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The UAE Sober Revolution with Erika Doyle

Updated: Jun 8, 2021

Feb 24 2021

Meet Erika, the founder of Drink Dry Store in the UAE where I'm currently living. In this episode we discuss Dubai's drinking culture and the reason why alcohol free options are so beneficial for sober folks.


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TRANSCRIPT

Intro: Welcome to the “Sober Yoga Girl Podcast” with Alex McRobs, international yoga teacher and sober coach. I broke up with booze for good in 2019 and now I'm here to help others do the same. You're not alone and a sober life can be fun and fulfilling. Let me show you how.

Alex: Hello and welcome back to another episode of Sober Yoga Girl. I am so excited this episode to have a special guest with me, and I actually met Erika, probably a couple of months ago. And we've never actually met in person, which is super cool. Erika Doyle is the founder of the Drink Dry Store here in the UAE.

Erika: Hi.

Alex: Hi.

Erika: Nice to meet you, finally, Alex. Face to face, as close as we can get.

Alex: It's true, yeah. How are you today?

Erika: I'm very well, thank you. How are you?

Alex: I'm good, I'm good.

Erika: Good. So, you're based in Abu Dhabi and I'm based in Dubai.

Alex: Yes, which is about, for those of you that are not familiar with the UAE, it's about an hour and a half drive. Although, you know, I haven't been to Dubai in like, a year because of the Covid situation with the border.

Erika: I know. The situation is quite difficult at the moment, yeah. I think we're quite lucky here compared to the rest of the world in terms of the lockdown restrictions. We have particularly in Dubai opposed to maybe Abu Dhabi. But yeah, I think we will get there eventually.

Alex: We will meet soon. I do really wanna come down to Dubai because I want to visit the Drink Dry Store.

Erika: Well, listen. Thank you so much for having me on today. So, for those who are seeing the bottles here in the background, and it's all non-alcoholic, by the way. This is my little storage place. Yeah, this is all the samples from the different suppliers come in, and with all the tasting and sampling, and only the very best get listed on Drink Dry Store.

Alex: It's amazing, and I've tried quite a few. I love them and--

Erika: Thank you.

Alex: Yeah. So, I'm just so excited to have you on the show.

Erika: Thank you.

Alex: All right. So, let's dive into it. I was wondering if you could tell me a bit about yourself, you know, where you're from and what brought you to the UAE?

Erika: So, I'm originally from Lithuania. For those who don't know where Lithuania is, it's sort of Eastern-Northern Europe. And then, I moved to the UK. Goodness, probably, 16-18 years ago. And so, most of my adulthood has been spent in the UK. You know, my husband has had a business in Dubai since 2010, so we've been always regulars coming and going, spending a couple of months here, maybe going back to the UK and then coming back after six months, and then back to the UK. And then two years ago, we made a decision as a family to move to Dubai and, you know, I'm sure you've heard many, many, many expats say that. We said, you know, we'll move to Dubai for two years. That is it. So, two years is up and we're still here. We've just moved into, you know, a bigger house because I think we're settling in here. You know, I start the Drink Dry Store. You know, children go to school and super happy, so yeah. I think the two-year sort of windows is gone and we're staying here for the foreseeable future.

Alex: Oh my goodness, I can so relate to that. Well, I moved to Kuwait first when I was 23 and I said to my mom, you know, two year contract, that's it and then I'm coming back, and it's been six years.

Erika: I know. And it's, I think, it's most people who move here and sort of, you know, start settling and particularly I'm coming from the UK. The weather. To me, the weather is the big big factor. I just really love the weather Dubai minus the summer, you know, which we tend to leave in the summer, but the rest of the year I, you know, I enjoy the relative sort of heat when it's here and I love the sort of cooler months like now. I think it's just the best of both worlds really.

Alex: And the sun's out every day, which is amazing.

Erika: I know.

Alex: All right. So, tell me a bit about your relationship with alcohol.

