Every new year, the first thing to start trending is Dry January, when millions of people voluntarily opt out of booze for the month, conceivably to “dry out” from the holidays behind them. A cleanse if you will — often proudly declared on social media. Teetotalism, but make it chic!
Most of us can remember a time when sobriety had more stigma: there was often an implication that people who didn’t drink had *a problem* they couldn’t control. While that is true in many cases, (I’ve seen alcoholism virtually disintegrate the minds and lives of more than one loved one) we all know the decision not to imbibe is just as often not driven by addiction. When did sobriety become so live-out-loud chic, though?
I think it quietly began brewing sometime around the early aughts. The D.A.R.E generation hit adolescence, and Millenial scene kids coined the term “straight edge”, a nomenclature for abstaining from drugs and alcohol. They proudly signaled their choice with Sharpie-scrawled X’s on their hands — mimicking the mark anyone under 21 was given at the door of a club — and collectively called bullshit on sobriety-shaming.
Fast forward to today. In And Just Like That, Sex and the City’s tepid, woke reincarnation, Miranda has suddenly developed a drinking problem, which is perhaps the clunkiest, least subtle plotline of all time. Miranda has for years been characterized by her sensibility, but now we see her stop at a bar at 11 am and ask for a glass of Chablis. Charlotte finds airplane bottles of booze in Miranda’s bag. Miranda orders Chablis before a funeral. (Chablis, really?)
Eventually, the ever-sanctimonious Charlotte gives Miranda a book called “Quit Like a Woman”. We discover Miranda’s drinking is driven by an unhappy marriage (and subsequent sexual awakening). She realizes she’s been self-medicating with booze to numb her pain.
Miranda makes the choice to stop drinking altogether. Pop-culturally speaking, that’s bout as mainstream as it gets. And just like that, we have reached normalization.
So what does that choice look like in 2022? Obviously, you’re going to feel better without a hangover — but terms like “Sober Curious” ask you to reevaluate your intentionality with alcohol, wondering aloud how life would look if we stopped mindless social drinking and practiced more purpose when we do choose to drink. I’d venture to guess you’d end up drinking much less. Which is a gateway to quitting altogether.
Other books, like “Quit Like A Woman” position sobriety as a radical wellness choice, even a feminist one. It’s a popular notion— the book went viral in 2020 when Chrissy Teigen attributed it to her own decision to quit.
In short: lots of people are cutting back and quitting. And an entire industry is developing around them.
Enter Ghia, a non-alcoholic aperitif brand “on a mission to change the way we think about drinking and socializing”. Founder Melanie Mesarin “was inspired by the summers enjoyed with family in the South of France near the Mediterranean—moments spent entertaining friends, cooking together, and having conversations that lasted until dawn.”
Melanie’s hope is that sobriety doesn’t have to equal the abandonment of beloved social traditions, like aperitivo hour, a cold spritz in the summer — or even a Negroni.
Caroline, our Studio Manager at Graves Creative, is a passionate Negroni fan — but it’s Dry January, and she’s midway through her second pregnancy. So she devised a clever non-alcoholic substitute for her favorite cocktail.
Caroline: “I love Ghia for its heady citrus and botanical notes, so I started researching non-alcoholic spirits to what else was out there. I came across Giffard Aperitif Syrup. On its own, it works as a Campari substitute. It’s very bold, but for me, the downside is it’s packed with sugar. So… I mixed it with Ghia. The result is a more balanced, non-alcoholic cocktail that successfully scratches that Negroni itch.”
A note about sparkling water…
Sparkling water’s been getting a bad rep lately. And whether or not you buy into the scare marketing that debates the “health” of certain brands (please, be smarter than this), the best-tasting sparkling water, in my opinion, is the water you carbonate yourself. Primarily because you can control the most important part: the bubbles! Do you like ‘em to hit your nose at the rim of the glass, or do you like the subtle kick of tiny bubs?
You can choose your own adventure with the Aarke, a chic countertop sparkling water machine. I’ve had one for a year or so now, and here’s what I like about it: yes, I can control the carbonation level, and yes, I can drop in a little flavor (à la La Croix) or a little syrup (tonic for my G&T). But most of all, if something is going to sit out on my counter 24/7, it had better look good — and the Aarke is super sexy. Bonus points for how lightweight it is, and how easily it moves around — no electrical outlet needed!
Also trending in January…
Your old mask is out, this one is in.
Everyone is making vision boards and playing Wordle.
If ’90s and early-Millenium fashion pieces like Chrome Hearts hats, Missoni cardigans, Jean-Paul Gaultier dresses, and vintage Thierry Mugler are lurking in the back of your closet, now is the time to consign for top dollar.
Gaslighting, gatekeeping, girlbossing: the new “live, laugh, love”.
“Oystering” is the new dating trend.