As my big 3-0 is fast approaching, I’ve started to think about how getting older has changed my drinking habits. Don’t get me wrong, I still have my moments for crazy stuff (like staying up till 4am after a rock concert or necking back the occasional shot when someone offers one), but I have definitely calmed down a lot. For example, I prefer not to drink too much so I don’t waste the next day – I don’t like wasting my time when there is always so much to do and to see.
We mature (like wine!!) in so many ways, even when it comes to our drinking habits – how many of these can you relate to?
1 You are on your way home when a younger version of yourself was only leaving the house!
In my early 20s I would consume a few drinks at home and head out as late as 11pm. These days I am more likely to be in my PJs with a cup of tea by then.
2 Water is your go-to drink.
It wasn’t long ago when if I had two glasses in my hands they were both definitely booze, but today I will always have a glass of water with every alcoholic drink I imbibe. The chances of waking up with a hangover are slim if I remember to hydrate. I can’t recommend this habit enough.
3 Shots are more scary than exciting.
I hardly ever drink shots, and if I do I can be rather picky about what I drink and how it needs to be served. So, when someone starts shouting shots, it can be rather scary when you are not sure what is coming. In the past, I would just drink almost anything, especially if it was free.
4 You are willing to pay more for booze.
It is not a big deal to pay more for a bottle of wine than you pay for the meal when in a restaurant. Sometimes I also invest in a nice bottle of gin or other spirits to sip at home. My cooking wine probably costs more than the wine I used to drink back in the day…
5 You drink Negronis!
Go back five to ten years and I would never have imagined I would be sipping a Negroni. At least I wouldn’t have willingly ordered one or stored the right booze at home to actually make one. Now it is the best thing and one of my favourite drinks!
6 Tequila is for sipping.
These days tequila and several other spirits are for sipping, because I actually like them. I never use lime or salt with tequila either; nor is there any Coca-Cola in my rum. It’s the pure taste of the spirit that I’ve grown to appreciate.
7 You invest in glassware.
I love glassware, from the wine glasses for all types of wine, through to all the varieties of cocktail glasses and tumblers. There is no drinking from plastic cups any more (unless I am at a festival, and even then, I rock up with an awesome glass I bought for the occasion. I am officially a glassware snob…).
8 You don’t choose beer based on ABV.
I never choose wine or beer based on ABV, or if I do, I always choose the one with the lowest ABV. Changed days indeed…
9 Getting carded is a compliment!
It used to be embarrassing with everyone thinking you might be underage, but these days it’s no bother. At least I know I still look young and will probably still keep the young looks for many years to come (let’s review this list at 40…).
10 No more drinking games.
Oh, how I used to love drinking games! Drinking during The Police’s Roxanne was one of my favourite games (if you don’t know it, look it up!), but now I’d rather just enjoy my drink without rushing and chat with friends instead.
11 Drinking alone is OK!
I come from a country which has a word for drinking alone in your underwear without even planning on going out (yes, we have one word for all that!), showing that at least the Finns think it’s ok to have a drink on your own to relax and unwind after a crazy day. Sometimes you just need space to think, away from all the hustle and bustle, and if that means a quiet drink on your own, don’t be ashamed about it!
12 You say NO to premixed drinks!
Not only do they have hundreds more calories than building a drink from scratch, they just don’t taste as nice, in my opinion. Premixed G&T has at least 320kcal, while a regular G&T is 110kcal (35ml gin with 100ml Fever-Tree Tonic), or use slimline and it goes down to 90kcal. There was a time when I used to happily down watermelon or lime Bacardi Breezers, but these are definitely drinks I do not miss. (One exception being Finnish Lonkero, which is premixed gin and grapefruit soda. I must have one each time I go back home because it is just so good!)
13 Quality over quantity.
I’d rather spend a bit of extra money to enjoy a drink somewhere special (say a roof terrace with views over Florence) than get three cheap low-quality drinks somewhere without the wow factor.
14 You say NO to going out because you have a spin class the next morning.
There was a time I probably would have cancelled the class, but these days I enjoy exercise, and unless there is an extremely good reason for a night out, I’d rather take a rain check and do the spinning instead.
15 Your home bar is full.
There was no way a bottle of vodka or wine would have lasted for very long in my house when I was younger. Nor did I have a wide selection of drinks in the house anyway. Today I have an amazing built-in bar with plenty to choose from. It is nice to be able to fix a long drink or a cocktail when one is needed.
And as with everything else, there are always exceptions to every point, and occasions that call for boozing do come up every now and then. But instead of having a huge all-day-and-night costume party, like I did for my 21st, I am planning on having a relaxing day by the pool/spa and enjoying a few exceptionally tasty cocktails to celebrate getting older. There might also be an expensive bottle of champagne served in the proper glassware…
How did you celebrate your 30th? How have your drinking habits changed over the years? Is there anything I might have missed from this list? Please leave me your comments below.