Mocktalehour Podcast

“Without question the greatest invention in the history of mankind is beer. Oh, I grant you that the wheel was also a fine invention but the wheel does not go nearly as well with pizza.” ~ Dave Barry

Not so long ago, we agreed 100% with Dave Barry. What was the point of eating pizza if you couldn’t wash it down with beer? What was the point of dancing if you couldn’t swig tequila in between songs? What was the point of sex if it wasn’t preceded by a glass of wine? What was the point of writing if you couldn’t sip bourbon while doing it? Our old mindset was that EVERYTHING is better with alcohol. But that’s just something that got pounded into our heads by the people around us, by movies and tv shows, by seeing billboards and the sides of buses, by walking down the street and seeing a sandwich sign touting Happy Hour or Two-for-One Shots or Ladies Night. The message was everywhere. But what we didn’t hear or see so clearly was the destruction that went along with it. Alcohol abuse, alcohol poisoning, alcohol addiction, alcohol withdrawal, failed relationships, lost jobs, squandered talent, wasted time. The fun you can have WITHOUT drinking is better than the fun WITH drinking; it just looks different, feels a lot better and takes a little getting used to.

In this episode we talk about lots of fun stuff like chipmunk death traps, fried bologna cups, Bette and Joan, Scrabble (yet again) and squirrel cafes.



Blueberry, Lime and Mint Mocktail

10 blueberries
8 mint leaves
Juice of 1 lime
Sparkling water or kombucha

Muddle blueberries and mint. Add juice of one lime and stir. Spoon mixture into an ice-filled glass. Top with sparkling water or kombucha.


Madison Reed Hair Color

Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?

Fried Bologna Cups Recipe

Black Tartarian Cherries

Squirrel Ninja Obstacle Course

Alcohol Mastery with Kevin O’Hara

The Mindful Mocktail

Women have a special relationship with alcohol, one that’s based less on lubricating social situations and more on escaping loneliness, depression, perfectionism and anxiety. We may be SUPERwomen but we’re also SUPER susceptible to alcohol dependency, alcohol abuse and alcoholism. Wending a way to sobriety can be impossible because we find ourselves isolating and hiding behind a bottle of Chardonnay. We might understand that the expectations and standards we hold for ourselves are crazy and unreasonable, but we’ve internalized them to the point where we can’t see them in an objective way. No wonder we’re unhappy and hungover! Freedom and recovery begin with self-compassion, but the “self kind” is the very type that slips most easily through our grasping hands. Luckily, there are lots of resources to help us fake it till we make it.

In this episode, we talk about the white devil (sugar), cool Kool-Aid commercials, foot fetishists, Cynthia’s struggle with perfectionism, Sunny’s embrace of half-assness, names for armpits (oxter, axilla) and exploding Christmas turkeys.



Pink Meyer

2 jiggers of Seedlip “Spice 94”
Juice of 1 large meyer lemon (or 2 small ones)
1 Tablespoon sour cherry syrup (or more to taste)

Stir or shake together. Top with soda. You can serve this up or down. I always like it with ice!


Compilation of Kool-Aid “Oh Yeah” commercials

Beanpole, entertainment for when you think you’ve got it bad

Dinner For One, a German holiday tradition since 1963

Drink: The Intimate Relationship between Women and Alcohol


“Give strong drink unto him that is about to perish,
And wine unto those that be of heavy heart,
Let him drink and forget his poverty, and remember
His misery no more.”
~ Proverb

Some proverbs contain wisdom. Many — like the one above — are just a bunch of malarkey. Proverbs about drinking hearken back to a time when alcohol was the cure for whatever ailed ya simply because there weren’t many other resources available. No 12-step programs, or rehab, or meditation, or support of any sort. Just lost your wife? Have a Scotch! About to lose your leg? Take a swig of whiskey and bite on this! Feeling down? One or six Cosmos might help with that! AA wasn’t founded until 1939 and it’s only now — 80 years later — that sobriety is finally “trending.” Whatever you call it — alcohol abuse, drunkenness or problem drinking — it’s long been excused in the name of providing succor when faced with trying times or challenging emotions. There are so many other ways to cope, but we don’t often see those approaches depicted in pop culture or talked about freely.

In this episode we talk about the urban myth of pet decapitation-by-lawn-mower, dying ducklings, Sunny’s friendly-yet-bitchy yard sales, “normal people” having too much sex, unsafe choices informed by alcohol, and coyote dates.