Erika: So, you know, as a Jew, I'm originally from Lithuania and I think, in general, like the whole of South Eastern Europe has a big drinking culture, you know. My parents had me and my sister when they were really young. I think they got married when they were 18, so they had us in their early 20s. You know, and it was always kind of parties and all the friends around. And so, I've always been surrounded by people drinking, you know, and not necessarily to bad extent or any kind of it, but it's always been part of my upbringing as a child I suppose, you know? And then, the usual kind of experimenting at 10 or 12 or, you know, sneaking a sip from there and there or something like that. And then, unfortunately, I think later on in life both parents struggled a little bit with their relationship with alcohol, so almost 20 years ago, they both just completely gave it up. So, I've seen kind of both, you know, I've seen what drinking life is and the kind of destruction it can cause in people's lives, but I've equally seen the beauty and the joy that stopping drinking can bring, you know, and as a child, I've experienced both sides really. So then, sort of fast forward when, you know, I sort of hit the teenage years and wanted to go out. I think in the West particularly, you know, it's just so normal. It's part of any party at 16, 18, 20. It's just, it's part of our life. It's like, you know, you listen to music at a party, you drink alcohol. It's so integrated in our culture in general, you know, and, you know, I mean, I've been drunk many, many times in my life and sometimes too much, and all sort of bad things happened, but it was never a real kind of issue for me that I thought I'd hit the rock bottom or anything like that, and it was just, I've never enjoyed the next day after drinking. It was always a waste of time, a waste of good time, wasted opportunities. I didn't speak to the person I want to speak to at a party or anything like that, you know? And then, again, you sort of fast forward. I think I was-- So, five years ago and I was already married. I have an amazing husband and we were trying to start a family and it just wasn't happening. There was no kind of, there were no medical issues or reasons why we couldn't, and then one of our consultants said, you know, maybe a lifestyle choice would be a good idea here. So, you know, give up that weekend smoking. Give up the two-three glasses of wine in the evening. And again, I think, you know, we were, myself and I were probably prime examples of that kind of middle class, you know, wine drinkers in the week where you come in from work, you open a bottle of wine, you start cooking, and before you know it, you've drunk a bottle of wine before you even had your dinner, you know? So, for me it was actually wanting to start a family and having children that led to making the decision of give up alcohol, and it was pretty easy because I knew what my end goal was, you know, I wanted to have a baby. Yeah, so that's what kind of, you know, that's what made me stop, and I have to say I didn't realize the impact, the presence of alcohol had in my life up until I gave it up. It just seemed so normal, you know, and then when I, so when I gave up alcohol, I think after the first month, I saw the biggest changes and results and, you know, and I'm sure you people will say this, I'm sure you went through the same thing. Your skin is just amazing, you know, your sleep is just incredible, you actually go to bed and the eight or ten hours that you're getting off sleep just become really fulfilling and it's good quality sleep and it's like a, you know, one thing leads to another. So, you're sleeping much better. Right? So, therefore, you wake up in the morning full of energy. You are full of energy and you have to do something with that energy, so you start exercising. Because you are exercising and, you know, all of a sudden, you feel much better, so you start eating better. And you start, it's just all rounds. For me, there's just no negatives whatsoever in giving up alcohol and it's been, you know, a long time, it's been five years.

Alex: Yeah. You know, as you're talking, I've described this as, in my first 30 days, as it having a ripple effect through my life, like the exact same thing happened to me as you're describing of like, you know, you're sleeping better, you're working out, you're eating healthier. All of a sudden, you're like, looking back and being like who, I don't recognize the person I was before.

Erika: Yeah, absolutely. And my husband start with, he sort of, I mean, we never drank to extend but we always drank wine in the evenings, etc. And then, I think after the first couple of months, he sort of looked at me, he's like, I want whatever that is, you know, you're out of bed at six o'clock in the morning, and you're out walking and running, and he's like, What's going on? I want some of this, you know. And actually, so fast forward five years, so many of my friends have given up alcohol. At least, have reduced it enormously.

