I love to drink. I've worked in bars and nightlife since college. I've spent a lot of time in a lot of gin joints and been lucky enough to help start a few of them. I love how these places bring people together.
But through work and my own passion for flavors, it got to be that I was just drinking too damn much. After one particular night chasing the dragon, I had over 20 drinks and… I was fine the next day. It scared the crap out of me.
So I cut back on booze and started tinkering in the kitchen. My mission? To create non-alcoholic drinks as complex and surprising as any you'd find at a great cocktail bar... and to share them with friends. Some crowd favorites: a hibiscus Dark&Stormy and a dry 5-spice citrus concoction. This was the beginning of Curious Elixirs.
Years passed, more friends have gotten sober, gotten pregnant, or just taken a break from booze. There still aren't many good options. The lack of quality alcohol alternatives is pretty shocking considering 30% of Americans don't drink. So last year, I teamed up with Ashley Simon to bring Curious Elixirs out of the kitchen and into the world.
I was always told that when I turned 30 my metabolism would suddenly turn on me and I’d no longer be able to eat pizza for every meal (thanks for the buzzkill, older girlfriends!). What no one told me was that my hangovers would turn into 2 day affairs requiring a gallon of Gatorade and a dark room. As someone who is active and likes to work, hangovers aren’t something I have the patience for. Combine that with a kidney illness that put me on some serious meds, and I had to figure out how to moderate my alcohol intake.
What I found immediately is that it’s really hard to cut back on drinking. Like, really hard. Every event has booze. Every dinner party has booze. Even really random stuff has booze now - like I just saw a promotion for “yoga and wine time” at my local studio. And what makes this even more difficult is that there is almost never a great non-alcoholic option. I still love to go out, I still love to socialize with friends and colleagues, and I enjoy the ritual of drinking something special to close out my day. Soda water is not special. Diet Coke is not special. And that’s what I’m typically offered.
Starting Curious Elixirs with John was a no-brainer. On the few nights a week I do drink, my typical habit is to start my evening with a glass of wine and then move on to Curious. I find that I’m satiated and I feel great the next morning. I love the complex flavors we’ve developed and I look forward to drinking them in the same way I look forward to a really interesting cocktail. And maybe the biggest plus: no more 2-day hangovers.