We recently hung out with our mate Cami Vidal, a drinks aficionado turned meditation and yoga teacher, to learn more about her new enterprise La Maison Wellness - a platform that advocates a more mindful approach to drinking through some seriously high-res ‘lo and no’ cocktails.
Hey Cami, tell us a bit about yourself...
I’m a bartender and the Founder of La Maison Wellness. I try to inspire people to drink well and live well by bringing mindfulness into the glass and showing ways to live like a healthy hedonist.
Being a healthy hedonist sounds fun! Can you tell us more about mindful drinking?
‘Mindful drinking’ is a lifestyle. It’s not about drinking alcohol or not, it’s about becoming more aware of our drinking habits and finding more balance in the way we drink. Less mindless drinking and more positive celebration with flavours and function and no hangovers. Sober curious, mindful drinker, healthy hedonist... it has many different names but the goal is the same; people wanting to celebrate life and live well.
Any tips for someone doing sober dating / socialising for the first time?
We think it’s a mountain to climb until we become more mindful in the way we drink. Alcohol is so embedded in society - we believe that it’s the definition of socialising and having fun, but when you realise that tasty and functional doesn’t have to mean boozy there is no going back! Once you’ve found the balance that works for you as well as drinks that are super empowering and allow your spirit to shine, then you’re a healthy hedonist for life... because it feels so good to live a life free of hangovers!
Being a yoga pro, can you give any tips to someone thinking of starting a regular practice from home?
First of all, don’t think of yoga as something that only super-bendy people in expensive leggings can do. See it as an opportunity to move, breathe and connect.
Starting at home is a great place and there is so much great online content. If you check out my account I have loads of IGTVs to get you started or tune in live. Even just a few rounds of sun salutations in the morning is a great way to wake the body up and energise the mind.
Can you tell us a little bit about how you keep well in body, mind and soul?
For me, mindfulness is a way of life. Something to sprinkle on every area of your life from what you eat, to what you drink, what you think, what you say and how to interact with others.
It’s not about cutting anything out, it's about building the dossier of things that makes you feel good.
The morning is the perfect time to get some endorphins flowing! My routine goes something like this; stretch for a few minutes and sit in stillness for a few more, then followed by a mindful cup of tea - no checking my phone and emails. I love using essential oils to energise my body and lift my mood up, citrus oils are great for that.
At the end of the day, I love going for a long walk followed by a mindful cocktail, or two, to transition from day to evening.
What’s your favourite cocktail to make at home? Any tips for someone looking to reduce the alcohol in their drinks?
It would be so hard to pick one! It really depends on my mood, the season, the occasion etc. On La Maison Wellness, you will find all my mindful cocktail recipes and I also appear on Sunday Brunch on Channel 4 every other month to make cocktails, so tune in for inspo!
My favourite cocktail occasion is an Aperitif. The moment between day and night where it’s time to relax and unwind. During the lockdown, I’ve been experimenting a lot more with ingredients at home including Tepache which is a Mexican drink made from fermented pineapple. I mixed that with a low ABV beer and that makes a beautifully refreshing drink for a hot summer’s day!
Any tips for getting in the mood to party?
Food and drinks have a beautiful way to bring people together, I think making a few mindful cocktails at home blasting some music will always get you in the party mood.
What are you doing to keep chill during the lockdown? Any tips?
I try to bring kindness at the centre of my physical, emotional and mental wellbeing. Be kind to yourself, listen to your body and your mind; they know the answer and what you need. We often get too caught up in the busyness of life to truly be able to listen, and too often we are our own self-limitation.
What’s your favourite Three Spirit drink?
I think they are all beautiful for different moods. I really like the Livener - it’s tropical notes combine with the kick of spiciness which makes it super interesting as well as energising body and mind. The Nightcap is super-tasty and really helps me relax in the evening. The original Social Elixir is great, especially in my Pink Alchemy recipe.
Thanks Cami - we love the cocktail you’ve created for us and we’ll be mixing up plenty of your other creations really soon.