Woman Says Olive Garden Served Alcoholic Drink To Her Recovering Alcoholic Husband

Photo: TikTok
Jaredh Melende and her husband at Olive Garden

A week ago, a woman by the name of Jaredh Melende posted a video on TikTok describing her experience at an Olive Garden with her husband and her daughter.

Melende's video has sparked outrage, and for good reason, as she shared an experience that could seriously harm the health and well-being of her family.

An Olive Garden server accidentally gave a recovering alcoholic an alcoholic drink.

The video showed Melende’s husband with a drink in front of him while he was eating pasta with the caption, “when your husband is a recovering alcoholic and Olive Garden accidentally gives him an alcoholic beverage,” with an angry face emoji.

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When it was Melende’s husband’s turn to order his food, he asked for a strawberry lemonade and didn’t specify that he wanted the drink to be non-alcoholic.

The server didn’t ask for an I.D. nor did she specify whether or not he wanted the drink to be served with alcohol in it.

When she returned with the drink, however, Melende’s husband took a couple of sips and commented that the drink tasted funny.

   

   

Olive Garden’s Strawberry Lemonade drink comes both in an alcoholic version and in a non-alcoholic version — both served the exact same way plus or minus the alcohol.

But the alcoholic version of the drink is called a "Spiked Strawberry Lemonade," which Melende's husband did not order.

Unfortunately for her husband, the server assumed that he wanted it to be alcoholic without realizing that he didn’t and that he was a recovering alcoholic.

TikTok debated who was in the wrong.

This story sparked a debate in the comments — one against the Olive Garden for making such a huge mistake like that, and the other against Melende and her family for not recognizing that the drink was alcoholic or claiming they were at fault somehow.

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Originally, people weren’t very too kind to them because it appeared as though he had already drunk half the drink, but she quickly made several follow-up videos to answer questions.

He gave it to their daughter to try, and then she passed it on to Melende. She then asked the server whether or not it had alcohol in it — and when she confirmed that it did, Melende asked for a new one.

That’s why it looks half empty.

“They say on the menu that they have alcohol. Reading comprehension isn’t your thing huh?” one person commented.

Although she didn’t reply to this message specifically, she did clarify that she didn’t read the menu but that she didn’t have to because they ordered the drink without alcohol.

   

   

The alcoholic version is called Spiked Strawberry Lemonade, and he simply ordered a Strawberry Lemonade — something that he always does at all the restaurants they go to.

“I’ve gone to Olive Garden a lot of times,” she started, “I have never ordered something different it’s always the same thing . . . my husband wanted a strawberry lemonade. Now we’ve gone to other restaurants where he always gets the same thing: strawberry lemonade, strawberry lemonade, so that’s what we ordered.”

Along with the skepticism that the story might not be real, people are arguing that it isn’t really that big of a deal and that accidents happen and she shouldn’t have made a TikTok of the situation, but that’s wrong.

As the top comment says very well, “Idk why people say it’s no big issue when it is. A single taste for an alcoholic can change everything [especially] if they ordered a NON-alcoholic drink.”

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Like all addictions, it’s absolutely dangerous for a recovering addict to have a taste of the drug they’re recovering from as they could relapse and have to start all over again.

Melende commented on this as well and specified what kind of alcoholic her husband was, saying that he was into beer and that he didn’t always need a bottle.

   

   

“My husband is the type of alcoholic that once he touches one beer, he can’t stop,” she explains.

“So he can be clean for 6 months and if he does one beer — it has to be beer — if he drinks one beer, he cannot stop. He’ll go on for days. He’ll even do coke so he could be up drinking with his friends.”

Fortunately, this is also why she said that the experience at Olive Garden wasn’t very triggering for him since he never really drank hard liquor and it was mostly beer he had a problem with.

Melende wanted to clarify that outside of their situation, it wasn’t a big deal, nor did they treat it like one — they didn’t yell at the server and just asked for another drink.

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Isaac Serna-Diez is a writer who focuses on entertainment and news, social justice, and politics. Follow him on Twitter here.