All this week, we’re sharing tips for home bartending from Lou Bustamante, the author of The Complete Cocktail Manual. Yesterday, we covered all of the essentials you need for a well-stocked home bar. Today, we’re diving into dealing with the stickier side of cocktail parties: drunk guests.

Even the most well-prepared of drinkers will sometimes get a little pickled without meaning to. It happens, and, as a host, it’s your responsibility to make sure everyone has a good time and stays safe. Here’s what to keep in mind when a friend abruptly goes from tipsy to trashed.

west elm - How To Take Care of Drunk Guests

Take Care. If a friend is clearly tipsy but not lampshade drunk, make sure he’s not driving, arrange a safe ride home, and give him a bottle of water and some solid, heavy snacks to help him get upright again.

Make up the sofa. If he’s really not like himself, seems confused, or is acting irrationally, don’t let him leave. The last thing you want is for your buddy to get behind the wheel, pass out in a cab or subway, or get arrested for public intoxication—or worse.

Forgive poor conduct. Remember that movie The Exorcist? Remember all the mean and manipulative things that the possessed people said? There’s a chance a drunken guest may behave in ways that shock you—and he may not have any memory of the episode the next day. Best to forgive and forget, and know that he would be horrified if he knew what a jerk he was. Treat him like you would want to be treated when it happens to you someday.

Prepare for a mess. Remember that other traumatic part of The Exorcist? Get a bucket nearby even if your pal doesn’t look ready to spew. Remind him repeatedly where it is. Some demons just need to be cast out.

Be patient. Forget coffee and all the tricks you’ve heard about sobering up—the only one that really works is time. Waiting it out can be agonizing, but hopefully everyone will do that while sleeping.

See a doctor. Beware of alcohol poisoning—if anyone has trouble catching his or her breath or starts breathing irregularly, experiences a change in skin color, or shows any sign of seizures, get him or her to a hospital immediately.

west elm - The Complete Cocktail Manual

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November 16, 2016

Call an Uber, but don’t let them sleep on your couch. Learned the hard way. Drunk people suffer from nocturnal enuresis (they pee on your nice couch).

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