Now, I'm not much of a social butterfly in terms of going out, and most people I know are aware of my situation, so I don't often have to explain the alcohol thing, but there is one notable exception...my in laws.
For a variety of reasons, it was very important to me and my spouse for my in laws never to know I had a drug issues. Too long to explain, but it is what it is.
Now, they are upper class, and they do enjoy and house some very fine alcohol. For the 20 years I've known them, every time I have gone to their house, they would always offer something lovely to drink, in the alcohol department. Alcohol was never my drug of choice, but most the time I went there, I would take them up on their offer. Rieslings were my favorite, and they always went out of my way to have a really nice or new riesling on hand to offer me. Now. I didn't always say yes, but often, I was happy to have a single glass over dinner. I would some times even sample their luxury liquors because, yum. Why not? I've never been drunk before, but again, I enjoyed a glass, rarely two, on occasion.
Obviously, one day that had to end. I was so nervous about having to finagle an excuse. I came up with a dozen good ones. Migraines? Calories? Health kick? Clean living? Ugh. I knew they would see through them, and the dread was sooooo real. I mean, we spend a lot of time there. I genuinely felt I was toast.
So, that first day, I just simply said "no thanks...not today" and you know what? No questions. Next visit, same thing...but no questions. And it's been 17 months and every visit they still offer, and they still get a "no thanks, not today." There has NEVER been a question asked or an eyebrow raised.
We recently went out to a super fancy Italian restaurant for my father in law's birthday. I'm a sucker for a seafood pasta, but the only one that offered was in a white wine base. My husband and I got their early, so I seized the opportunity to flag down the waitress and ask if they could modify the sauce to have zero alcohol. She went to the back to ask. Of course, my in laws showed up right then.
She comes bouncing back and announces to the table that yes, they can make the sauce with a chicken base broth instead of white wine. My face flamed red. I knew I was busted. I muttered that the alternative would be fine. I waited for the garage of family member asking "why would you do that??"
You know what? They never asked. The questions never came. And it looked they they genuinely didn't care, not that they were burning to ask a question. They were more concerned with getting the capers off their salmon dish than why I would want the substitution.
All of this long-winded story to say...I have found that if I look nonchalant and nonplussed about the whole thing, I've never had anyone ask about my beverage choice; family or otherwise. I've even had my excuse tucked into the back of my brain that I would use..."I'm just not in the mood for it right now." But I've never had to use it.
I know that if I was a big, known drinker before hand, this might have been an issue. Regardless though, I never avoided alcohol before though and I did enjoy a drink when out.
I can't help but wonder, on your trip, if perhaps you may be surprised how few people care about your dinner drink. Now, if you were hitting up the club scene, that may be different. But if we are just talking dinner with friends, this may not be an issue.
Regardless...have a grand adventure!!!!!