Alex: Yeah. And I'm sure that's, you know, a sign of a few different things. I think, sometimes, when our friends see us give it up, they kind of observe that in us and might make the change themselves. And I also think there is this revolution happening, this sober revolution happening all around the world, which is--

Erika: Absolutely. And, you know, I think for me, it's what helped me so, and I think it took me about a year to actually fall pregnant, which it did happen and, you know, and so, but I think that the whole kind of sober revolution was coming out at the same time as I start drinking. So, for me, it was pretty simple and easy to swap alcohol for really nice, non-alcoholic options, because it happened at the right time for me, you know, I think, I mean, we've all been there. Why are you not drinking? Why? All of this sort of questions. But because I had a choice of these non-alcoholic drinks back in the UK that if I had people over for dinner or if we had a party, you know, I didn't have to explain anything to anyone. I had a glass with what looked like wine, or I had a bottle what looked like beer, or I had a something that looked like gin and tonic, and, you know, and if somebody tried, it tasted like gin and tonic, but it was non-alcoholic. And nobody asked any questions, which I loved. I loved not having to explain myself and not having to explain why I decided to, you know, look after myself and give up this nasty habit, you know?

Alex: Yeah. Tell me a bit about your experience with the drinking culture here in Dubai.

Erika: It's mad. It's insane I think. So, I said to you, you know, I think the first time I came to the UAE, it was probably 2012, maybe a bit earlier. And it really surprised me, you know, I had this kind of notion of a dry country or you have to kind of be really conservative etc. And the first evening, we went out somewhere, you know, somewhere in Dubai Marina. The sites that I saw were actually quite scary, you know, so many drunk, drunk, drunk people. Just the kind of, the acceptance of it was just there, that it's absolutely fine and okay to go out and get so drunk that you cannot walk back home. So, I think the first time I came to the UAE, in general, was about 2012, possibly just a bit before that. And I'm not sure, I was so surprised or thought anything of it then, you know, it's 20 something, it all seemed very normal, very exciting, big bright lights, lots and lots and lots of places to go out, fantastic places to go out, you know, fantastic views, everybody's super glamorous. It just seemed amazing. But as the years went on, and we kept coming back to Dubai, and as I got older, I think, you know, looking back, I just think it was so, and it still is so encouraged here. And so, accepted that it's perfectly normal to go out on a Tuesday night when everybody has work the next day and get so, so, so drunk that they cannot walk home. I don't think, I don't mind I lived in the UK, you know? So, again, there's a huge drinking culture there but I think compared to Dubai, I don't think I've ever seen so many attractive young women not being able to walk home from a nightclub or a bar on a, you know, on a weeknight. I think it's just hugely somehow accepted here, which I don't think is the right thing.

Alex: Right. You know what it was for me that really got me? It was all of these ladies nights deals where women could drink for free. And then, I had this mindset of like, I have to drink as much as I can because it's free. And then, it just becomes a habit where it was like, I was thinking back to my drinking days, and it was like, once a week I would do a ladies night. Once a week. And that, even, you know, throughout university like, we might have gone out for weeknights but that's kind of different story, because you're, you know, just turned legal and it's exciting to go out and party, but I don't think adults my age at home in Toronto were ever going out the way I was when I was here in the UAE.

Erika: I completely agree with you and, you know, I think we were just talking earlier about this, but the whole Friday Brunch idea, you know, the first time I went to Friday Brunch, it got me. It completely got me. You know, I left and I thought, I don't think I've ever drunk this much like, you know, I had to sort of stop myself and think, My goodness, I need to just drink some water and get out of this kind of, you know, this space, because it's daytime. You're leaving a restaurant and it's middle of the day. You know, four o'clock and people are absolutely pouring out of everywhere. But I'm, you know, I'm very hopeful that it's changing. It's changing here, you know, people are becoming more and more and more mindful of their drinking habits, their eating habits, their bodies, their health, and it's an all-encompassing thing for me, you know, it's not just about the alcohol, you know? I think it's people trying to be more mindful, in general, whether that's exercise, or meditation, or, and alcohol is a huge part of that, that they're trying to get rid of it, or moderate it, or replace it with something else, you know, and I'm not one to say we should cut out alcohol all together, you know, because for some people, it works. You know, they can enjoy a couple plus one and absolutely works for them, but I think at least it's about moderation, and cutting it right down, you know? I don't think alcohol was ever intended to be used like a lot of Western cultures use it.

