How To Celebrate a 21st Birthday

I love birthdays. While I’m not above being a sucker for my own big day, I also enjoy hyping up my friends’ birthdays. I’ve perfected the art of the flawless homemade card, am a pro at scouring Durham boutiques for a gasp-worthy present, know the intricate ins and outs of streamer hanging, and could publish a guidebook on how to write a flawless Facebook happy birthday wall post. While all birthdays are exciting, celebrating a 21st birthday is in a league of its own and is really all about the booze (sorry Mom–we’re legal now!). Last week, my most fun-loving friend, Katie, turned 21, and so we celebrated accordingly. Follow this guide, and you can too.

**Tips and Tricks**

When The Clock Strikes 12. Get a bottle of sparkling wine to ring in the birthday. It can be as cheap or expensive as you want. For Katie, the first legal drink was a big deal, so it didn’t matter where we were at midnight, and it shouldn’t for you either. It just so happened that we were all swamped with work on this certain Tuesday night, so gas station wine and red solo cups in the library had to suffice. No excuses!

Make Specialized Cocktails. Make a trip to the liquor store with your newly of-age friend so he or she can use her ID. Then make specialized cocktails and start drinking early in the night. Katie’s favorite drink is a bloody Mary, so bloody Marys it was. But if your friend likes caipirinhas then make those, or even invent your own cocktail for the occasion. Name it after your friend, of course.

Don’t Ignore The Cake. You can even incorporate alcohol into the cake, but you can’t forget about it just because you’re focused on the booze. We made cake pops and served them on a platter with mini bottles of alcohol. But with a little creativity your friend could be blowing out the candles on a black Russian cake.

Music To My Ears. Create a special 21st birthday playlist that will get your guests in the mood for a fun night. Suggestions include: Birthday Girl by the Roots, Cheers, I’ll Drink to That by Rihanna (even if it is clichéd and overplayed), Like It’s Her Birthday by Good Charlotte, and Buy U a Drank by T-Pain.

Lucy Dana is a junior at Duke University who is loving being back from abroad just in time to celebrate her friends’ 21st birthdays. Read more…

P.S. The 5 Best Foods to Eat Before You Drink

Originally posted on Tuesday, February 7th, 2012

8 Responses to “How To Celebrate a 21st Birthday”

  1. Sarah

    February 7th, 2012

    I wish I had had you planning my 21st!!!

  2. Erica

    February 7th, 2012

    I had a small dinner with some friends and my boyfriend during the week and planned to just party the next weekend. My parents and boyfriend ended up throwing me a huge suprise birthday party in a penthouse hotel suite. Best. Birthday. Ever.

  3. Nina Q

    February 7th, 2012

    I am the best at writing facebook wall posts!

  4. Farrin K

    February 7th, 2012

    WOW! You are really creative! Can I hire you for my birthday?

  5. Farrin K

    February 7th, 2012

    Erica quit bragging

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