Why would you drink that?
This question comes up often when discussing non or lower alcohol products. What’s the point if there is no alcohol? Why would I want less alcohol?
In order to answer this common question we must understand why we drink alcohol in the first place. If the purpose is to savor and appreciate a well crafted and complex beverage then alcohol is not the defining component, at least not anymore. People are putting great amounts of thought, capital, and effort into the process, curation, and innovation of non and lower alc. The past of sugary one-dimensional mocktails is fading. You can expect more. Greater quality and a wider range of options.
Many of us have different relationships with alcohol. Some of us tend to use it as a crutch for social motives and others may use it for coping with stress or to escape certain emotions. This can create an unhealthy relationship with alcohol. Looking back we noticed these habits in ourselves when considering our own drinking behaviors. We decided to make a change.
This distinction of why we personally consume alcohol led us in a new direction. To approach drinking consciously. To assess ourselves and make the best decisions according to how we want to feel mentally and physically, in that moment and afterwards. What we realized was that our wants and appreciation for a good cocktail, beer, or wine was real. Our wants or appreciation for a buzz or hangover... not so real.
Being conscious meant understanding short and long term affects of alcohol. It required acknowledging how our minds and bodies reacted to alcohol and what was a suitable and reasonable amount to consume. We started drinking less. We discovered the incredibly tasty alternatives that possessed the same ritualistic feeling of drinking alcohol. Replacements that had layers, complexity, and variety. From The Doctors’ naturally lower alcohol wine in New Zealand to Three Spirit’s alcohol-free elixirs in the UK. The options are abundant and available around the world.
These discoveries and self-evaluation helped drive change, although there was plenty of resistance along the way. Resistance, like people asking “why would you drink that?” A question that really shouldn’t even be asked in the first place. It’s a decision that anyone can make and shouldn’t feel judged for doing so. It shouldn’t matter if you’re driving, pregnant, or working in the morning. No reason is a good enough reason to drink less or not at all. It’s your decision.