I'm going to be the voice of dissent here. While the friend shouldn't have pushed on the drinking issue, I think you started the problem by trying to change the terms of the invitation. The invitation wasn't a general "let's get together for my birthday" or even "come hang out with me at [Location]." It was specifically an invitation to go out for "a drink." You clearly understood that he meant alcohol, since you felt the need to clarify you wouldn't be "boozing." There's nothing wrong or unfriendly about having specific plans and expecting invitees to either accept the plans as-is or decline.
If you didn't want to drink, the appropriate answer to that invitation is "no." Instead, you tried to accept the invitation and change the terms--you'd come along and hang out while he drank. But you've said yourself that you find it uncomfortable to be the only one drinking, so why would he to want to do that? You could have declined the original invitation and offered an alternative, e.g., "Sorry, I'm not up for drinking tomorrow. I'd be available for dinner or coffee, if you want. Otherwise, have fun without me!" Then, I would agree that he would absolutely be rude to push you to drink instead. However, you left him in the unpleasant position of either explicitly uninviting you (incredibly rude under most circumstances), changing the activity to suit you, being the only one drinking (uncomfortable), or (rudely) trying to convince you to go along with the original invitation. Unfortunately, he chose the only unambiguously rude option, but you didn't help matters by putting him in that position in the first place.
As an analogy, what if you invited someone to go out to dinner, and they said "Sure! I'll come, but I'm fasting so I'll just hang out while you eat"? Or, you invited someone to go to the Cake Festival to try the sampling menu, and they said "Yeah, I want to go! But I'm dieting, so I'll just get a salad." Or, you invited someone to go see [Horror Film], and they said "Yeah, but I get nightmares from scary films, so I'll bring earplugs and read a book?" Would you be ok with that or would you feel like they'd twisted your invitation into something completely different? There's nothing wrong with fasting, dieting, or not wanting to watch scary movies, but the simple fact is that they're incompatible with certain invitations, and it's the individual's responsibility to accept or decline accordingly.
I honestly don't understand this post. It's possible to "go out for a drink" with someone and drink something that doesn't have alcohol in it. It wouldn't bother me at all to go out to a bar with a friend if they only wanted to drink coke or fruit juice all night. They are still drinking with me. It doesn't compare at all to going out for a meal and then just sitting watching the other person eat.
I would have agreed with you if Hollanda hadn't said herself that she didn't like to "be the only one drinking". So if Hollanda (outside Sober October) asked somebody out for a drink, and that other person told her that (s)he wouldn't be drinking, Hollanda would no longer feel comfortable drinking either.
I don't know if Hollanda's friend feels the same way, or if he's just being a bully, but because of this statement, I can see where Onyx_TKD is coming from.
That said, personally I'd probably have said nothing, come along and just ordered something non-alcoholic. If he wanted to make a scene about that in public, then that would reflect a lot more on him that it would on me, and would give me food for thought, whether I actually wanted to socialize with him at all. A simple question, "Oh, you're not drinking?" is one thing. Making a scene is another altogether.
To clarify...say BFF asked me out "for a drink". I would take that to mean a bar, as that is generally what is meant over here by "for a drink". "A coffee" usually means just that...a coffee and maybe cake at a cafe. "Food" usually means a local cafe or McDonalds or other fast food joint. If, say, BFF was abstaining from drinking for whatever reason, I would personally choose to drink a non alcoholic beverage too. Maybe not even consciously. I like to take the lead from other people...if others around me are drinking and I would like a drink, I will have one. If I don't want one, I won't have one. I just prefer not to be the odd one out by having a drink in a situation where nobody else at all is drinking. It to me just feels wrong!
One thing I would not do is bring attention to the non-consumption of alcohol. It could be a myriad of personal reasons she may not want to disclose, particularly in public.
As far as my "drinking buddy" goes, I know him. And I know that if it *had* been a personal reason I was giving up alcohol that I didn't want to disclose, and quietly explained it to him privately, he would 100% understand and not make a thing of it. However, if I just bean dipped or ignored his questions, he would needle and niggle at me until a) everyone else noticed and b) it became a Big Thing. Hence my decision to explain on the phone, to kind of get the scene over and done with.
Either way, it's a moot point because Friday night didn't happen in the end, he got caught up at work and DS decided he was going to make a drama out of bedtime anyway.