Happier Hour
  • Varsity Booze:
    Clatter, Clatter, Clatter Off the Trolley
    - When one thinks of streetcars, they think of the plaza of a town closer to Downtown Disney’s vision of yesteryear than the reality of urban planning today. And while it is nice to briefly dream of living in a place where the buildings are all pastel colored and the people are all friendly and the streetcars are the only vehicles and nobody ever farts, the conception can’t exist given the reality of sprawling suburban planning and the intersection of nearly all social issues that created the housing market we have today. The streetcar, or trolley– or however you would like… KEEP READING
  • Drink Refreshed!
    Your Sober Beverage Roundup
    - Spiritless Kentucky 74 This smells so exactly like a top-shelf bourbon (not that I would know, I was always a bottom-shelf bourbon kinda gal) that it feels like some kind of sick joke. But alas, this isn’t a massive global prank to get sober people to relapse. This is a rich, caramelly, slightly smoky alcohol-free bourbon that’s best sipped slowly over ice, and savored the way a worldly connoisseur would. While of course we love that Spiritless is a complex and delicious replica of the real thing without the booze, we *also* love the reminder that no booze equals less… KEEP READING
  • Sober Sounds:
    Shane J. O’Dwyer
    - Welcome to Sober Sounds, where we feature emerging sober musicians and talk to them about all things creativity and sobriety! This month, we profile Massachusetts-raised, California-based singer and songwriter Shane J. O’Dwyer. Shane’s music melds the ethereal with the audacious, resulting in an infectious sound unlike anything we’ve heard before. His encyclopedic music knowledge has infused each song with sonic diversity, the anthemic power of stadium rock coexisting right alongside breathless longing reminiscent of Lana del Rey. Consistent throughout are lyrics conveying themes of passion, heartache, and resilience. Find Shane’s music and socials at: CLUB SODA: It's interesting that… KEEP READING
  • Varsity Booze:
    The Price of Partying
    - I don’t pay to go to parties. It’s a principle of mine. Don’t think I’m stingy though– I’ll pay to go to concerts, movies, clubs, even escape rooms. But they all have something in common: amenities beyond the opportunity to see the inside of the apartment of a college student I’m not on a first-name basis with, and a single keg of beer (if that– flyers for paid parties are notorious for having “BYOB” right below the cover charge). If I know ahead of time, I won’t go out of my way to a party that’s charging to stand in… KEEP READING
  • Drink Refreshed!
    Your Sober Beverage Roundup
    - Sip Clean Rosé Here is a de-alcoholized sparkling rosé as golden pink and shimmering as the sunset you’ll want to drink it watching. Although the alcohol has been removed, it definitely smells like the real thing; in fact, it might alarm someone who used to think every hour was wine o’clock (so I’ve heard, could never be me, etc). Triggers aside, I would happily drink this at a daytime outdoor function or to celebrate a life event. Its acidity is clean, with no alcoholic bite, which makes it actually refreshing. Plus, a little goes a long way — you’re not… KEEP READING
  • Varsity Booze:
    Don’t Drink With Pre-Med Students
    - It’s never a good sign when a party kicks off with the host saying “Anyone currently in high school needs to leave.” It’s an even worse sign when half of the crowd subsequently leaves the house. The party address had been posted on Instagram earlier. I was visiting home in California for the week I could get off of work from my job back in Chicago, and my friend’s high school band was playing a “reunion” show after the year and a half they’d spent apart (if that, they all ended up going to college in Southern California). I grew… KEEP READING
  • SOBER GIRL PROBLEMS - Dear SGP, I’m three years sober, and my sister has always supported my recovery. Last I heard (we don’t live in the same city), she considered herself a “moderate” drinker, although I never quite knew what she meant by that other than really liking wine. Lately, she’s been asking me about “gray area drinking,” and if I think her drinking is problematic. I’m an alcoholic in AA, and have no idea what this concept entails, let alone how to advise her about it. Any thoughts? -Sister Sober Dear SS, Gray area drinking is certainly having its moment in the press,… KEEP READING
  • Drink Refreshed!
