Not to make this about me, but I'm definitely going to. Your favorite foodie just turned 21 and a world of boozy possibilities is now right at my fingertips! If you're anything like me, though, you're probably also pretty determined to be able to remember your 21st year of life once it passes instead of realizing those drinks got the better of you every time.

Well, I found myself thinking about some ways to celebrate this newfound freedom I have without going absolutely crazy, and great news: I've decided to take my favorites and share them all with you! After all, drinking really is more fun if you can do it responsibly and not have to be afraid of who your drunk alter-ego might be texting behind your back. So, in honor of my birthday, here are 5 ways to celebrate finally being 21 without getting totally wrecked.

Cocktail Recipe Contest

cocktail, juice
Brogan Dearinger

This one might sound a little weird, but hear me out. Round up a bunch of your (21+) friends and get together for a party, movie night, or whatever else you want. The catch is, everyone has to come up with/bring their own cocktail recipe! After everyone makes their special drink, have a tasting contest. You'll get to try a bunch of fun drinks you've probably never had, and you'll get tons of bragging rights when it turns out that you're a way better bartender than all of your friends.

Speaking of fun drinks, check out this recipe roundup article I did with some foodie friends! Just in time for fall (it's closer than you think), there's a pumpkin spice martini recipe that I promise you'll love.

Local Brewery

beer, coffee, espresso
Michelle Miller

Support your local breweries! Go alone, with some friends, or even bring a date to a brewery in your area and give some of their most popular menu items a try. You might be surprised that your new favorite beer is right down the street...and some appetizers never ruined a good drink, either.


beer, wine, champagne, alcohol
Brock Colyar

Maybe this isn't the most original idea, but that doesn't mean it's not a great one. Mimosas should brighten anyone's morning, but feel free to have a little fun with it! Try to pair your food as best as you can with your drink of choice, like a Peach Bellini with cinnamon apple waffles or champagne with french toast and berries. Be as basic or creative as you want!

Arcade Bar

Arcade bars, like this one here in Gainesville, FL, can make for a super fun and incredibly refreshing night out with your squad. Imagine all the joy of your childhood, running around an arcade and playing with your friends, but with the added bonus of alcohol and no crying children. Challenge your friends to a game or two and the loser has to buy the next round of drinks!

Wine/Beer Yoga

grass, Yoga, tatoo, pose, meditation
Julia Gilman

I've heard that there are some benefits to drinking an occasional glass of red wine, but that effect should be multiplied when paired with exercise, right? Regardless, give this a try when you get a chance! Some yoga classes will offer "beer yoga" or "wine yoga", which is exactly what it sounds like. While you do your stretching and pose like a tree, you get a nice drink to chill at your side. As if yoga wasn't relaxing enough, I bet some Merlot would pair beautifully with a Child's Pose.

So, if your 21st birthday is coming up, or you're like me and recently got to cross over to the world of the big kids, I hope this article helps you find an exciting and memorable way to celebrate finally being 21. This is one of the biggest birthdays you're going to have, and you deserve to make the most of it! You also deserve to remember it the next morning, so maybe put down the Four Loko and pick up a cocktail shaker, instead. After all, you only get to turn 21 once! 

Have fun and drink responsibly!