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Alcohol is bad for us. So why have humans been drinking it for thousands of years?

Olive highball drink
Robert Bredvad
Courtesy of Elva Ramirez
An Olive Highball from Elva Ramirez’s book ‘Zero Proof Cocktails: 90 Non-Alcoholic Recipes for Mindful Drinking.’

Drinking alcohol has a number of negative impacts. But humans have been doing it for thousands of years and show no signs of stopping.

This hour, a look at why we drink, why more people are moving towards sobriety through the “sober curious” movement, and the rise of nonalcoholic cocktails.


  • Elva Ramirez - A journalist and media consultant and the author of Zero Proof Cocktails: 90 Non-Alcoholic Recipes for Mindful Drinking
  • Hilary Sheinbaum - A journalist and the author of The Dry Challenge: How to Lose the Booze for Dry January, Sober October, and Any Other Alcohol-Free Month
  • Edward Slingerland - Author of Drunk: How We Sipped, Danced, and Stumbled Our Way to Civilization and a professor of philosophy at the University of British Columbia

Join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter.

Colin McEnroe, Jonathan McNicol, and Cat Pastor contributed to this show, which originally aired October 18, 2021.

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Lily is the senior producer for The Colin McEnroe Show. She first worked at Connecticut Public as an intern in 2014. She has previously worked for WBUR, KUNC and as a producer for the New England News Collaborative's weekly show Next. Lily can be reached at ltyson@ctpublic.org.
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