    Your Sober Beverage Roundup
    - Welcome to your monthly sober drinks roundup! This month, we sample two fabulous flavors from the wildly popular Curious Elixirs collection, and sip on Ish’s margarita mockup that was so authentic, it made us do a double take. Curious Elixirs craft cocktails #2 & 3 Curious Elixirs is consistently sold out at our go-to non-alcoholic bottle shop, and that only piqued our interest in the widely beloved drink line. Our CEO summed up the main “curiosity” about this brand: “what’s the difference between these drinks and say, soda or juice?” Well, Curious made us believers in the magic of n/a… KEEP READING
  • Sober Sounds: Pomi - Welcome to the first installment of Sober Sounds, where we’ll profile emerging sober musicians and talk to them about all things creativity and sobriety! We’re thrilled to kick things off with Pomi, a San Jose-based rapper who grew up in the beach town of Pacifica, California. Pomi (Product of My Insanity) makes heartfelt, refreshingly honest music that speaks to anyone who’s dealt with struggles in addiction, or just struggles in general, is looking for motivation to pull them out of a bad mood — or just wants to accentuate a good one. In other words, Pomi’s music is for everybody.… KEEP READING
  • Varsity Booze - There’s that saying “if you tell a child not to do something, the more likely it is that they’ll end up doing it.” I’ve found this to remain true throughout most of my adolescence and young adulthood. Luckily, I got most of my mischief out in high school and wasn’t caught in the wave of belligerence that most college freshmen get swept up in during their first taste of freedom outside of their parents’ iron grip. Though my sloppy drinking in high school prompted some very uncomfortable pseudo-interventions with my parents, in retrospect I’m glad that I learned about it… KEEP READING
  • SOBER OBSESSIONS - Sober obsessions are little pockets of heaven for the mind, body, soul, and/or spirit. As sober folk, we’re big on delighting our palates, as you’ll see with our edible selections here, but we also love setting a vibe any which way we can. All of our staff selections are authentic (we paid for all of these items and genuinely love them and want to share the wealth). Let’s press pause on the demands of the day and lean into luxury with some sober obsessions! Overose candles We love scented candles and we got a tip about these ones from a… KEEP READING
  • SOBER GIRL PROBLEMS - We answer your burning questions about life and love in sobriety. Dear SGP, My girlfriends planned a 3-day weekend trip to Vegas for my BFF’s bachelorette. They all know I’m sober now, and are generally supportive and accepting of it. But I’m worried I’m not going to have the mental capacity, enthusiasm, or endurance for late night shenanigans where everyone else is drunk. I’m about early bedtime and early morning hikes now. Honestly, Vegas seems like a sober person’s worst nightmare. I don’t want to miss out on a key event in someone’s life who is truly important to me,… KEEP READING
  • Drink refreshed!
