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LOWERED ALCOHOL TOLERANCE AS WE AGE

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After chemotherapy for breast cancer, one drink of alcohol was about all I could handle. One drink of anything gave me the talkies and made me the happiest person in the room, but any more than one, and I was fried. I discovered this when James and I stopped for a drink at the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco on our way to the airport. 

I ordered a Cosmopolitan, and it was love at first sip.

This was back in the day when Oprah was oohing and aahing about Cosmos, and I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. The bartender and I struck up a conversation and after my first drink he made me a roadie, on the house, and put it in a Styrofoam cup. By the time James and I got to the airport, I’d finished my second Cosmo. When we reached our gate I went to the ladies room, and a few minutes later James said he looked up in time to see a woman, walking down the concourse, who was talking to herself and laughing. A second later he realized that woman was me. In all our years together, he’d never seen me tipsy. It was the first time two drinks had done that to me.

Now my tolerance for alcohol has dropped even further. One drink of anything gives me a hangover the next morning, and I don’t get a buzz, so I stopped drinking. When I mentioned this to my doctor, he said it’s not uncommon for this to happen to some people as they age. While I never drank to excess, I do miss a great margarita, a glass of champaign, or a vodka tonic, and to some extent, I miss the ritual of having a drink at the end of a long day, but I’ve found some alternatives.

Over the last year non-alcoholic drinks, better known as mocktails, have surged in popularity. Whether you’ve stopped drinking alcohol altogether, or you’re looking to cutback, there are lots of non-alcohol spirits on the market from distillers like Seedlip, which offer three alternatives to mix with tonic as well as a host of recipes that come with their bottles. FYI, the Seedlip link I’ve included contains three small sample bottles of each of their premium blends for you to try. Other non-alcohol spirits include Monday Zero Alcohol Gin, and Ritual Zero Proof, a whiskey alternative.

If you like champagne, try a bottle of non-alcoholic champagne and sparkling wine like St Regis Sparkling Brut, Chateau de Fleur, or Surely Sparkling Rosé from Sonoma, California.

Then there are the drinks you can make with your own ingredients like the Mango Mule, Citrus Fizz and the Virgin Cucumber Gimlet, which all sound good, but I haven’t made them yet.

Cheers everyone!

Love, Brenda

17 Comments

  • Reply Linda L Floyd October 30, 2021 at 12:12 pm

    Thanks for this….I am allergic(?) to alcohol. I simply get sick and have to grip the bowl after having even a half of a drink. Learned this in college and don’t drink to this day…I’m always the designated driver! My Mother and nephew are the exactly the same. Anyway, the interesting thing is if I say I’m allergic at a party, a lot of people think you’re an alcoholic! I’ve even had people ask me if I know Bill W. Of course I had no idea who Bill W was, but now know he founded Alcoholics Anonymous! I’ve heard it’s a secret question to let one recovering alcoholic know you have a friend there. It’s easier to just order a soda so I’m not constantly asked if I need a drink! I wish more hosts and hostesses would make these wonderful non-alcoholic drinks part of the bar they set up when entertaining. I know I will add several of these to are entertainment menu.

    • Reply 1010ParkPlace October 31, 2021 at 11:50 am

      Linda, Oh dear! That’s awful. Absolutely an incentive not to drink. I hear you about how others respond to you if you’re not drinking. They automatically think you’re an alcoholic. If I’m with a small group of friends I don’t worry about that, but if it’s a group where I don’t know many of the people, I order a tonic with lime. xoxox, Brenda

  • Reply Michelle Walker October 30, 2021 at 12:27 pm

    Hello Brenda, I’m Michelle, 60+. I read your post on makeup, and I have to admit, I may be stuck in a time warp refusing to believe
    the same products that have worked for me in the past, don’t work anymore.
    I have almost shoulder length blonde silver hair that my stylist has worked very hard to achieve so the growing out to silver/grey
    isn’t too painful.
    I have fair skin, blue eyes. I have always leaned towards bold pinks and corals, but now I feel like I look like a puppet.
    Concealer looks terrible, I don’t really love foundation, always chose powder.
    I no longer can apply eye pencil as well as I used to, but I refuse to give it up. I love, love, love blush and lipstick, but I think the brights
    make me look older. I looked at the Amazon link you posted, but I think those colors work best on a brunette.
    Thinking of getting my eyelashes tinted, as they are thinning out. I have never had a good experience having my makeup done professionally,
    as they put on way too much!
    Please help if you can. I got your link from Barbara Bergin’s blog. I am brand new to your blog and loving it!!

    • Reply 1010ParkPlace October 31, 2021 at 12:37 pm

      Hi Michelle, I’ve been there! Realizing the makeup and hair the used to work for me no longer does. Without seeing you, there’s only so much I can suggest. For starters, you need to make sure the blonde and silver in your hair compliments your skin tone. I’m fair skinned, but a bit on the olive side, and have blue eyes, but blonde and/or silver hair wash out my complexion and it doesn’t look good on me, so I’ve continued to color my hair. What if you go to several large department stores (not Sephora or Ultra) until you find an older woman behind the makeup counter? She will guide you better than the young women. Tell her you want to update your look, but you don’t want a heavy look. Something light and youthful.
      I’d encourage you to use a light daytime moisturizer and a foundation that gives you light coverage and matches your skin tone. Powder foundations can be very aging looking because they settle into the lines on your face plus they aren’t moist which makes you look younger and reflects a little light while powder makes your skin look flat.
      Concealers are tricky to find the right ones. My old concealer stopped looking good on me and I went from makeup counter to makeup counter to find one that was light weight and blended well with my foundation. I went so far as to take the mirror outside and look at the concealer in the day light. I do that with foundation as well.
      Eye pencils are very forgiving IF you then smudge the line with a brush close to your lash line. That gives you the definition your eyes need, but it’s a soft look that doesn’t call attention to a harsh line or an unsteady hand.
      Blush… Again you need one that works with your hair and skin tone. Sandy Linter, my friend and makeup artist icon to celebrities and supermodels uses the blush I posted on blondes and brunettes. I would suggest a cream, applied with a brush because you can control the amount you put on your skin and blend it better with a brush although I know a lot of people like to use their fingers.
      Lipstick shades change as we age as well and we need to be sensitive about whether they’re right for our skin tone.
      I’ve never had my eyelashes tinted, but get it done by someone who’s very good and experienced. Perhaps the makeup artist you find in the department store can suggest someone. Again, I’d suggest you keep looking until you find an older woman behind the makeup counter at Nordstroms, Saks, or Dillards. If she looks like a clown, however, keep on walking.
      As far as good/bad experiences having your makeup professionally done… You can’t just sit there and let them takeover 1000%. You have to tell them up front you want something that’s an everyday look, light and youthful, that you can apply yourself. Pay attention to what they’re doing, and if they’re not going in the right direction, stop them and help them achieve what you want. These days they may want to put false lashes on you, but if that’s not what you want, tell them. They’re not mind readers. Or take a photo of someone with your hair color and makeup that you ‘d like to emulate. Current images of Sharon Stone is someone who’s blonde/silver with light makeup. A good makeover can change your life! Let me know what happens, Michelle! xoxox, Brenda

  • Reply Linda Winder October 30, 2021 at 9:48 pm

    You had me laughing at “talkies”! Another fun post!!!!

    • Reply 1010ParkPlace October 31, 2021 at 12:42 pm

      Hello my darling friend! I’m so glad you liked this post. How are you? xoxox, Brenda

  • Reply Hilda Smith October 31, 2021 at 7:50 am

    I agree. Two drinks …my limit now.

    • Reply 1010ParkPlace October 31, 2021 at 12:44 pm

      Hilda, I rarely drank too much. All I want is a little buzz, but that’s not on the list anymore. Sad! xoxox, Brenda

