WTF Is "Mindful Drinking" and Why Is it a Thing in 2018?

Calling the "sober curious."

While a good Top Chef binge will do nothing to harm your liver, the same can't be said about binge drinking. So while some wellness lovers aren't willing to totally swear of the sauce, even during "dry January," there is a movement toward a more careful way of catching a buzz. 

Dubbed "mindful drinking," the movement centers on sipping cocktails slowly, and staying keenly aware of the drinks' tastes and textures, as well as clocking alcohol's physical effects on the body. (So, not knocking back one vodka soda after the next? Noted.)

In New York City, CLUB SÖDA is a popular event series that uses workshops, meet-ups, and talks to explore the topics of sobriety and mindful drinking. The group, says co-founder Ruby Warrington, isn't for recovering alcoholics so much as it is for "sober curious" individuals who want to add more natural highs into their repertoire of pick-me-ups.

She added: "People are investing a lot of time and money in their well-being — physical, emotional, mental — and then drinking a bottle of rosé on a Friday night. For more and more people, the obvious disconnect is being revealed."

CLUB SÖDA cofounder Biet Simkin says the movement is devoted to: “mindfulness around drinking, and questioning what effort are they actually putting toward bliss in their life, other than shooting mezcal down.”

There's less mezcal than meditation at MNDFL. The New York studio hosts mindful drinking classes where attendees gather, slowly sip drinks, and analyze the effects the alcohol has on their bodies and minds. "The goal is more that they would have a healthier relationship to [alcohol] than to drink more or less,” says studio owner Lodro Rinzler. “That said, many people do notice, ‘I will meet with that friend and instead of having one, I have four drinks.’ They end up saying, ‘I don’t need to do that.’”   

So the next time you want to grab cocktails with a pal, try asking: "shall we meet at six for some mindful sips?" You'll sound so au courant. 

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