    Your sober beverage roundup
    - Sometimes not drinking alcohol can leave you feeling… well, parched. You want to clink glasses with everyone else at the party, but what’s in yours just doesn’t feel worthy of a toast. Well, lucky for you: sober options are no longer limited to bottled water and sparkling apple cider. Here, we review the most innovative and interesting that the abundant world of alcohol-free specialties, spirits, and substitutes has to offer. Every month, we’ll taste test and review a bevy of bevs so you don’t have to. But you’ll probably want to. Cheers, y’all — it’s time to drink refreshed! Lyre’s… KEEP READING
    Club Soda refreshes dating all around
    - We call the “normie” drinkers on Club Soda “conscious cuties,” and just as sober-from-alcohol people run the gamut, so do those who choose to consume alcohol from time to time. I’m one of these subsets of people, and I’ll tell you why I came when I heard about Club Soda: I’m a sex and love addict in recovery, and for me, dating apps are a special kind of nightmare. I’m talking SCARY. Some reasons for this are obvious. People often lead with sex on apps, at best, or aren’t interested in anything else, at worst. This is fine for someone… KEEP READING
  • How to be a sober
    babe in 5 easy steps
    - The cliche of the sad alcoholic-- down on their luck and at “rock bottom”-- is as limiting as the idea that drinking is the only way to have fun. So what defines the choice not to drink in 2022? The modern approach to sobriety is often rooted in things other than alcohol dependency. Many of today’s non-drinkers express their desire for a more authentic, joyful life; health and wellness; self-care; and pursuit of one’s true purpose. Self-actualization is part of the zeitgeist right now. And going alcohol-free, for obvious reasons, is a natural enhancement to that. What this means is… KEEP READING
  • Dispatches from a sober curious - Are you curious about “sober curiosity”! Well, I’m six months into my sober curious journey and I wanted to share what’s changed since drinking took a backseat in my life. I was never what *I* would have called a “problem drinker.” Alcohol didn’t seem to impact my work, my relationships, or my health. But when the opportunity presented itself to get bombed, I rarely turned it down. “Why not?” was my innocent refrain…that is, until pretty much the exact moment the clock struck midnight on my 30th birthday. At least, that’s what I’m told. Because I had a party for… KEEP READING
  • SOBER OBSESSIONS - As sober people, we like to indulge just as much as the next person-- sometimes more (insert ‘that’s what got us here in the first place’ joke here). But seriously, sober people are far from boring, and neither is our taste in food and drink. This is a special place for us to talk about our most decadent indulgences; no rabbit food or bottled water here. Feel free to submit your own favorite drool-worthy recipes, mocktails, desserts, snacks… whatever wets your whistle in that sinfully delicious way. What these items all have in common is hard to sum up in… KEEP READING
  • A Sober Story –
    Quitting Drinking
    in Covid
    - Before the quarantine started last year, I was a moderate to heavy drinker. A weekend warrior, you could say. A “party animal,” at best. A “blackout artist,” at worst. But what happens when there are no more weekends and no more parties? Good question. I used to use social events as excuses to get pretty drunk, usually, and outright hammered, occasionally. I didn’t see that as any kind of problem at all. I worked hard, I said. I deserved fun, I said. It’s hilarious, my friends said. And honestly, it worked for me. Until March 2020 happened, and suddenly it… KEEP READING
  • “My date blacked out at dinner” (and other stories
    from the sober trenches)
    - So you’re sober and navigating dating apps-- first of all, bless your heart. You’re truly doing the Lord’s work out there. They should give out war medals to people like you. Or at the very least, some kind of Nobel Peace Prize. For those of you who don’t think you can live to tell the tale (or haven’t yet dated on Club Soda!), we thought it would be cathartic to share our craziest dating horror stories as sober people. Let’s call them “stories of survival”-- these are the legends of early T*nd*r and the like. The dark ages of dating… KEEP READING
  • 7 Reasons Drinking
    Just Sucks
    - As a person who loved alcohol for as long and hard as I did, I can hardly believe I’m writing these words. I couldn’t imagine giving up booze, let alone despising it. And I know it’s important to respect other people’s choices, not be judgmental, let people enjoy things. But all that’s time to stop sugarcoating it. I f*cking HATE drinking and everything about it. Why? Let us count the ways. Drinking is Boring Alcohol being the gateway to fun and excitement is a common misconception. People think “wild nights” happen because of alcohol, but they really happen because… KEEP READING
  • Club Soda:
    who the hell is it for?
    - Club Soda is for anyone who doesn’t drink and everyone that wants to date us! That includes sobriety of every stripe, AND the sober adjacent. Damn, that’s a lot of people! So people who drink can be on the app? Does sobriety only mean drinking? Sounds dicey… Let’s cut the confusion and talk about all the different types of people you’ll find on Club Soda. The non-drinker who isn’t in recovery Any person who doesn’t drink alcohol is invited to use the app. You don’t have to have a 12-step background or count days or even use the word “sober”… KEEP READING
  • 8 Places to Go on
    a Date That Aren’t a Bar
    - Sometimes being sober can feel like you’re an alien life form on an unfamiliar planet with oceans made of beer. We encounter other beings who urge us to partake in their sacred ritual, no matter how we protest. Nothing--not danger, death, or disease--could come between drinking and socializing for these creatures of habit. And then there’s us. And then, there’s dating. Ahh, dating culture. The absolut(e) companion of drinking culture. Anxious strangers have been meeting for drinks to take the edge off since the dawn of time (probably). Did Adam and Eve throw back fermented grapes to be cool around… KEEP READING
  • I’m sober, but I don’t
    want my partner to be.
