Straight from the pen: Linda
24 hours together
The kids would be away for a day and night, so my Love and I had 24 hours we time in prospect. After a morning on the football field, they were picked up and we first ate a sandwich lunch together at home. We had some errands to do and drove to several shops. After an alcohol-free drink at home, we went to the restaurant in the cozy and always bustling village of Bergen (in North Holland). Just too far to cycle, especially with the inclement weather and the wind that was blowing, so we went by car.
We had made reservations at a culinary restaurant. Lots of flavour, lots of colour, lots of diversity, but not full plates. So it became an evening consciously tasting and enjoying flavors and small snacks. When recording the first drinks I asked what they could offer in the alcohol-free area. They didn't have a lot of non-alcoholic options, but the cocktail the waiter mentioned appealed to me, so I ordered this one. It was an alcohol-free 'gin' tonic. This was based on elderflower tonic and a kind of lemonade syrup with herbs and spices that are also used for gin. Finished with lemon, orange and ice, it was a delicious drink.
Secretly I had already decided beforehand that I would also drink wine with this meal.
It was a conscious deliberate choice. I was craving it and thought it would suit this occasion. So when my love was weighing his beer, what he would drink with his dinner, I more or less surprised him when I said: “Order a nice bottle of red wine, I want a glass too.” We studied the wine list together and chose a delicious bottle of red Italian Puglia wine.
Every course I enjoyed every sip. I didn't 'rinse' with the wine, didn't take big gulps, didn't swallow it without thinking or drank it with food in my mouth. Just really tasted. And I loved it!!
Until the last course, I did 4 courses long with my one and a half glass of wine. Afterwards we concluded with a coffee for me and an Irish coffee for my Lief. It had been a wonderful, sometimes emotional evening, which had nothing to do with the wine, by the way. And no, I absolutely did not regret my splurge. Perhaps because I had purposed it so consciously, or because I had kept my measure so neatly? Who's to say...
I did notice that I had slept more restlessly and that I had dreamed a lot, but that could also have other causes. The next day I continued my alcohol-free existence without any problems, looking back on a wonderful 24 hours.
Although it is widely publicized in the media and there is also a lot of advertising for mainly non-alcoholic beer, it strikes me, but also very much against it, that there is little attention in the cafes and the catering industry for people who want to drink non-alcoholic drinks. . The choice of non-alcoholic refreshments is very limited and the alternatives that are offered for alcoholic drinks with, for example, a 'high wine' or 'walkin' dinner” are sadly bad. For example, I think that alcohol-free wine should at least be on the menu in every self-respecting catering establishment, in addition to alcohol-free beers.
And even though I'm not a super mocktail fan, go crazy and make up 3 or 4 tasty mixed drinks, because once in a while it's pretty fun and delicious!