Look Ma, No Hangover: Drink Up with Absence of Proof in the D!

April 19, 2023 | Story by Brittney Schering | Photos by Absence of Proof

There’s a new party poppin’ bottles all over the place with not a single “drunk slob kabob” in sight, and it is all the rage. Next stop: Detroit! This is the place to be on Saturday, April 29.

Have you noticed how many hit songs center around getting sloshed? Timeless party anthems are especially infectious, and we all know the words no matter how many years it’s been. The music gets us amped up and ready to go out and have a good time! There’s truly no harm in that. Everyone deserves to have a good time.

When Nicki Minaj pops into Trey Songz’ hit song, I’d love to slur along while pregaming for all those terribly embarrassing nights spent blacked out during college in my early 20s – “Can I get that margarita on the rock – rock – rocks, can I get salt around that rim – rim – rim – rim…

And then there was Drake’s line I took a little too literally mid-pandemic – “Drinking every night because we drink to my accomplishments.

Admittedly, I still love to sing along with these fun songs when they come on the radio in the car. I will be the first to say sometimes the words hit different now that I’ve parted ways with alcohol.

An exciting new, non-alcoholic nightlife option is coming to Detroit this month for everyone who is interested in becoming alcohol-free, sober, sober-curious, or just wanting to experience the joy of having a fun, booze-free night out. This pop-up experience, hosted by the premier non-alcoholic event curation company, Absence of Proof, promises to offer all that you’d expect to see at a trendy party, just minus the booze: Glamorous guests mingling with elegant non-alcoholic cocktails, beer and wine in-hand, and lively music setting the scene so you can dance the night away if you wish to, or chill at the bar if that’s your thing.

All of the Buzz & None of the Booze

Since launching in New York City last year, Absence of Proof has been causing all the buzz as a leader spearheading the social ‘sober-curious’ scene, creating a more inclusive environment for those choosing not to consume alcohol, but still wanting to go out and have a good time. This is because Absence of Proof offers something new that’s in high demand right now:

An alternative gathering that helps people prioritize wellness and self-improvement, leaving behind the well-documented negative side effects of alcohol consumption.

There’s been exponential growth in the ‘sober-curious’ community over the last several years, particularly among Millennial and Gen Z consumers. Demand for alcohol alternatives has never been higher, and it continues to flourish. According to Ritual Zero Proof, a spirit alternative, zero alcohol-by-volume (ABV) spirit sales grew by more than 113 percent from 2020 to 2021.

The pandemic was a weird time in general for all of us. It felt like my relationship with wine went from “might be problematic” to “definitely not okay” when the nightly bottle became a bottomless morning mimosa that quickly slipped into a state of “we’re stuck at home, so why not sip all day.”

In August 2021, I had my last drink on Friday the 13th. I don’t remember much. It was the end of a long time spent drinking more than I knew was healthy to do, but it seemed normal because everyone was doing it. I hit the wall of “Nope, not me. Not anymore.” It just wasn’t worth it to feel like I was on the fast-track to destroying myself and all that I had worked so hard to accomplish.

Society says success and stress go hand-in-hand, and that the only socially acceptable way to decompress is to drink alcohol. While that’s simply not true, all the “successful” people do it in all the movies and popular TV shows to the point that it’s socially normalized everywhere we look. Only, drinking alcohol tends to make matters much worse, nearly stressing the success straight out of the equation over time until it doesn’t even feel fun anymore to partake in drinking alcohol.

For me, it felt like I didn’t know why I had to have a drink just to relax after work, and there it was, in my hand anyway. Weird place to be – but the pandemic made it very apparent that it was time to part ways with the sauce, and this time, permanently.

Exploring A Better Way to Be

Parting ways with alcohol isn’t an easy decision to make, and it wasn’t the first time I had tried, but this time I knew I meant it for good. What followed felt like fate – a door opened into the brand new world of non-alcoholic alternatives to my favorite wines and spirits – gin, tequila, bourbon, etc. You name it, there’s an alcohol-free version that tastes so close to the real thing, the only ingredient missing is the toxicity.

Choosing to take a break from alcohol can feel hella lonely. And I’ll be honest, it did and still does sometimes when I am the only one without a boozy drink in my hand in social settings. The community element was still missing from the newly sober lifestyle I decided to embark upon, so I partnered up with eight amazing booze-free brands to create this 99 cent ebook to share that this world of alternatives to alcohol exists. Of the 12 books I published in 2021, this one is still the best seller by a long shot. It’s also the cheapest! Please grab a copy.