Alex: Yeah, absolutely. I agree. And it's been so fascinating for me to, as well moving abroad and then you become aware of how different cultures do it so differently, right? Like, I'm pretty active on Tiktok and the local people here in the UAE who come across my videos just find it fascinating because for them, they've had a totally different upbringing. You know, alcohol was not part of their home. And so, for them to hear how it is for us, it's just, and vice versa, it's like, educational for me to realize, you know, this is really a core element of the past.

Erika: Yeah, I fully agree with you. I think it's very cultural and, you know, I think my experience having lived in Lithuania, UK, and then moving to Dubai, all three very sort of highly accepted cultures of drinking, really. But I said, I'm really hopeful that the change is coming, I think. At least I hope, right?

Alex: So, you told me a bit earlier about your experience in the UK with having alcohol-free options available, and then we kind of talked about the contrast which is the Brunch here in Dubai. I'm wondering what was it that inspired you to create the Drink Dry Store?

Erika: I think like with most of these things, you know, it always comes from personal experience and I was just incredibly unhappy here and unsatisfied as a consumer when I moved to the UAE. So, when I first gave up alcohol because I want to have children, five years ago in the UK, you know, the brands such as Seedlip were coming out. Some really fantastic, non-alcoholic beers and, you know, sparkling wines. It was already emerging and if you just look, if you just search for it, you could definitely find it, you know? And I felt like, the biggest challenge when I first gave up alcohol was explaining to people why I'm not drinking. And it got so boring after a while, you know? Especially something like, you know, wanting to start a family and it's not happening for you, it's quite personal. Right? So, you don't necessarily want to be telling your neighbor who you've met five minutes ago why you don't drink at this get together or something like that. And I just, you know, I was lying all the time. I was on antibiotics for the first year of people knowing me, probably they all thought I'm on antibiotics because that was an easiest kind of thing to say, right? But then, I found that if I had a drink in my hand that looks like alcohol to everybody else, people were not asking me questions, you know, and equally at the same time, I was so fed up with orange juice and water. Every single occasion, water, orange juice or sugary mocktails, well, you know, I'm not five, I'm not 10 years old to be enjoying a soft sugary drink. You know, it doesn't attract, you know, it doesn't work for me. So, I really found that having good non-alcoholic drinks for adults in my house or wherever I went, and I brought it with me, it really helped. I didn't stand out and it was just easy, it was super, super easy. And actually, the taste and quality of the products just got better and better and better and better, you know? And then, when I moved to the UAE two years ago, well, it was like traveling back in time, you know, going to supermarket, you know, I have to admit, in two years I've lived here, I've never been into a liquor store here because I don't have a need to go, right? So, maybe I should have gone there to check if they had some non-alcoholic drinks but I know that they didn't. So, going to supermarkets or going to restaurants, there was just nothing for non-drinking adult to drink. Nothing. I mean, absolutely nothing, you know, and if you ask for non-alcoholic beer, they'd say we have ginger beer or something else, you know, and that's what really inspired me because I thought I can't be the only person, because I know my parents struggled with alcohol, you know, sort of half their life so, you know, surely, there are people who don't drink because they choose to completely abstain from it. Surely, there are a load of pregnant ladies here. Surely, there are a lot of people who are driving. Surely, there are a lot of people who don't drink during the week. I mean, the list goes on and on and on why people not drink, right? And that really sort of kept, you know, I kept moaning, and moaning, and moaning, and I think my husband just said to me one day, Well, do something about it then, you know.

Alex: Yup.

Erika: Stop complaining and do something about it, you know, and then the rest is history. I think it was about just over a year ago that I seriously started looking into it and contacting the brands and really trying to find the right products, to bring in to Drink Dry Store and, you know, what I actually, initially, because the compliance here is so much stricter than it is in Europe, so the sort of no and low category in the UK, Europe, America, even Canada would allow drinks up to 0.5 to be classed as non-alcoholic. Here it's actually 0.05, so all of the products that you'll see on Drink Dry Store or, you know, if you go to a restaurant and it's one of our products, it's a genuine like 0.0 alcohol like, there's no alcohol whatsoever. And that, I really got a kick out of that. I thought that is, at first, it was wow. Well, what else is available then? You know, if we have to go to 0.0. But then after, you know, when I've done my research, I got a real kick out of it that there are some incredible products out there in the world, incredible beers, and you've tried our products, right?

