Why do social situations usually have to mean drinking?
As soon as I cut down on drinking it became very apparent that almost all social situations involve alcohol of some sort, but how has this become a common activity and why do we feel the need to involve alcohol within a social environment?
For thousands of years, socialising and enjoying a drink have gone hand in hand and the action features in almost all religious activities, historic paintings and novels, so it’s really always been normality. Events like Oktoberfest, Christmas Markets and Festivals are all situations in which it feels abnormal when you’re not enjoying an alcoholic beverage but there are plenty of alternatives out there that allow you to enjoy social situations without the urge to take a sip.
After work drinks is a common one, the need to have a ‘it’s Friday’ relief drink and a chin wag with your work buddies has become a regular past time in office environments. Some may say it’s to relieve stress, to avoid awkward situations or to boost confidence, but in my personal opinion, I think it’s because people just don’t want to be the odd one out.
As soon as you ask for a soft drink, you know there will be comments about you’re ‘being boring’, but you’ll be the early riser in the morning, hangover free. Alcohol free drinks like mocktails, cider or my own Kolibri are great alternatives and still allow for inclusion within a social atmosphere. And, although I’m not 100% sure about non-alcoholic beers and ciders, I much prefer them over a hangover. Many big brands have caught onto the trend and offer 0% alternatives to their popular drinks too.
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LOVEFEST PT 2: Our bartenders are all working musicians so if you ever liked the music playing at Listen Bar - these guys picked it (and very likely made it). • Our STELLAR back-of-house crew @kyrieelizabeth (also amazing manager, photog & resident deadhead) @phantomvanity (also amazing musician) and Casey Gilbert who made our complex menu possible through HOURS of prep work every day. Hats off! • BRAND TEAM Tiny but mighty!! Kudos to @mirandamartell aka Chief-Getting-Shit-Done who always has a solution to every obstacle. Her tireless energy and insane go-getter-mode made Listen Bar possible, and her forever pozzy vibes made the madness downright fun. Our hero creative producer @shelbi.__ aka the world’s most organized millennial. Forever our dancing queen. Every project should have a Shelby. And true #girlboss @listenlorelei who brought the best people together around her vision. • BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE Shoutout to our photog queens @tonjethilesen (from shooting rockstars to rockstar cocktails!) & @kyrieelizabeth, our video queens @tiffanywen & @mykimdang The people making us look good: epic interior designer @cosmic.morgan bringing feng shui to divey vibes and OG brand designer @tokyotoys who created the Listen Bar logo and branding. His work is half the reason people took us seriously before we were anywhere close to a real thing. Love on love to our yes-we-can helping hands @grizzagrace @d_rr_ll @dakotadelfin (also model & door queen wuttt) @morganleigh65 & @leather_locklear. To @desarkozy and @cnbianco for inviting @listenlorelei to speak about her vision at their events and rally like-minded humans. To @vidasigns for our #goodasstimes neon & so-legit logo signage To Michael for the killer “All bar. No booze.” vinyl on our door that got so much love To @packagefreeshop for metal straws that kept us sustainable & cute And @farm.one for edible flowers that made us fancy like that Our movers @ipsnycmovers & cleaners @team.pink.apple - loveliest people who got straight up excited about our project
It’s not just the big brand drinks companies that have caught on to the alcohol-free trend in order to entice punters away from their sofas. Festivals, bars and social societies are all doing their bit to encompass drink free activities into their ethos. Listen Bar in Brooklyn is a niche booze-free bar that still rocks the spectrum when it comes to an awesome night out. The Wall Street Journal called it “An establishment with complex and “grown-up” cocktails that taps into a growing alcohol-free movement.”
The Brits are catching onto the market too, and small independent venues like Café Sobar in Nottingham now offer a completely alcohol-free menu, showing you that a great night out doesn’t have to come complete with a hazy morning.
When friends or family plan a social event that may involve alcohol, letting them know you’re not going to be drinking isn’t going to harm their plans, so don’t feel ashamed to be yourself. Also, talk to them and suggest other non-bar-based activities like taking a trip to the cinema, going out for dinner or enjoying a chat over some coffee instead. In the long run it it’ll be of great benefit to your health and your bank account.
If drinking in social situations is something you really used to enjoy but the novelty is wearing off, there is no harm in trying out suggested alternatives and seeing how you enjoy it. Dry January is a great way to get into the swing of things and adapt your lifestyle with great support, you never know you may enjoy it as much as I do!