I love beer. Craft beer, the hops, the cool labels, you know? And so it makes me sad that I am saying good-bye to the craft beer aisle forever.
On the other hand, I’ve said good-bye to a thing I really love to drink – for the sake of profound new health and connection with myself. How fucking cool is that? Extremely, if I do say so myself.
What do I drink at 4 p.m. now? Some people recommend not to replacing the beer or wine with anything. There’s something to be said for that. Others say not to go near nonalcoholic beer, and there’s merit in that, too (even a necessity for some of us). But I’m such a beverage person. I still drink at 3 or 4, just not what I used to.
Nowadays it’s often a nonalcoholic beer, and it’s almost always something fizzy. When I crack open a Clausthaler, I’m still amazed that I only want just one. I like it just fine, but never reach for a second one. I’ve heard people saying that we reach for the next (real) beer because alcohol dehydrates us and makes us thirsty, and that never sounded right to me. Who are they kidding? Drinking beer isn’t a matter of thirst, it’s for the alcohol (for those of us anywhere along the range of dependency). Now that’s even clearer to me. I only want one because there’s no additional buzz to get.
I also like fizzy water. Especially in a wine glass, maybe with lime. It’s got a nice treat quality. But my god, a few weeks ago I remembered this thing I tried years ago called a … cream soda, with actual cream, and I tried making one, and I am sold. In heaven. Holy beehives Batman, the creaminess on top of the fizz and with ice? The fat and the cold/fizz are completely at war and it’s wonderful.
I actually feel like with this drink I can handle any shot-out-of-nowhere craving that may happen when I’m out and about. If I can just get my hands on a fizzy cream soda, I will be okay enough to calm down.
Throughout the day I also perpetually have a cup in hand. It’s always coffee (early morning) or herbal tea (rest of day). What is it about liquids for me? And mugs. Two decades ago I discovered hand-thrown ceramic mugs and I’ve had very few of my cups of coffee and tea in anything but these ever since. The sensory aspect of hot drinks fully includes holding the cup. (I bought this blue glass special for my fabulous fizz cream soda.)
I’ve also realized lately that I’m attached to the image of drinking, the glass or the bottle. The idea of tilting back in a chair “with a beer” in my woodworking shop at the end of a day. The image of sitting with my computer at a table in the corner of a bar, “with a beer.” (I love Susan Linney’s reflections on that.) Wine was fine, too. Either way, somehow they signaled a wall around me; I was in my own little world. (Going to do some more thinking about this – the cocoon aspect of drinking and how to get it in other ways.)
Could I get that table-in-the-corner feeling even if I’m not drinking alcohol? Turns out that I can. And it comes with a clear head and solid sleep afterwards. I really like the atmosphere you get in pubs and wine bars, and so I wanted to be able to consider those places safe for me. I think I do. I’ve tried it and it’s actually pretty nice. (If you’re reading this and the little addict in you hears me say this and thinks it’s a GREAT, just a GREAT idea to try, like, if she can do it I can too!!, I ask you to please tell it to shut the hell up. We’re all different. Our triggers are very personal. (You, for instance, can probably go to the state fair and not drink, but no way will I attempt that.))
Do you have a save-the-day drink? Or just something you like to hang onto, at 4 p.m., 7 p.m., 11 p.m., that leaves you with a wonderful night of sleep? What is it? Is the cup special, to your eyes, hands, or heart?