Over the last few months I have had several people sending me links to stories where there are sober bars popping up in Texas, NYC, and in the UK. I have seen headlines promoting “Mocktail Madness”, “Sober oasis, “Hangouts without the hangovers”, “Booze-free fun”, and “Sober: The New Trend”. Most of these places are utilizing hashtags like #sobercurious and #soberliving to promote and to label their establishments. It has been quite exciting to see the movement catch on and I deeply hope more pop up. We might consider ourselves as trendsetters as we were one of the first to open 6 years ago. Certainly, we can call ourselves “innovative” as we sought to provide sodas, mocktails, and coffee as alternatives to alcohol in a social atmosphere. I say that with a bit of cynicism, yet I know that is it very much the case in our day in age; social events all but demand some sort of social lubricant to compliment the atmosphere and keep the people comfortable.
I find most interesting the term “sober curious”. This phrase clearly implies that a life of sobriety or even the idea of being sober at a social event is abnormal for most adults, even the ones under 21 years of age. Drinking alcohol is so much of our normal and the idea of not drinking is now considered a “trendy movement”. The fact that one would would go to a bar and not drink alcohol would label the intention as “curious”. What could life be like without alcohol easing the new encounters, lubricating conversations, and empowering the less-than-confident in the social arena?
Just last month on Nov 29 the Today Show had a short segment about mocktail recipes for the upcoming holiday festivities. The casts blatantly lacked curiosity and the lack of open-mindedness. It was apparent that the trend for non-alcoholic drinks was not catching on that day. It almost seemed as though choosing to not drink was like choosing to sit at the children’s table come family dinners. Who does that? It would be a curious thing to do I suppose.
Trendy or not, being alcohol-free is not really a new thing. The term “teetotaler” is defined as a person who totally abstains from alcohol. It was coined in the Temperance movement in the early 1900’s. The movement was an organized effort during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries to limit or outlaw the consumption and production of alcoholic beverages in the United States. Today, alcohol is legal and teetotalers still exist. Many feel that an alcohol-free life has more benefits than not. The New York Times, NPR and other reputable Presses seem to be making an honest attempt to sell the concept by sharing statistics on healthier liver function, weight loss, and over more positive self-respect not to mention better working environments and healthier relationships that all come with sober-living.
I have personally found that I like myself more when I am not under the influence. I have found that perhaps the kid’s table is more appealing as conversation seems to be more honest and pure without masking or pretending to be someone who I am not. At the kid’s table one is allowed to be shy without criticism and the energetic one is expected to be to add some chaos; its real at the kid’s table. Pretending is left for games at the kid’s table and pretenses are not even thought of. Sounds absolutely delightful! Perhaps we “teetotalers” or “Sober curious folks” ought to meet at the kids table this season and tip our glasses to healthy living and being authentic with our apple spritzers. Cheers! #soberbar #soberliving #authentic #sobercurious #soberisbetter #mocktails