In order to continue our series Drink Less Drink Better, I spoke with Manu Ruiz, the manager of the bar Le Royal. The latter had made us a recipe in our series, Behind the Bar with the Flower Power cocktail, while he was in a period of abstinence from alcohol. So here’s Drink Less Drink Better with Manu Ruiz.
I thought of you Manu because you advocated sobriety for a good period, 3 months, I think?
Yes, a good 3 months. I stopped the day after the Royal staff party
Good idea 😉
It may have been a party staff, I still took it relax that evening. I did not say “Hey, this is my last brush for 3 months, I’m going to get banged”, I took it still relax as I said, I celebrated well, but no more. My first day of sobriety did not start with a hangover, which was already a good thing.
Change your habits, why?
Why do you come to change your habits?
Personally, I had medical reasons that were symptoms of concussion. Initially, the reason was purely for that, because your brain needs to rest, needs to recover and for that, it needs to sleep. Sleep well when you consume alcohol, you do not recover that much. The basic objective was really just that, to recover from these symptoms. And finally, in all this process, I discovered that it brought me so much more, than in the end, I also understood, that in addition to my initial goal, I did it for full reasons that have proven to be super positive for my health.
Now that the 3 months have passed, I guess you have not started at the same pace as before?
I did not pick up the pace I had before, for a simple reason that I do not want to lose what I acquired. It brought me a lot of well-being, it allowed me to reconnect a little with myself. Through the “ups and downs”, we will not be lying, because when you consume alcohol regularly enough, I think that every human lives it differently, but for me, I still had symptoms of weaning if you want. So the first nights of sleep were quite difficult, cold sweats, etc. It can be really more challenging than you think, as it can be easier for other people. I think every human is distinct at that level.
And when we start drinking again, how do we start again? In a more responsible way, I imagine?
I think the most important thing is to stay in control. Example, my first night, people knew that I had the right to drink, I was sent shooters tours by everyone the whole evening. Was it a good idea for me to start this way again? No, so I did not accept all the shooters that were graciously offered to me. I avoided them, a bit like Keanu Reeves in The Matrix avoiding bullets. In the end, I was really looking forward to a good cold beer. So I drank a glass of IPA, it was really tasty, and I think this excitement just put me in a very festive state without me having to drink more. In the end in the evening, I think I had to drink 2-3 small glasses of beer, and yes I accepted some shooters, but I did not go home drunk, not drunk anything.
And that’s what leads you to consume in a responsible way? I imagine that with your position as manager at the Royal, you have no choice either.
It is certain that when you have a position with responsibilities, even if you have to be responsible no matter what position you occupy in a bar, but from there, it is to be able to do your job well and that under no circumstances does alcohol interfere with your work, whether at work or outdoors.
Drink Less Drink Better with Manu Ruiz : Summer.
When we return to drink, with the beginning of the summer, I imagine that the temptations are more present?
Obviously, it’s sunny, the women are beautiful, there are beautiful special evenings, it’s the competition season, so there are even more opportunities to drink. But for my part, I drink more qualitative than quantitative ways. Instead of putting out lots of beer or shots, I consume things that are, for me, things that I will love to drink better.
Have your tastes changed, do you taste more products?
I do not know if I could say that I started to taste more, that my sensations in terms of flavors changed so much. Already I am not a smoker when I leave. Maybe that’s the case for some people, but for me it’s not the case.
The alternatives to drinking alcool
What do you think about alternatives, such as cocktails with the Seedlip?
There is no doubt that there are more and more alternatives to consume either mocktails or, as I did, drink non-alcoholic beer. And it must be confessed, there are more and more beautiful non-alcoholic beers, that it is the IPA of Bockale which is called La Découverte, it is what I drank mainly, otherwise of the Carlsberg without alcohol. I still used to raise my elbow, the habit of drinking a beer, without the taste of alcohol, it was that I drank 2-3 and I was happy.
And your friend in this?
I am lucky to have an entourage of friends and family very close and we support each other constantly through our decisions. My true friends did not push me to drink. At the moth invited me a little less in the evenings, I think it was a little to avoid me from trying the devil. I got tested by some people who tried, but no. It is also a question of conviction and self-confidence. Yes the support of friends helps that’s for sure, but you just have to believe in its objectives and go for it. In the end, I discovered that positive, and I have no regrets to have taken this period of sobriety.
Thank Manu and see you soon at Le Royal!
Couver Photo: Alambika