With the rise of mocktails and alcohol-free beverages as an alternative for those trying to cut back on drinking, whether or not those under 21 years old can legally consume these non-alcoholic drinks comes into question.
One mom was faced with this question when her 13-year-old daughter came back from a friend’s birthday party and shared that they were served alcohol-free Prosecco.
An anonymous woman posted on the popular mommy blog Mumsnet, sharing that she picked up her daughter from the Saturday night birthday party at 9:30 and was told that the birthday girl’s mom served “no-secco.”
The daughter apparently tried it and thought it was “horrible,” so left it “discreetly” on the table.
“It’s been playing on my mind and just doesn’t sit right with me giving children that young alcohol-free Prosecco,” the mom wrote.
“I’m the daughter of an alcoholic so sometimes things can be a little triggering for me so not sure if I’m being over the top.”
She continued, “Is it like like trying makeup out? Trying to look grown up maybe? I’m just not sure.”
According to the National Minimum Drinking Age (NMDA) Act of 1984, “Alcoholic beverage means beer, distilled spirits, and wine containing one-half of 1% or more of alcohol by volume.”
So, generally, yes — minors under the age of 21 can consume non-alcoholic beverages. They can even drink beverages that are marked “less than 0.5% ABV” which technically may contain some alcohol.
But should they be able to?
The replies on the post were filled with other parents reaffirming that the anonymous mom was not being overdramatic.
“Early intro to the toxic mummy wine culture,” one person wrote. “I would be v unhappy. You’re not the weird one here!”
Another pointed out that “they didn’t even check with you. When we have other kids over, I always send a message or mention to the parent what they will he having (partly in case I’m making something they may not like).”
“It’s all a bit weird, really. Kids don’t really tend to be all that interested in alcohol these days anyway compared to how it was 20 years ago. I imagine mum probably wanted to be seen as cool, and it was more about her than the kids,” one user chimed in.
“It wouldn’t sit right with me. It’s not only about it having no alcohol, it’s the whole culture around alcohol, which is why you need ID to buy it and kids can’t buy it.”
Meanwhile, others found nothing wrong with it.
“I’m surprised how many people would be upset by this. What if they made and drank mocktails?” one questioned.
“I personally wouldn’t have been that bothered. It’s alcohol free, it was a birthday party and the mum was probably excited to see the girls all having fun. It was non alcoholic,” another said. “If it had been alcohol in it then I wouldn’t have been pleased.”