‘Tis The Season
Here we are in January … a new year, new goals, a fresh start for some, and for others, it’s like the exhale of the year. We made it through the holidays and for most, it’s a down month and time to get back into a normal routine. The holidays hit hard with non-stop events; food is everywhere, desserts are plentiful, and the alcohol seems to constantly flow. By January 1st, I know I feel mentally and physically full. I had heard people talk about “Dry January” before and decided to try it myself this year. We are just a week in, but I am succeeding so far!
Mommy Needs A Drink
Alcohol is everywhere and seemingly part of every occasion. When you say you’re passing up a drink, your friends instantly assume you’re pregnant or look at you like you have two heads. “Mommy Wine Culture” is a real thing; basically it is the idea that we use wine (alcohol) to cope with daily life. There are home decor signs that read “It’s Wine O’clock Somewhere,” sweatshirts advertising that it’s “Rose All Day,” wine glasses that say “Because Kids” and the coffee mug “This Might Be Vodka.” We don’t bat an eye at the mom with a daiquiri, balancing a baby on her hip and dodging beads on the parade route. In fact, we praise her for doing the real Mardi Gras MOM-bo.
Sober Curious: What Does It Mean?
As I have aged like a fine wine, I sadly realized that wine and all the boozy drinks I enjoy do not love me back. That metabolism has slowed and I know that alcohol is full of empty calories, carbohydrates, and sugars. With nearly everyone on one side of my family having diabetes, I know I don’t need to up my risk anymore. And don’t even mention wine flu and hangovers as we age; I mean terrible. The first thing I stopped doing was buying a bottle of wine every time I went to the grocery. I don’t really need that glass or two at night while reading my book or watching trash TV. While I do enjoy a glass of wine with a nice meal, a glass of champagne at a wedding, or a beer when watching the Saints, I try to limit my alcohol consumption for outings and events. I know I do not depend on alcohol to get through the day or even to relax at the end of the day. So I headed to Pinterest one day to browse some ideas for mocktails. In doing so, I kept coming across the term “sober curious.” I assumed it meant that like me, others routinely partake in Dry January or for health reasons were trying to limit their alcohol. There is a book about being Sober Curious and the author tells you to ask yourself the following three questions in relation to drinking:
- Why am I choosing to pick up this drink?
- Why is it expected of me to drink?
- How is this drink going to impact my well-being?
Through asking these questions, we gain insight into the reasons behind the choices we make when having a drink and how much the drinking is truly impacting our day-to-day lifestyle. While dabbling in sobriety, it can sometimes lead people to realize that they have more of a dependence on alcohol than they thought and that they feel better and live better when not drinking.
Let’s get to the good part … the alternatives to alcoholic beverages that are just as tasty and fun as their boozy counterparts!
Y’all, let’s talk about our favorite thing first: LOCAL companies doing big things!
First up, I am so excited to find and cannot wait to try Mockly, a local company that wanted to break free from the boring choices people choosing to abstain from alcohol have had. There are currently three flavors to choose from, they come canned and ready for the parade route, and the cans are also nice to look at. The flavors are: Love Bite (spicy ginger and tangy pomegranate), Eye Opener (basil and tangerine), and Baron Von Blue (blueberry and rose). On their website and Instagram, there are also several recipes to create with the drinks as a mixer. Yum!
Big Easy Bucha makes a variety of kombuchas and tepaches that are delicious and a healthy fizzy alternative to alcohol on their own! Check out their Instagram for some delicious non-boozy ways to enhance the already great tastes.
Gris Gris Cocktail Magic comes in two varieties: Jalapeno Hex and Basil Habanero, and they are both so good, they have been featured in Martha Stewart and several other publications. Their drink recipes give traditional and 0.0 versions. The 0.0 version tastes amazing and you’ll never feel like you’re missing out on a good drink.
I discovered the Greenbar Distillery brand canned non-alcoholic cocktails at Whole Foods and being a lover of a Hendricks and tonic, I was so excited to try the Un-Gin and Tonic. It was everything I love about a traditional gin and tonic. It has a great flavor alone, but I added a little lime and a splash of cranberry just for a holiday twist. They also have an Un-Rum and Cola, as well as several bitters and soda choices.
Fre Wines are all over social media. I haven’t tried it myself yet, but I love that it is an option. They carry red, white, rose, and sparkling options. I think this would be a fun way to have a mimosa station at a baby shower and allow everyone to partake if they want to.
Our girl Blake Lively has a new line of mixers out called Betty Buzz. There are 5 varieties and they are made with clean ingredients and lower in calories than some of the other choices. Blake doesn’t drink, but her husband Ryan Reynolds owns the Aviation Gin company, so these mixers can be used to make both types of beverages, and the Betty Buzz website gives lots of great recipes for both.
Many bars, restaurants, and distilleries are jumping on the sober curious trend and creating non-alcoholic drinks for their patrons that are sophisticated and reminiscent of traditional alcohol-containing drinks, hoping that New Orleans jumps on as well! This lifestyle choice is one that is catching on at a rapid pace, whether it be a short-term or a lifelong decision. The good news is that you’ll no longer feel like the only one not drinking and get questioned about the reasons behind that choice.