Alex: Yup.

Erika: They are genuine 0.0 whatsoever, you know? Yeah, and that just really encouraged me and I thought and I could see that, you know, people, when I spoke to people everybody was kind of really excited about the idea of something that wasn't alcoholic coming into the market. Yeah, so that's how it all came about really.

Alex: Yeah. And it's funny that you mention the whole thing about not, you know, coming here to the UAE and not having the products that you once had because I had kind of an opposite experience in that when I got sober, I was here in Abu Dhabi. And so, I was just drinking like water and coke all the time and I remember, I was like 100 days sober and I went back to Canada for my summer vacation and all these restaurants had alcohol-free beer and I was like, Wait, this is like a normal thing. Because of course, I would have no idea before when I was a drinker, but I remember just being like, this is amazing like all these places in Canada have alcohol free beer, and then coming back here, and again, being hit with like, you know, there's nothing. And that was when I really realized that it was like an issue. And so, for a long time I didn't really, I was just like, Well, this is the way it is. And I remember, when I first heard about you guys opening up and it was like the most exciting thing, and it just feels exactly what you're talking about like, I just feel like I'm able to have like kind of an adult drink and a fancy drink, and feel like a grown-up.

Erika: Exactly. And I think there's so much more to it, you know? It's the whole social aspect of it and, you know, for me the first thing is, the product has to taste good. It cannot be a grape juice in a champagne bottle, or it cannot be watered down malt drink that's made from some kind of wheat leftovers that, you know, it cannot be that. It has to be something that tastes super, super exciting for non-drinking adults, and that's what I always emphasize, you know, it's for non-drinking adults who choose different way of life. And for me, the biggest compliment I get as, you know, as a founder of Drink Drive Store is our customers, you know, especially if I see that somebody ordered one bottle and I know that they're skeptical, I know that the person ordered one bottle is skeptical of the quality of the product. But then, in two days time, they placed another order and they're buying cases of it, and for me, that is the biggest compliment because I think, Yes. We've got it right. We've got it absolutely right with all of our products that are coming in that people are actually enjoying it, you know, and I'm going to wine from a store or, you know, a huge kind of beer, Noah, what good beer is? But my only criteria when I choose what goes on to Drink Dry Store is, would I, as a consumer, buy this a second time? That's it. That's the only criteria, you know, is it good enough to be bought a second time? And if the answer is yes, then we'll list on Drink Dry Store, you know, and I think that people really get that. At least the feedback we're getting is really kind of resembling that. Yeah.

Alex: Oh, absolutely. The beer days of me which was the first beer that I tried from you guys, I could not get over how, it was probably the best non-alcoholic beer that I've ever had.

Erika: Thank you.

Alex: It just tastes so authentic.

Erika: And again, it's 0.0% alcohol, so there's no, you know, there's no risk for pregnant ladies drinking it or people who have a problem with, you know, using alcohol in the past. There's just no kind of issues with that whatsoever and, you know, and we're trying really hard because I think that the demand has been a lot higher than we anticipated, and the feedback has been fantastic, so I think this week, we have our still non-alcoholic wines arriving. So, the whole range of, you know, Red, White and Rosé wine, which I think adds another depth to the whole kind of sophisticated drinking when you're not drinking, you know, that you want to have a glass of red wine with your meal at home, on Valentine's Day, or whatever it may be, you know? So, yeah. Thank you for the feedback.

Alex: Yeah, I love it. So, what is your vision for the Drink Dry Store in the UAE in the future?

Erika: You know, what I would love to do? I would love to get to the point in the UAE where if you are a non-drinking adult for whatever reason, and I no longer ask people reason because it's their personal choice, that if you go to a supermarket that you can pick up whatever is your favorite non-alcoholic drink, you know, if you were maybe a wine drinker when you were drinking, that you can pick up a good bottle of non-alcoholic wine. If you're a beer drinker, you've got a choice of fantastic non-alcoholic wines, right? So, whatever was your choice to drink when you were drinking, that you have an amazing alternative for that drink in the non-alcoholic section. And that, it just becomes widely available, you know? That instead of asking, do you have non-alcoholic beer when you go to a restaurant as a consumer, you can ask, What non-alcoholic beer do you have? Do you have ...? Do you have English Ale? Do you have Syrah Wine? That you actually get a choice, as a consumer, that you're not no longer offered a ginger beer when you ask for non-alcoholic beer, you know? And that just becomes a widely acceptable thing. That, for me, is the biggest thing that I want to achieve. That people get a choice to drink what they want to drink, and nobody asks them why they're not drinking, because they're sitting there with an orange juice.