1 cup boiling water
2 ginger tea bags
2T honey

Pour the boiling water over the tea bags and let it come to room temp. Pour the tea in a cocktail shaker. Add honey and ice. Shake it up. Strain into 2 chilled martini glasses. Add a splash of ginger ale. Garnish with a crystallized ginger chunks or a lemon slice. Serves 2


Kids in The Hall “I Crush Your Head”

Normal People TV series

Book series Where’s Waldo?

Feeling Single, Seeing Double performed by Emmylou Harris

Coyote by Joni Mitchell

Coyote date

You might think the answer to that question is “opiates” or “parenting” or “operating heavy machinery” or “sobriety test,” but what we’re talking about here is a healthy lifestyle. Alcohol and A Healthy Lifestyle might make a cute couple for a one-night stand or even a week, but it’s not a sustainable longterm relationship. Don’t take our word for it. Just let your fingers walk across your keyboard or smart phone. Skip the alcohol studies funded by the impairment industry, and you’ll find plenty of science that says no amount of booze in any form whatsoever is good for you. Alcohol abuse, alcohol poisoning, alcohol addiction and alcoholism don’t have to be part of your lexicon for alcohol to be an issue. If you advocate living your best life and making healthy choices, you shouldn’t drink. Think “rotgut” not “aqua vitae.”

In this episode, we talk about Dudley Moore in 10, sad cockatoos, the choice of Sally Field for the role of Dirty Buddy in our imaginary film, COVID challenges, Cinemasochism (it’s a thing), Prince, the weird hotness of Nicholas Cage, and how Danielle Steele singlehandedly saved Barneys.



Raspberry Beret (the mocktail formerly known as the cocktail Purple Rain)

1 c cranberry juice
1 c raspberry Torani syrup
1 c limeade
1 c seltzer

Stir together in a pitcher with lots of ice if you want to party like it’s 1999 (except thankfully you’re now sober). Serves four.


Sybil starring Sally Field (1976)

Magic starring Anthony Hopkins (1978)

Danielle Steele

Around the World in a Day by Prince

Vampire’s Kiss starring Nicholas Cage (1989)

The Unexpected Joy of Being Sober Facebook Group

As Lady Gaga famously sang, “Just dance, gonna be okay, da da doo-doo-mmm.” Seriously. If you wanna get high, just dance. Featured mocktail: Lemon Rose Spritzer.



Lemon Rose Spritzer

2 T rose water
2 T fresh lemon juice
1-2 T honey (or agave)
a few drops of blood orange or pomegranate juice for color
¾ cup sparkling water
Garnish of fresh baby rose

  1. Mix ingredients (with/without ice depending on whether up or on rocks)
  2. Stir or shake
  3. Pour over ice or strain into chilled cocktail glass.
  4. Garnish


Marni Nixon, ghost singer

Ecstatic Dance

Daybreaker Dance

Dostoevsky said, “Try to pose for yourself this task: not to think of a polar bear, and you will see that the cursed thing will come to mind every minute.” Try not to think of drinking, and you’ll be drunk before you can say one or six. Featured mocktail: Old Fashioned Barley Water



Barley Water

  •  ½ cup pearl barley
  • 4 cups water
  • 3 T superfine sugar (+/- to taste)
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • slice of lemon or lime to garnish

  1. Rinse barley in a sieve under cool running water for a minute or so, until water runs clear
  2. Combine water and sugar; bring to a boil
  3. Add barley and return to a boil. Reduce, cover and simmer 20 minutes
  4. Strain the water into a pitcher and cool to room temperature
  5. Stir in lemon juice
  6. Chill before serving, with or without ice
  7. Garnish as you wish (traditional tennis attire optional)


Ironic Process Theory (AKA Try Not to Think About a White Bear)

Henry D. Dogswell, Gold Rush dentist and temperance crusader (whom we may have failed to name during the episode)

Mountain View Cemetery

1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake

Annie Grace webinar: 6 Things Science Says About Moderation

We’re here to tell ya’ we were already pretty cool but not drinking made us even cooler! Featured mocktail: Cool as a Cuke



Cool As A Cuke (enough for 4)

  • 2 large waxy cucumbers, peeled, chunked, chilled
  • 1½ T superfine sugar (+/- to taste)
  • 1 T lime juice
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 cup ice
  • garnish of cuke slices

  1. Puree the cucumber chunks until smooth; pour through a sieve into a bowl
  2. Whisk in the lime juice, salt, sugar.
  3. Add bowl contents to the ice in a blender and puree to desired consistency.
  4. Serve and garnish.


