Recently our friend Nat from The Mindful Mocktail created two refreshing and delightful mocktail recipes using Edenvale alcohol-removed wines that are perfect for the summer months.
This time of year can be stressful for those choosing an alcohol-free lifestyle, as invitations to end-of-year celebrations and summer barbecues fill our busy calendars. But as the sober curious movement continues to grow and more Australians ditch or moderate their consumption of alcohol in favour of healthier alternatives, the pressure to participate in social drinking is becoming less of a challenge.
Sober curious is a term used to describe individuals who are interested in exploring a lifestyle without alcohol. This could mean anything from taking a break from drinking for a few weeks or months to completely abstaining from alcohol. People who are sober curious are often looking to improve their overall health and wellbeing. Since the term was coined by author Ruby Warrington in 2018, there has also been a steady trend towards embracing the concept of mindful drinking, which is predicted to grow right through 2023.
Mindful drinking is about building a healthier relationship with alcohol, rejecting the ‘all or nothing’ mentality often associated with consuming alcohol. As more people become increasingly aware of the negative impacts of alcohol on their health, many are choosing to cut back or stop drinking altogether.
We sat down for a chat with Nat from The Mindful Mocktail to discuss the benefits of an alcohol-free lifestyle, her tips for making a great mocktail and what inspired her latest Edenvale drink creations.
Q. How did your journey into the sober curious movement start?
N: Several years ago I realised that my relationship with alcohol needed to change. I was drinking a little too much, too often and alcohol was taking more than it was giving.
I decided to take a break and immersed myself in sobriety podcasts and 'Quit Lit'. That's when I came across the term sober curious, which essentially means to get curious about your relationship with alcohol – why you drink, when you drink and how much you drink – and to question whether it is right for you.
What I love about sober curiosity is that although it encourages a sober lifestyle, it's not preachy. It welcomes people who do drink or who are not ready to give up alcohol for whatever reason.
Q. Why do you think more people are adopting an alcohol-free lifestyle?
N: I think we are more aware than ever of the effects that alcohol has on our body and mind, and this is a big motivator for many to either stop drinking or at least reduce their alcohol intake.
Gone are the days of accepting that Sunday mornings are for being in bed fighting off a hangover – we want it ALL! To be able to go out, socialise and have fun, but also wake up on Sunday and go for yoga and brunch without feeling queasy from the amount of alcohol we consumed the night before.
Q. Talk us through the idea of mindful drinking…
N: Mindful drinking is really about taking charge of your relationship with alcohol and making intentional, thoughtful decisions about when you drink, why you drink and how much you drink.
Instead of heading out for the night, drinking mindlessly and waking with a hangover, mindful drinking is having a deliberate and thought-out plan of how much alcohol you will consume, truly enjoying each sip and waking without regret.
Q. Your best tips for celebrating alcohol-free this summer?
N: Always have an alcohol-free replacement on hand, whether it be a non-alcoholic wine, a mocktail or another drink you enjoy.
Focus on what you are gaining and not what you are giving up. Mindset is so important. If you go to a social event thinking 'I can't drink' and feeling resentful about that, it's a recipe for disaster.
Reframe this and think 'I choose not to drink' and know you are doing the best thing for your body and mind.
Q. What makes a great mocktail?
N: A well thought-out mocktail is usually perfectly balanced with just the right amount of bite – similar to a cocktail really! I love using fresh ingredients for depth of flavour and I am a sucker for an easy mocktail with just a few ingredients.
Q. Do you have a signature mocktail and can you share it with us?
N: Yes, I am loving the Sparkling Cosmopolitan mocktail I created for Edenvale recently – it's received such great feedback!
Edenvale Sparkling Cosmopolitan
- 30ml cranberry juice
- 15ml orange juice
- 15ml lime juice
- ½ teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon agave or simple syrup
- 60ml Edenvale Blanc De Blanc
- Cranberries to garnish (optional)
- Add all ingredients except the wine to a shaker.
- Add some ice and shake for about 15 seconds.
- Strain into a martini glass, then gently add sparkling wine.
- Garnish with cranberries and serve.
Q. As mentioned, you recently collaborated with Edenvale to create some delicious summer mocktail recipes. What inspired these creations?
N: With the warm weather here in Australia, I knew they had to be fruity and sparkling but not too sweet. The Sparkling Cosmo was inspired by a regular cosmopolitan but I wanted to add my own sparkling twist.
The Cucumber Elderflower Spritz was inspired by those hot summer days and nights – cooling cucumber and fresh elderflower is the perfect combination for warmer days.
Q. Where do you see drinking trends headed in 2023?
N: I predict that the amount of people assessing their relationship with alcohol will increase in 2023, and there will be even more of us getting curious about our drinking habits. It really is an exciting time for the alcohol-free space!