Alex: Absolutely.

Erika: Sounds good, right?

Alex: Yes. And I, definitely, I think that is definitely the next phase of like, I'm still finding that a lot of restaurants don't have non-alcoholic beer even on the menu, and that is kind of my dream too is like, that I get to a brunch and there's a non-alcoholic beer for me to have. That would just be great.

Erika: We're working super hard, you know, we recently partnered up with SW, our hospitality group here in Dubai, and have some incredible outlets, and they've taken the whole range from us and, you know, and they listed it on their menu, it's kind of very clearly that's non-alcoholic premium drinks, and I know that feedback we already had from them has been amazing. The products are selling so well for them. And I think, even the management are a little bit surprised. They sort of didn't expect it to be such a hit really. We're going into one of the retail chains with all our products, so that would be another kind of step towards making it more acceptable and available for people to have. So, I'm hoping that within the next, you know, let's say, within the next two to three years, it will be so normal to have anywhere you go.

Alex: Yeah. Oh, that's fantastic. I love that. So, if you had any advice for someone that was sober curious or thinking about taking a break from alcohol, what would it be?

Erika: Just give it a go. Just try. I mean, there's literally not one negative that I can think of and I, you know, I'm brutally honest, you know, there's not one negative in giving up alcohol. There's not one. And we could go on and on and on for another hour talking about the benefits of going alcohol free, right? But I think, it's unless you try it, you just don't know, you know? It's a bit like, when, I don't know, unless you experience childbirth and having your own child, you don't really know what that means, like, many, many experiences in life. Unless you experience it firsthand, you don't know what it means. So, you know, if you are sober curious, just give it a go. Even say, I'm not gonna drink Monday, Friday or Sunday, Thursday, or maybe I won't drink this weekend, and I'll make other alternative plans, you know, I'll make plans to go out with my friends for a walk on the beach on a Friday, six o'clock in the morning, so I definitely don't go out drinking on Thursday, you know? Yeah, just try. That's the only thing. And if you're a bit scared of what life would look like, you know, a year with no alcohol or two years no alcohol, don't think about it. Just say, Well, I won't drink this week. And then, if another week leads to another week, then fantastic. If another day leads to another day, fantastic. And if you, you know, if you want to moderate, then if you have a drink on a Friday night, so be it. But it doesn't mean you have to drink again on Saturday. You just, you know, say no again and particularly, if you have any social occasions coming up, you know, and obviously, I'm biased because I found, you know, I started Drink Dry Store but stock up on good non-alcoholic drinks that really will help you get through any social occasion. If you haven't got experience of going out or socializing with people without drinking alcohol, that's a really good plan B, you know? Stock up a non-alcoholic beer, if you've got friends coming over, and just drink that, and see how you get on, nobody's asking questions. You just, you know, you don't feel any other pressure then coming from yourself.

Alex: Yeah.

Erika: Yeah.

Alex: Absolutely. Just give it a go. That's great advice.

Erika: Then we go, can you think of any negatives to going alcohol free, Alex?

Alex: You know, I was thinking about this the other day, I read this thing on Instagram, someone said, I've never met someone who regrets going alcohol-free. And that's so true like, going alcohol-free like, I was terrified of it because as you say, you don't know what it's gonna be like if your whole adult life has a drink in your hand, then you don't know what it's gonna be like. And, you know, I saved money, I saved time, started my business I, you know, had energy for my passions like, I'm at the point now where I just don't want to drink because I'm like, This is just gonna, it's only gonna be negatives for me, but I would have never known any of that had I not sort of taken the risk and tried it.

