day drinking can be to assume that daytime really does mean any time. Before you know it, you’ll be several glasses in while the sun’s still high in the sky; which can result in the aforementioned inebriation we so strongly caution against. So instead of launching straight into your tipple of choice, we’d advise starting off with the culinary delights on offer. And the water, of course. Keep drinking that water.

Do: keep the alcohol chilled

There is nothing worse than warm, syrupy wine. Unless that’s flat, tepid champagne; or an overly-diluted gin and tonic, thanks to the ice cubes that have long since melted. Whatever you do, wherever you’re choosing to drink on your given day; make sure you’ve got the means to keep the drinks cool.

Ice buckets are your best friends during the summer months; and if you’re hosting, make sure you stock up on the ice beforehand. Fridges, too, will be your trusty chilly companions — make sure there’s only ever one bottle in circulation at one time, while the others chill away in the confines of the fridge — and if you’re sipping champagne at a summer event, you know the score: hold the glass by the stem, and your drink will be as cool as your new sunglasses.

Don't: let standards slip

It’s easy to assume that the time to really push the boat out, when it comes to alcohol, is during the evening. Evenings have a certain indefinable glamour, after all; especially if you’re gazing out at the London skyline from a rooftop bar, or overlooking the sun dipping down over the ocean from your seaside coastal retreat.

Well, summer evenings certainly have a glamour all of their own; but don’t make the mistake of thinking that said glamour can only manifest after a certain time. A gentleman should never let standards slip; so don’t save the good stuff for nightfall. The finest champagnes will do just as well at lunch, or during the afternoon; just be sure to keep it in the ice bucket.

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