(Editor’s note: Sadly, Dispatches receives no remuneration for this post about Déjà Bu?. We’re just here to cover expat lifestyle trends. Right, Giselle?)
Ever found yourself waking up in the morning, swearing off alcohol with the fervor of a televangelist on a caffeine buzz? Come on, admit it – that look on your face says it all; don’t even try to deny it. Anyways, a few years back I got tired of drinking alcohol and decided to cut it out completely for a few months. Now, I’ve never been a die-hard boozer, and I’d rather face plant into a cactus than sip on subpar spirits.
If it was a bit intimidating at first to show up to parties and stand my ground. But soon enough, I was basking in the glory of strolling home at 1, 2, or 3 a.m., enjoying a luxurious night’s sleep and waking up as fresh as a daisy.
Since that inaugural alcohol hiatus, I’ve been taking some every so often, whether for two weeks or
three months. It’s a reset: You re-learn how to drink alcohol when you get off the break, and you
tend to drink less afterwards.
A sobering generational make-over
This trend isn’t just my personal quirk; it’s like a whole generational make-over. Today’s youth are swaying towards a more enlightened, health-conscious approach to their social escapades. It’s a testament to the shifting tides of our time.
I mean, Keith Richards himself quit drinking – that says something! (You know it, Terry.)
Even when I’m not on one of my alcohol bans, you’ll often find me at the bar, ordering a 0% alcohol beer (Leffe, you’re my jam!). Alcohol carries this vivacious, sociable aura, and your drink choice sets the evening’s tone.
A cocktail screams, “Let’s party!” while a cup of tea is like an instant chill pill. Weird, right?
And quite sad frankly, but it’s a fact. That’s why 0% beer is my jam – it still brings the party vibes, minus the hangover!
Now, in keeping with this burgeoning trend, a really cool bar/shop named Déjà Bu? (which means “already drank” in French) has popped up in Paris’s 11th arrondissement. And no, they don’t just serve kale smoothies and chamomile tea; they whip up delectable, alcohol-free cocktails.
Let me rephrase: You can basically drink 10 Aperol Spritz without having a headache the next day.
And if cocktails aren’t your jam, they’ve got de-alcoholized wine. I didn’t even know this existed until my recent visit to Déjà Bu?. I won’t bore you with the intricacies of how they do it, but trust me, it’s a thing! Red, rosé, white, and bubbly – take your pick.
They even serve some St. Émilion. The wine will obviously be lighter and shorter on the palate, but its worth a try.
But wait, there’s more!
Déjà Bu? doesn’t stop at serving these liquid delights; they offer mixology classes for 40 euros, sell the “alcohol” bottles they use, and generously spill the beans on their cocktail recipes online, so you can try out their Jamaïcan Mule or their Spritz at home.
Hey, fun idea:
Organise drinks with your friends at home, make them only non-alcoholic cocktails and see who notices/who pretends to be drunk. (heheh.)
Déjà Bu? isn’t just a bar; it’s a reminder that life is a series of beautiful moments meant to be savored, sans the hangovers. It’s a place where the spirit of Parisian joie de vivre flows as freely as the Seine, and where you can raise a glass (of non-alcoholic goodness) to the joys of a life.
Santé! (pun intended)
You booze, you loose.
4 Rue Popincourt, 75011 Paris, France
Read more about Paris here in Dispatches’ archives.
Charlotte Laborie grew up in England, Belgium and Switzerland. Charlotte then moved to Paris and graduated from Sciences Po Paris. She is still based in Paris, where she works in marketing.