Sobrii 0-Tequila customer Hilda Zeinali shares her story of cutting out alcohol and advice for living a fulfilling sober life.
Tell me a bit about yourself and how you first discovered Sobrii 0-Tequila?
I was having a conversation with a girlfriend about a Thanksgiving party this year and I was like, “all I want is for there to be a non-alcoholic tequila.”
I’m not drinking, so I'd been resorting to non-alcoholic beers and kombucha whenever I was in an environment where there was drinking. But I felt like I just wanted a bit of that flavour of alcohol. Then about a week later, she sends me this link on Instagram [to Sobrii 0-Tequila] and she was like, “your prayers were answered.” I placed an order for two bottles.
What do you like about Sobrii 0-Tequila?
My friend came over and I made us both a drink [with Sobrii 0-Tequila]. We were both like, “wow, this has such a nice amount of that burn you get when you have a drink.” It's how you normally know you’re having an alcoholic drink. It has the right amount of kick to it and the right amount of flavour and, honestly, it just tastes really good. So it's filled a big void in my life.
What’s your favourite cocktail to make with Sobrii 0-Tequila?
I've done it with just soda and lemon or with a splash of grapefruit juice, which is really nice. I've done it as a spicy ‘marg,’ where I just infuse a little bit of actual jalapeno in it and soda water, and then I rim it with tahini, which I love.
What initially inspired you to reduce your alcohol consumption?
In March 2021, I was diagnosed with stage three rectal cancer and I knew that there were certain life changes that had to happen. I immediately cut out alcohol.
I had had a few really difficult years where I had lost my father and had gone through a really difficult breakup, and two weeks before I found out I had cancer, my dog passed away. I was resorting to alcohol a lot to numb my pain. I wouldn't say I was an alcoholic, but I definitely was abusing it in the sense that it was my go-to for what I thought was feeling better. But I wasn't. I was just avoiding life.
I had treatments and major surgery. I've been in remission since August.
What are the biggest changes you’ve seen in yourself since cutting back on alcohol?
I just started to feel better because I was no longer feeling hungover or bloated or eating poorly. My skin has never looked better. When you're going through a health issue, people expect you to look sick and I was the opposite. I do think a lot of it has to do with cutting out drinking.
And mental health-wise, cutting out that excessive drinking gives you a lot of clarity. You don't wake up feeling like crap. You’re clear-headed.
How has Sobrii been a part of your life?
I jokingly say that I get drunk off non-alcoholic drinks now. I realized a lot of it is just the action of making a drink. You can still toast. It's nice to have an option that's not soda water,
I used to say things like, “I could never date someone who doesn't drink” or “I could never go out with my friends if I'm not drinking.” But I do everything now. I go everywhere. It's fine. I have my own system.
Not everyone knows my situation. Rather than saying “I don't drink” or “I'm not drinking,” if I just make myself a non-alcoholic drink, I don't really have to answer any questions.
What advice would you give to someone who is considering a life with less alcohol?
It's not as big of a deal as people think it is. It's not that big of a loss. If anything, I think there's a lot more to gain out of cutting it out. Just do it. Do it and find a good way to fill that void and not look at it so negatively. How you feel when you do it — it's so worth it.