  • Reply LA CONTESSA October 31, 2021 at 10:07 am

    YEP, I:M THERE AS WELL…………..BUT THE WEIGHT COMES OFF TOO IF ONE STOPS DRINKING.
    MY FAVORITE NON-ALCOHOLIC DRINK OF THE MONTH IS A BIT OF POMEGRANATE JUICE WITH A SPLASH OF 7-up and a LIME or LEMON SLICE which really sends it to the TOP for me!ON THE ROCKS AS THAT MAKES YOU SIP AND YOU ARENOT GETTING SO MUCH LIQUID IN BEFORE BEDTIME WHICH ALLOWS YOU TO GET UP AND PEE ONLY ONCE IN THE NIGHT!
    When the ITALIAN MAKES IT IT IS SO MUCH BETTER THAN WHEN I MAKE IT WHY IS THAT?
    AS YOU KNOW I HAVE GIVEN UP A LOT OF LIFE’s ENJOYMENTS……..as far as food and wine.I was thinking about that last night as I was making my cocktail!I am happy to remember when I COULD and HAPPY I TRIED and DID WHAT I DID AS YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHATS IN STORE FOR YOU NOR WHAT YOU WILL BE MISSING OUT ON!
    I guess now the saying “BEEN THERE DONE THAT” can apply to us LADIES of a certain generation!
    XXX

    • Reply 1010ParkPlace October 31, 2021 at 12:48 pm

      Elizabeth, Yes, we are now the “Been There Done That” group, but let’s not forget there’s much more out there for us to do and experience. We just need to seek it out and reach for it. We can’t give in to the bad apples life hands us. I know we don’t always feel like doing something, but when we do… SEIZE THE MOMENT AND MAKE IT HAPPEN! Pomegranate juice!!! I LOVE that idea with a splash of something like tonic and a lime! THANKS FOR THIS! I’ll try it ASAP! Love, Brenda

      • Reply Bonnie Sachs October 31, 2021 at 5:37 pm

        Seize the moment!
        If not now, when!
        Embrace life as it presents itself!
        All mantras that are so prescient to we ladies who have so much to live and give.
        Thank you Brenda.
        (Ps: the way drinks are made in bars/restaurants nowadays – might as well skip the alcohol. There’s barely any there anyway)

        • Reply 1010ParkPlacr November 1, 2021 at 8:51 am

          Bonnie, I like what you said: If not now, when? You’re so right. We need to get on with the business of living joyfully and seeking new experiences. xoxox, Brenda

  • Reply Barbara October 31, 2021 at 2:06 pm

    My mother and sister stopped drinking because it made them feel awful. Mother’s gone now, but these are some great ideas I’ll forward to my sister. Thanks Brenda! I learn something every time I’m here.Xo Barb

    • Reply 1010ParkPlace October 31, 2021 at 11:04 pm

      Hi Barb, Sounds like that gene skipped you. Thanks for sharing with your sister. xoxox, Brenda

  • Reply 1010ParkPlace October 31, 2021 at 11:08 pm

    Bonnie, I like what you said: If not now, when? You’re so right. We need to get on with the business of living joyfully and seeking new experiences. xoxox, Brenda

  • Reply Juliet November 1, 2021 at 1:36 pm

    Brenda, I’m so thankful to you for writing this post. I was always considered a lightweight, but as I’ve aged it’s become so much worse. If I drink an entire glass of wine I feel intoxicated. Within a couple of hours a headache is sure to come on. My sleep is disrupted (worse than usual) and I’ll wake up feeling hung over, headachy and need a day or two to feel like myself again. If I have more than one drink, I may very well be physically ill and the headache will likely morph into a migraine and linger for days. It’s so cruel, at an age when I could really use a drink … it’s become almost impossible. Now, I still imbibe from time to time but have learned to stick with low sugar content alcohol, turn wine into a Spritzer and avoid sugary mixers. I’ll sip slowly, and maybe consume half the glass over the course of a couple of hours. And, of course, I eat first. I’ve googled this many times and have come up with very little other than one can become less tolerant to alcohol as well age … my doctor says the same thing. But I want to know more. I also don’t notice this in others my age who seem to drink more than every without consequence Thank you for writing about this … it’s very reassuring and comforting to know I’m not alone. xo

    • Reply 1010ParkPlace November 2, 2021 at 12:00 pm

      Juliet, Like you, one glass of wine keeps me from going to sleep or staying asleep. I tried with food, without food, “white” drinks are supposed to be less sugary like dry white wines, vodka and tequila, but I had problems with all of them. I love dark beers like Negro Modelo, Bohemia and Shiner Bock and I’ve discovered I can have one beer and be alright, but I no longer get the buzz I enjoyed from alcohol. Another cruel twist of aging! xoxox, Brenda

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