Temporarily teetotal

by Martin Field

Long-time readers will be shocked to hear that your humble correspondent has been off the grog for a few weeks. Doctor’s orders, following a nasty but necessary ‘routine’ operation visited often enough upon ageing geezers.

Seems that up to a month’s healing is required, and alcohol, which can dilate blood vessels, may hinder this.

Not that I felt much like booze, or food for that matter for a couple of weeks. No doubt due to trauma and the ongoing aftermath of a generous intrathecal dose of dope that left me temporarily legless.

Where was I?

So, a guy who has drunk at least a couple of glasses of wine a day forever is suddenly confronted with the problem of what alcohol-free beverage to drink with tucker.

Not water. Precious as it is I already knew that it was no substitute for a glass of wine or beer.

I could only handle staple beverages such as coffee and regular tea to a certain extent. Peppermint, chamomile, and other herbal brews were a welcome diversion. Fruit and vegetable juices were bearable in small quantities. Hot chocolate – made with chocolate bars containing over 50% cocoa mass – was fine as an occasional after dinner treat but it was too rich as a regular snifter.

I found that very low or no alcohol beer and ‘wine’ were hideous and soon learned that soft drinks like ginger beer, dry ginger ale, lemonade, etc. were way too sweet. Same for ‘diet’ drinks, which also have all sorts of dodgy chemicals substituting for sugar.

In the end, I settled for soda or tonic water with a splash of Roses or Bickfords lime cordial, garnished with a slice of lime or lemon.

Feeling a little better a week or so back, I re-launched my drinking career with a bottle of 1989 Penfolds Bin 707 cabernet sauvignon that an in-law had left as a gift.

Picture a thirst-stricken straggler in the desert crawling over a dune and finding a limpid pool in an oasis. It was a little like that.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *