A year and a half into a worldwide pandemic, I, like many others, have found that the lunchtime wine habits, day drinking, reward drinks, and whatever other excuses one can come up with for a drink have made regular boozers out of many of us. This sort of “holiday drinking” is hardly sustainable for healthy living, so many are turning to the philosophy of half drinking.
Say you are at a daytime party with friends all around, but instead of being well on your way to being half drunk, you are mentally present because you have been enjoying zero percent beers or maybe a flavored CBD drink. This isn’t to say that you won’t participate when someone brings out some post-lockdown celebratory drinks. You certainly could, and let’s face it, probably should after the year we have all had, but this time you can really savor your first actual drink of the day. This is half-drinking: neither drinking non-stop nor abstaining completely. Many women who are already fully practicing this realize that they don’t have to drink to have fun, but drinking in moderation can be fun. We have all heard of the concept of drinking in moderation before but, as the pandemic changed almost all of our relationships with alcohol, it warrants a reintroduction.
Many studies have shown that people drank a significant amount more during the lockdown, and that statistic goes higher if you had children that participated in distance learning. Liquor and grocery stores have shown staggering increases in alcohol sales. Women are now getting to a point where drinking less is more appealing, especially when considering the health benefits. None of us enjoy our new doughy faces and tummies or the fears for one’s long-term health. According to psychotherapist Lucy Smith, pausing before drinking to ask what your intention is or what you want from drinking before you indulge is a helpful tool. In setting a pace or rhythm to the occasion, you are more grounded in your awareness of how much you are drinking. Getting excited about non-alcoholic drinks is also helpful.
Finding drinks that you really enjoy and having them well-stocked in your fridge will make it easier and more convenient to reach for a non-alcoholic option. As this practice becomes a habit, it will increase your appreciation for the alcoholic drinks you do drink. Making an evening of trying a local, independent wine shop that will recommend bottles based on your tastes that can be sipped instead of guzzled adds a more “grown-up” approach to drinking as well as being an enjoyable evening out. As many women have already found, cultivating a more discerning palette, being able to have fun finding mocktail mixes you like, and savoring your drinks instead of pounding them down with half-drinking will cut down your alcoholic intake, help that journey back to pre-pandemic healthiness and, most importantly, increase your overall well being.
With the realization that many people are going to shy away from the boozy days of the pandemic, many manufacturers have taken a proactive approach and have started making some amazing mocktails. There is a wide variety of flavors and product imitations, with enough choices that there should be something for everyone. Our choice of storebought mocktails include:
Of course, it’s still fun to try out new recipes and experiment a bit. While twisting off a top is quick and easy, some people definitely prefer to play bartender and work on their mixology skills. Just because you aren’t adding the hard stuff to a drink, it doesn’t mean it can’t be fun to try out. Here are some delicious mocktail recipes that we found and have added to our weekend rotation.
Fill your glass with ice. Pour orange, pineapple, and cranberry juices over the ice and stir them together. Float the splash of grenadine on top and serve.
I also came upon a wonderful page on the Pottery Barn website with four amazing summer mocktail recipes. Between trying out the drinks and browsing the gorgeous glassware, I’ve had a lot of fun treating myself to some new products and mixing up some new mocktails. You can find the recipes for fuzzy berry punch, pineapple zip, blueberry-infused lemon strawberry ice, and a zesty mock-arita here.
If you’re due for a new serving pitcher, this is my personal favorite. I’ve had a lot of fun filling it with some tasty concoctions and trying out some new flavors.
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