Fast-forward to now. A new name is popping up all over the place, the party starter herself who is making headlines in all the best major cities, from NYC to her hometown of Seattle, over to Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington DC, and Miami: Elizabeth Gascoigne.

You may have caught wind of her being featured on TV and also in The New York Times or SELF Magazine, Thrillist, Edible Manhattan, Eater, Financial Times, Guest of a Guest, and plenty more. The press list keeps growing, and so does the premier party she’s throwing: Absence of Proof.

For Absence of Proof Founder and CEO, Elizabeth Gascoigne, this is personal. She is committed to sharing that she understands firsthand the need for more booze-free social experiences, and she communicates it clearly in every interview and on all the podcasts.

“Once I made the choice to prioritize my wellbeing and remove alcohol from my life, I noticed the lack of nightlife options that didn’t center around alcohol,” she shared.

Elizabeth went on to say, “I fundamentally felt the otherness of being the only one not drinking in those typical alcohol-centric environments. That’s when I knew I needed to create the scene I was searching for, and from there Absence of Proof was born.

In a recently published podcast interview, Elizabeth made a few very wholehearted points with great enthusiasm that revealed how much passion she has for the purpose behind building Absence of Proof, so much that even if you do adamantly choose to stay drinking alcohol, you may just feel called to come out and support the cause anyway. Knowing what she’s trying to do and how she aims to improve what “cool” looks like for younger kids will warm your whole soul.

One of my main goals with Absence of Proof is not only normalizing being sober-curious, and not having people be like, this is weird, but actually making it cool. I want kids growing up, not kids but teenagers to be like, wow, wait, there’s actually a really cool group of adults that don’t drink or drink less, and that’s cool. Maybe I don’t need to go get blacked out tonight.

That sounds like a movement we can all get behind. Leading by example shows kids there are far better ways to spend time than getting wasted. What a solid place to start something new.

Next Up: Detroit Launch Party!

Join Elizabeth at the Detroit launch party for Absence of Proof to enjoy a night of ‘bottoms up’ in a new way with all the fancy mixology and none of the worry whether you’ll wake up wondering what the heck happened after you blacked out. Plus, no hangover!

Come join the party in a refreshing atmosphere with alternatives to alcohol at The Congregation in Detroit on Saturday, April 29. The ticket gets you in and covers all your drinks – as many as you wish to throw back! This is about to be a dignified, down-to-earth party you won’t soon forget, with no trouble remembering.

Eater’s editor Harry Cheadle said it best: “Not drinking alcohol is the new drinking alcohol.”

Cheers to drinking up at Absence of Proof in Detroit on Saturday, April 29. See you there!

P.S. If you are interested in attending the Absence of Proof launch party, but hesitant to come alone, worry not. Per Elizabeth herself, “Connecting when you’re sober is such a better formula for creating long-lasting friendships. One thing that did come out of Absence of Proof that I did not expect was the amount of new friends that I personally have made, but then also the amount of people that come to Absence of Proof events alone with the intention of making friends and the success rate of that. It’s so special. It’s been the biggest unexpected blessing of this.

P.P.S. If you’ve been looking for opportunities to manifest the best summer yet, check out the next up event with Absence of Proof in May: Yoga & Social Hour for a midweek, happy hour hump day grounding session on Wednesday, May 24 at True North in Detroit. Join us in starting Memorial Day Weekend early with an hour of yoga followed by a non-alcoholic cocktail social.

When asked about her thoughts around the effects living alcohol-free has on our manifestation capability, Elizabeth shared passionately, “I have a lot of friends who are manifestation coaches, and their number one thing is that alcohol is a blocker to whatever level of manifestation you believe in.”

She went on to say, “Drinking is just not it. For me at least, I felt like it was such a timesuck, and when you’re trying to get your energy to a place of gratitude, and health, and all of these things that are supposed to help with manifesting, and then you’re putting poison into your body, in my opinion it was like a direct signal to the Universe where it’s like, do you really want to be happy and healthy? Because you know what this is doing to you, and you’re intentionally doing it.

Included in your ticket to Yoga & Social Hour with Absence of Proof:

  • 1-hour yoga practice with Han from Citizen Yoga
  • Unlimited non-alcoholic cocktails

The yoga class starts at 6 p.m. Please plan to arrive 10-15 minutes early to get checked in and grab a spot. Make sure to bring your mat, water for class, and any blocks or blankets for your comfort. Street parking is available. See you there!

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