    Here’s why
    - Ah, Valentine’s Day: bringer of rarely-met expectations if you’re partnered, bouts of loneliness and resentment if you’re single. It’s a weird day any way you slice it, and when you’re sober it can be even weirder. But it’s a great day to reflect on what you want, so I wanted to share my thoughts on dating as a sober person who kinda, sorta wants to date someone who drinks a little. Yes, we’re out there, and we’re coming for the normies! Picture it: you’re a sober gay guy at bottomless mimosa brunch (because you may not drink, but you still… KEEP READING
  • 6 things not to say
    on a date with a sober person
    - So you have a hot date with someone who doesn’t drink. Congratulations! You’re about to hang with a person who won’t black out, won’t forget everything you tell them, and won’t get you both kicked out of the establishment (well…no guarantees, but we’ll say it’s considerably less likely). Here’s a quick guide to treating your date with respect, no matter how curious you are about this unconventional and intriguing life choice. Pardon our attitude, but to quote Rose McGowan, if you’re over hearing stupid shit on dates, “imagine how tired we are.” “I bet you used to be so much… KEEP READING
  • What it’s like getting stood up when you’re stone cold sober - We’d talked about meeting up for weeks, and I was excited. He had a Cavalier King Charles (adorable), bread-making skills (hot), and a stable job in the arts (rare). This was not your average T*nder match. This was one of the unicorns that you only hear about on a deep acquaintance’s Facebook feed (you know the ones: they start with “Feeling: blessed” and it’s a black and white wedding photo with a caption about having met on a dating app and you’re like… WHAT??! Dating apps don’t contain potential life partners, they contain catfish, dubious “entrepreneurs” and DJs looking for… KEEP READING
  • Oversharing is(n’t) caring:
    top 10 mistakes to avoid as a grown-up on a date
    - Whether you’re sober, sober-adjacent, or just someone whose life doesn’t revolve around alcohol, dating as a conscious person in a technologically hyper-connected, but often spiritually disconnected world can be a landmine. We’re used to “convenience” around every corner, from getting our meals delivered to swiping through one-dimensional profiles in hopes of finding meaningful relationships. But there’s no shortcut to actually getting to know someone. And when you’re sitting across from another human being, it’s sometimes a struggle to figure out how to actually be authentic without being “Team Too Much.” Here’s a practical guide to early dating that isn’t covered… KEEP READING
  • I Drink, But I’d Rather
    My Partner Didn’t. Here’s Why:
    - I’m “not a bar person.” Like, really not a bar person. I dislike almost everything about them: the overpriced cocktails, the elbowing to place an order, the shouting over way too-loud music (seriously: why can’t they ever get the volume right?! I swear I’m not 100). In other words, I’m “no fun.” My friends who drink have stopped inviting me out unless a hang meets my criteria: copious food is served, I can hear myself speak, and we’re done before nightfall. Suffice to say, I don’t get invited out very much! It’s funny how social cues have evolved to make… KEEP READING
  • DM etiquette for
    sober not thirsty singles
    - So, you’re finally ready to date in a non-creepy, non-chaotic way! Maybe you just got sober, maybe you’re trying out dating apps for the first time (we know you exist and we love you) as a sober person, maybe you just want to flirt on Instagram and not get screenshot and mocked on a group text because you’re messy and clueless. Here’s how to actually slide into the DMs while keeping your dignity intact. DO have a fresh line… but not a LINE line. There’s a difference between a good line, a Line-line, and crossing the line. Definitely don’t go… KEEP READING