We're all obsessed with ways of cutting back on booze
Drink. It's all we talk about. For a minute there, we thought diet had taken over from drink as the number one topic of conversation. Who were we kidding? Drink is still way out in front. Facing up to our dependency on alcohol used to be the hot topic in January, and in the lead-up to Lent, but now it's rolling news. It's really all we're interested in.
For a minute there, we thought diet had taken over from drink as the number one topic of conversation.
In years to come, people will marvel at this period in our history when people like us – who hoot with laughter at the sissy snowflakes in their booze-free halls of residence – have become shameless alcochondriacs. We're not about to give up drink but we're endlessly interested in how much is too much, and how we might limit our intake with minimum discomfort.
Middle-class, middle-ranking drinkers (bingeing at the weekend, getting a bit carried away on a Wednesday, having a few dry days, but quite often cancelling one of those) have become peculiar about alcohol. Here are some of the ways you can tell you have become an alcochondriac, 2018 style:
1. You buy artisan cordials, in the hope that you can wean yourself onto them, once rosé season is officially past. Also Kombucha, which does deflect the urge for an alcoholic drink, a bit.
2. Asking for a G&T and then saying, "But just a small one, not too much; is that all gin or mainly ice? On second thoughts, I wonder if I should have a spritzer."
3. You consult the barman as if he were a doctor, as in "which is less hangovery: the chardonnay or the sauvignon… or would I be better off, do you think, with a beer?"
4. Buying really small wine glasses, to slow you down, then moving on to bigger, quality glasses, on the principle that you should be savouring every drink as if it were your first or last not treating it like either poison or Fanta.
5. You start buying more expensive wine and talking about it, in a bid to get the savouring thing going. You are aiming to drink like a French sophisticate, rather than worrying your girlfriend is ripping through it, and filling your glass to the brim in case it runs out.
6. You seek out 12 per cent proof wines. (Note: recently, you've given that up, having realised your subconscious considers 12 per cent to be not really alcohol, so you end up drinking twice as much.)
7. You start drinking later.
8. You drink outside and leave the bottle inside.
9. You drink champagne, on the basis that you really do have to savour that, and the bubbles definitely slow you down, and isn't it better for you? (Note: of all the strategies this may be the most effective, albeit ruinously expensive, though who knows? In the long term it could actually save you money.)
And, obviously, being an alcochondriac means having at least one conversation a week about what you could do differently – apart from not drink.
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