In The Market: How you can drink cocktails and not get a hangover
The UK has a strange relationship with alcohol. Most mid-millennials have experienced a sturdy diet of stolen gin during their teenage years, surreptitiously topped up with water and hoping their parents wouldn't notice them surfacing at midday reeking of depressed 50's housewife.
Everyone had a friend with a cool mum who would crack out the WKD blue on a Friday night sleepover.
We didn't know the difference between a full-bodied Shiraz or a Cabernet, like French teenagers, nor did we know the joy of being legally allowed beer at 14 like Germans.
We turned 18 and graduated into the glittering and shameful world of Tequila laced nights out, where we would wake up with no memories and a filched traffic cone in our rooms.
As is custom, the drinking becomes more sophisticated but no less vigorous as the millennial ditches 'Spoons for the wine bar(although 'Spoons will do).
Maybe it's the classic British reservation that lends itself to binge drinking, spending our days in passive-aggressive politeness and unleashing it all after a few tipples.
It has become the lubricant for ladies toilet bonding for decades, the answer to a rainy Tuesday evening, the go-to for divorces, weddings and funerals.
One lady I met in my early twenties refereed to alcoholism as "the secret club that everyone in England is a part of."
There is a more serious side to alcohol consumption, one that has become apparent during lockdown.
Alcohol killed more people in 2020 in England and Wales than any other year on record, the Office for National Statistics has revealed.
A fifth more people died of alcohol misuse in 2020 than in 2019, official figures show, with the total number of deaths relating to alcohol reaching 7,423.
A peer reviewed Lancet journal study concluded that lockdown had a direct effect on alcohol consumption and abuse.
The study said: "A complex interplay of heightened financial difficulties, social isolation, uncertainty about the future, and the redistribution of the health workforce and the disruption to clinical services could contribute to increased alcohol intake and relapse under lockdown conditions."
Gen Z have been hailed as more health concious, with many of them choosing not to drink. They have cast aside the rites of passage that made being a Millennial so ridiculous. Boomers drank more classily, in private and Gen X didn't give a damn. So what happens to the generational middle child?
We do things like trialling alcohol free cocktails that promise to give us a "buzz" with no hangover.
Three Spirit is a company that claims their particular brand can make being T-total fun, using natural herbs and caffeine to give users a kick.
They come in dark, matte bottles that wouldn't look out of place on an alchemist's shelf. The price tag of £64 for three bottles(Livener, Social Elixr and Nightcap) was certainly more than a night on the tiles at the local pub, but I figured it would last longer and my liver would be grateful.
Upon opening them, expecting the fruity sweetness atypical of non-alcoholic cocktails, I was greeted with gingery notes and deep beetroot that gave me the same shudder as a quart of Whiskey.
"This is going to be authentic," I thought, as mixed in lemon, sparkling water and coconut sugar.
After half an hour, I did indeed feel a buzz not unlike coffee, but somehow better. The label warns of a high caffeine content and to speak to a GP before use if you take SSRIs, or have a health condition.
One day I replaced my morning coffee with Livener and it really did the trick.
Nightcap contains Valerian Root, which is a holistic solution that claims to help with insomnia and anxiety.
Personally, I can see myself enjoying these drinks instead of alcohol, and revel in not having a hangover the next day. I won't insult my friends, fall over or subject strangers to my "dancing".It will be fun trying to come up with a way to make the drinks taste less like a fart in a health food store as the Summer approaches and annoy friends with my drinking zen.