San Francisco golden fire hydrant


Julie Brown “Cause I’m A Blond”

NYT Alcoholics Anonymous vs. Other Approaches: The Evidence Is Now In

Blackout: Remembering the Things I Drank to Forget by Sarah Hepola

Ain’t nothin’ but a party? Think again. Everybody’s favorite social lubricant ruins relationships, squanders talent and destroys opportunities. Featured mocktale: “Panchito”



Panchito (meth in a blender)

  • 1 cup pineapple juice
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 cup fresh cubed pineapple
  • 1 teaspoon coconut extract (optional)
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar (optional)
  • Ice
  • Caramel swirl (optional) or your choice of garnish

1. Blend until frothy

2. Garnish


The Barbary Coast of San Francisco

Buried Ships in Yerba Buena Cove during San Francisco gold rush

Edgar Allan Poe Museum in Richmond, VA

Electoral Fraud “Cooping”

Operating Instructions by Anne Lamott

Colonel Bogey March aka theme from Bridge on the River Kwai

Colonel Bogey March history (there’s marching and golf involved)

Smart Recovery

Just because you passed SELF magazine’s “Are You An Alcoholic?” test doesn’t mean you don’t have a drinking problem. Featured mocktale: “None of Your Bloody Business”



None of Your Bloody Business (looks like a Bloody Mary)

  • 1 cup your favorite Bloody Mary Mix
  • Ice
  • Garnish with whatever

1. Build in a highball over ice

2. Garnish with celery, lime, olives or whatever but – please – no bacon


Shockoe Slip in Richmond, Virginia

Allen Carr’s “Easy Way to Control Alcohol”

Alcohol catches up with you — one way or another, one day or another. Featured recipe: Corona Killa



Corona Killa (AKA “Fire Cider”)

We added water and simmered it all in a crockpot. The traditional method is to stuff everything into a jar and let it ferment for 3 weeks. Look online for that recipe.

  • ½  cup fresh ginger root (peeled and diced or shredded)
  • ½  cup fresh horseradish root (peeled and diced or shredded)
  • ½  cup fresh turmeric root (peeled and diced or shredded – if not available substitute ¼ cup additional ginger and .25 cup additional horseradish)
  • ½  cup white  onion (chopped)
  • ¼  cup garlic cloves (minced)
  • 2 jalapeno peppers (chopped – or, if you really like heat, try habanero instead)
  • 2 organic lemons (zest and juice)
  • raw apple cider vinegar to taste
  • several sprigs fresh rosemary or thyme (optional)
  • ½ tsp whole peppercorns (optional)

  1. Add water until it looks about right.
  2. Simmer until the flavors are infused.
  3. Strain and serve warm.



Dolphin Club

Esalen Institute

Ruby Warrington’s Sober Curious

Ruby Warrington’s website

Remember your first taste of alcohol? Way back when? Adding a spoonful of sugar or “acquiring a taste” over time might help it go down (and down, and down) more easily but that doesn’t mean it’s good for you. Featured mocktale: A Seedlip Grove and Tonic.



Grove and Tonic (tastes every bit as bad as a G&T)

  • 1+ jigger (3+ tablespoons) Seedlip “Grove”
  • .5 cup tonic water
  • Ice
  • Big gash of orange peel

1. Build in highball over ice

2. Garnish and serve


As Seen On TV Pajama Jeans

Chick Corea “Return to Forever”

Bizzy’s Dry Bar in Berkeley, CA

Seedlip Non-Alcoholic Spirits

Pilot. Our bodies are good at ferreting out poison. So why did we ignore the viscerally clear messages our tummies gave us? (Yep, this episode is all about vomit.) Featured mocktale: Cordless Screwdriver.



Cordless Screwdriver (aka OJ on ice)

  • 1 cup fresh-squeezed orange juice
  • Ice
  • Your choice of garnish: rosemary sprig, orange slice, lime wedge

1. Pour chilled juice over ice

2. Garnish and serve


San Francisco Decorator Showcase