The virtues of excluding alcohol for January

The virtues of excluding alcohol for the month, and why it’s a lame tried-and-failed recipe.

alcohol, wine
Giving up alcohol will give you an unprecedented clarity on things
alcohol, wine
Giving up alcohol will give you an unprecedented clarity on things

The world of beverages is one that never fails to excite. With the coming new year, people take two directions, either they resolve to try something new or else they decide to abstain from alcohol. Both parties are trying to expand their horizons, one by trying new flavours and the other by reigning in their expanding girths. Either ways, not for me to decide which way is the right one. So, this time I have decided to bat for both teams: the next few lines will be spent extolling the virtues of excluding alcohol for the month, and then I will talk about why it’s a lame tried-and-failed recipe.

Giving up alcohol will give you an unprecedented clarity on things, mostly because you will now be in a position to wake up while the sun is still out and daylight can do wonders for the human spectrum of sight. Consequently you won’t bang into furniture because of all the light (and also because you’ll be walking straight and sturdy) so many of the bruises on your legs will disappear. If some persist after two weeks then it’s something serious and you should see a doctor. You will also find that food tastes and feels better, mainly because home-cooked are healthier than midnight roadside greasy grub which is pretty much you were subsisting on till last month. And while you lose inches on the waist you will find your wallet grow thicker what with no money being drained down with the dregs. Frankly, given all these advantages, why just January, just take some serious time off alcohol, or maybe till you can afford a yacht.

Now the turncoat. The first negative bit about excluding alcohol is that body risks going into shock from the sudden disappearance of alcohol, something that it has insofar got accustomed to coping with, one hangover to the next.

But the bigger, more widespread affect such a decision has is not just on you and the ripple effects extend much beyond. For when you decide to unleash atrocities like dry January, it is not just upon yourselves but also on those around you because, while you will struggle with your silly resolve, you will also make life hell for others in the vicinity who are just generally trying to get along and have a good time. You think people giving up coffee and cigarettes are bad, well get ready to join that club.

The good thing is that since there is a high chance that your friends are sozzled (maybe extra high preemptively just so to endure a sober you) they may be willing to excuse your spartan stance but you, on the other hand, seeing your drunk friends from the point of sobriety, may wonder why you were ever friends in first place and subsequently break all ties with them. Finally, for the final nail, here are a hundred great reasons to be drinking right through NYE and into January. Siqera cider, Moonshine mead and all the 98 other products that are been introduced.

Whether you abstain or maintain, remember that nothing good ever comes of the extremist form of anything — from diets to views, the idea should be to aim for sustainability. Am all for moderate consumption, sometimes even four to five times a day and especially twice after midnight!

The writer is a sommelier

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