In response to questions raised on the permissibility of serving drinks in number of different circumstances, the Universal House of Justice has formulated the following guidelines. The fact that Bahá’ís themselves must not drink alcohol is abundantly clear and needs no comment here. With regard to the serving of alcohol to non-Bahá’ís:
1. No Bahá’í institution should serve alcohol to non-Bahá’ís under any circumstances.
2. If an individual Bahá’í entertaining an individual guest or a small group of guests as an official representative of the Bahá’í community, he should not serve alcohol in his own home, but must use his discretion whether or not to do so if the entertaining is taking place in a restaurant.
3. No Bahá’í should serve alcohol at any function or reception given by him, such as a wedding reception or a party to which a number of people are invited.
4. When a Bahá’í is privately entertaining a non-Bahá’í or a small group of guests in his own home, he must himself judge whether or not to serve alcohol. This will depend to a great degree on the customs of the country in which he is living, the individuals concerned, and the host's relationship to his guests. Obviously it is better for the Bahá’í not to serve alcohol if possible, but against this he must weigh the probable reaction of the guest in the circumstances which prevail and in the particular situation. In some countries there would be no problem in failing to provide alcohol to a guest; in others it would be regarded as extremely peculiar and anti-social and would immediately raise a barrier to further contact. It is not desirable to make a major issue of the matter.
5. When such private entertaining of an individual or small group of non-Bahá’ís taking place in a restaurant the same general principles as in point 4 above apply, except that in such a public place a failure to provide alcoholic drinks would be less easily understood than in a private home, and the Bahá’í must use his discretion accordingly.
6. Alcohol must not be served in a restaurant or other business which is wholly owned by Bahá’ís.
7. If a Bahá’í is employed by others in a job which involves the serving of alcohol, he is not obliged to change that employment. This is a matter left to each individual to decide in the light of his own conscience. Obviously such kind of employment vary widely from bartending to serving in a grocery in which wine is retailed. If the job requires a great deal of involvement with the serving of alcohol it is better for the Bahá’í to obtain other employment if he can.