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January brings a new and fresh chapter to feel reborn, start anew, and set goals to be better in the ways we feel most tied to. While many may start Dry January to reduce their intake of alcohol due to overconsumption in past months, I’ve developed this mock whiskey recipe specifically for bourbon and whiskey lovers who may have direct allergies to ferments of all kinds, especially alcohol.
Why I Personally Chose To Stop Drinking Alcohol
To answer simply, it is due to severe allergic reactions, but in reality…it’s not that simple.
For those curious about my specific allergy, I must admit it is multi-faceted, complex, and confusing. As I become more aware of my unique health conditions, I realize that diseases and illnesses are not cut & dry. I am forced to adapt and adapt often. Each syndrome feeds off of the other and without understanding our bodies as a whole it’s truly a battleground to get better. Without knowing the right answers to guide us in our healing, it makes moving forward slow, painful, and frustrating. If you are reading this feeling the same, you are not alone but please do not give up on potential answers that you seek. They’re out there, yet usually run parallel with time. Be patient and persistent.
To put my complex allergies in laymen’s terms; I have something called Mast Cell Activation Syndrome which is a condition that causes abnormal mast cells (immune cells) to release mediators causing an array of anaphylaxis and inflammatory episodes. This is strongly linked to those with Ehlers Danlos Syndrome which I believe is important to note for my community. For me, this meant paralysis-like episodes that felt like an electrical current from the base of my head to all of my extremities with the worst severity in my legs. This in turn caused my body to be immobile during these moments and led to the use of canes days later and what lead to months of walking difficulty.
Additionally, it has wreaked havoc on specific organs making life and mealtime unpleasant, scary, and challenging. This caused other syndromes (specifically POTS, Asthma, EDS, and more) to be more symptomatic and painful. Based on the mediator that is released due to the allergen we directly or indirectly ingest, our body responds with various anaphylaxis episodes that are not just breathing related.
How Things Have Improved Since Quitting Alcohol & Ferments
Once I became aware of how mast cell mediators behaved for me personally I began to feel a little better. My joint pain has improved within only 10 months and my leg pain that led me to thoughts of wheelchair use has diminished. I still struggle to stand and walk like I used to. I’ve had fewer days where I needed to be immobile, fewer days where I’ve had to use canes, fewer days where I’ve felt totally and completely hopeless. In my opinion, as someone with Ehlers Danlos Syndrome and MCAS, mast cell activation syndrome treatment has been one of the most important things I have focused on to reduce my pain and inflammation outside of becoming stronger through physical therapy. Certainly, if you’re reading this as an EDS patient with comorbidities, you realize that there are so many things we are forced to do to improve our symptoms. This may be one of them.
Mast Cell Activation Syndrome is not an easy syndrome to understand nor control, therefore I struggle with it daily both physically and emotionally. Being a chef suffering from this syndrome along with other painful disorders does not make for an easy career or the ability to eat, cook, or enjoy freely. I have made peace with the fact that this is difficult while also being a life-long journey. Support and education have helped. Additionally, I realize that by stating that it can speak to those who have chosen this path due to alcoholism or an unhealthy relationship with alcohol. Both stories require empathy and compassion. You are deserving of that.
While you may not be reading this as someone suffering from MCAS, I feel it is important to understand why some of us make (or are somewhat forced to make) the choice to be sober. Being honest with ourselves is hard. Change, no matter the reason for that change…is hard. Regardless of what your root cause is to participate in Dry January, the choice to make any change is difficult yet it reveals the depth of your commitment to yourself. Cheers, fam!
- 2 tbsp cacao nibs
- 3.5 tbsp Teeccino dandelion red chai
- 4.5 cups water
- 2.5 tbsp blackstrap molasses
- 1/4 heaping tsp cardamom
- 3 cinnamon sticks
- 1/4 vanilla bean
- 1 tbsp cloves
- 1/4-1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 2 tbsp pure grapefruit juice
- 1-2 tbsp dark amber honey (optional & add once you have tasted)
- Rosemary leaves optional
Apple Cider "Whiskey" Mocktail
- 2 oz mock whiskey
- 2.5 oz pure grapefruit juice (pure grapefruit juice – no extra sugar added!)
- 5 oz apple cider (I will link the one I like)
- grapefruit twist (optional)
- Add all of your ingredients to a large stainless steel bowl, or temperature safe glass bowl, except for your water.
- Bring your water to a boil and add over your ingredients, stirring gently to incorporate.
- Let sit for 30 minutes, stirring once or twice.
- Using another bowl, strain the liquid with all of the ingredients through a strainer. Follow by discarding the ingredients and rinsing the bowl to repeat the process of straining by passing the liquid through your Teeccino tea pour over filter.
- Lastly, pour into a decanter (to make it pretty) and allow the mixture to further cool in the fridge.
Apple Cider Mock Whiskey Drink
- Measure out all of your ingredients and combine into a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake, shake, shake!
- Strain and pour into fancy 5 oz glasses, or make a larger drink to enjoy! Top with grapefruit twist, dehydrated grapefruit slice, or cinnamon sticks!
More Recipes To Enjoy
- Mocktail Margarita With Passionfruit
- Sweet and Tart Passionfruit Smoothie
- Cauliflower Tabbouleh With Smokey Salmon
Did you try this recipe? Don’t forget to tag me on instagram if you make this recipe! That way you can share with your friends and I can better understand which recipes everyone is loving on the site! If you have a private Instagram account I may not see your tag. Feel free to DM me to let me know! I sincerely appreciate your support <3!
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