Erika: Exactly. And it just takes a small little step to try and I think, you know, not even, even I think with dry January, it's a fantastic month for people to do, but for those who, and I did another interview, earlier in January, for a magazine in London and I said, you know, for those who haven't tried dry January, if you are so worried about what birthdays of no alcohol looks like, just do four, just do three days, five days, whatever is in January that you feel like you want to do, and reevaluate again after those five days. How do you feel? Do you feel better? Well, do you want to try another five days? And you might just surprise yourself that you go the full month, and if you slip up somewhere along the way, so be it. You just restart again, you know, it's just as simple as trying it.

Alex: Yeah, absolutely.

Erika: Yeah.

Alex: Okay. I have one last question for you. What is your personal favorite drink at the Drink Dry Store?

Erika: Oh no, I think you're gonna ask me that. My goodness, you know, I think the one I drink the most actually, it's Vintense Prestige, the sparkling wine. So, yesterday I had a friend over who I've known for a long long time. We live together in Lithuania, UK. We're both now in Dubai and, you know, she came over the evening and we drank a whole bottle of Vintense Prestige and she drove home and I went to bed, which is fantastic. But that's my kind of go-to, that's my go-to drink always when I've got people over. But actually, I think the one that, my personal, personal, very favorite is, it's our Red Wine that's coming in stock very, very soon. And, you know, because I know it's already landed in Dubai yesterday, so I know it's here, so I can tell about it. But it's a beautiful, you know, rich Saran Ganache mix. It just tastes beautiful. There's complexity in the drink, the sophistication in the drink, you pick up lots of different fruits and flavors, and it's just so easy on the palette. And particularly, you know, my husband and I, we both worked and we have two small kids, so evenings are really precious to us when the children go to bed and we sit down and we catch up with each other on our day. So, you know, our evening meal is a big part of our kind of time spent together, so we always sit down at a dinner table, and we eat together, and we just catch up on our day. We don't eat on our laps watching TV, you know? And I'm really looking forward to being able to have a glass of wine with my meal, and just make it even a more of an experience. Yeah. So, I think a Red Wine is my absolute favorite.

Alex: Oh, good. Well, I'm super excited to try it because I have to admit, I actually had never found an alcohol-free wine that I enjoyed. My mom stocked up with a bunch in Canada the first summer I was home and we both kind of decided, you know, there isn't really anything good out there. So, when you sent me the Prestige, I was skeptical but I was like, I'm gonna try it and I love it now. And so, I know that I can trust your taste. So, if you say that the Red is good then I'll probably [34:44].

Erika: Yeah. I think it's really good. I think it's really, really good and, you know, I get sent samples all the time, people wanting to list with us and, you know, it's great. I'm always very open but I'm also very skeptical like you are, you know, and I always kind of close my eyes and I think, I'm just a consumer, and because I want to have so many products on Drink Dry Store or I want to just chat about it but I have to be very skeptical about it and kind of, you know, just think is it good enough that somebody ordering it will think, Wow. You know, so, yeah. I hope once the wines hit Drink Dry Store, the feedback will be as good as I hope it will.

Alex: Oh, I'm sure. I'm sure it will be. Well, thank you so much Erika. It was such a delight to have you on the show. I am going to put into the link to the episode, the link to the Drink Dry Store, for anyone who's listened to this and is interested in checking out the products locally.

Erika: Thanks.

Alex: And I have a code right now for 10% off, it's capital ALEX10, and I'll put that in the episode as well, so if any listeners would like to place an order, you can get 10% off which is so great.

Erika: Thank you very much for the support because, you know, for us, it's, we were a small kind of business. It was all about the idea and it's amazing to have people who live the alcohol-free life, really support us. So, really, thank you so much, and thank you for having me. It was really nice chatting to you. And I think, you know, if it wasn't evening time, I'd sit here and chat, chat, and chat with you for another hour.

Alex: Yes. Well, we will have to, we'll have a get together when the borders are open soon, and I can visit Dubai, and then we can we can try that Red Wine.

Erika: Thank you so much, Alex.

Alex: Thank you so much, Erika. And we'll talk soon. Bye.

Erika: Bye.

Outro: Thank you so much for tuning into this episode of Sober Yoga Girl with Alex McRobs. I am so, so grateful for every one of you. Don't forget to subscribe so you don't miss the next one and leave a review before you go. See you soon. Bye.



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