Mooze Booze: Gin that isn’t the mother’s ruin in menopause

Menopause and alcohol don’t mix. Fact. So what do you do if, like me, you like to socialise with friends over a drink? Step forward Mooze Booze.

What is Mooze Booze?

Mooze Booze is a reduced-alcohol botanical spirit. Or to put it in words that we’re more likely to use, it’s a low-alcohol gin.

Let me explain: to be classed as low-alcohol, a drink has to have an “alcoholic strength by volume” (ABV) of between 0.05 and 1.2%. Mooze Booze has a 12% ABV, which means it’s technically a reduced-alcohol drink (which means it simply has to contain a lower ABV than the normal drink). Also technically, because it is not over 37.5%, it cannot be called a gin. But in my mind, if it looks like a gin and tastes like a gin, it’s a gin.

So does Mooze Booze taste like a gin?

Oh yes. Founder Mel Sims sent me a small sample and I can assure you, in a blind tasting, I couldn’t tell a difference.

It’s distilled using traditional methods by an award-winning distillery in Essex and mixes
juniper, cucumber, orange, clementine zest, coriander and macadamia nut. The result is light and very refreshing, perfect for the warmer weather ahead.

Anything else?

Because of its lower ABV, Mooze Booze is also lower in calories – 18 calories per measure. That means you can have 11 Moozes with slimline tonic and still have drank fewer calories than your average pint of lager or large glass of red wine.

It’s also a good alternative for menopausal drinkers.

Why’s that, then?

Alcohol releases dopamine, the so-called “happy hormone” that governs how we experience the feelings of pleasure and reward. However, the brain gets used to this with continued alcohol use and starts to produce less dopamine. Falling oestrogen levels in menopause also hit our dopamine levels, so it can be a double-whammy.

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Added to that, you have the impact of all the sugar and glucose that can be found in many alcoholic drinks. Your blood sugar level is already all over the place because of menopause, leaving you feeling tired and grumpy and stress. Alcohol can exacerbate this.

Plus, on a more general note, just three drinks a week means you have a 15% higher risk of breast cancer.

Okay. Tell us more about Mooze Booze…

In true Celebrating Women style, it began when 48-year-old Mel found herself at a crossroads last year. She had been running a successful children’s play centre with eight staff in the Braintree district of Essex, but then lockdown hit. From being a busy businesswoman, she suddenly found herself forced to close the centre and start home-schooling – and turning to a glass of wine at 6pm to relax and get away from the stress. (A familiar story over the last year, even without the home-schooling pressure, I know.)

By June, her skin looked dull and she was putting on weight, drinking 50 units and thousands of empty calories a week. But like me, she didn’t want to cut out drinking completely.

“I was seeking a way of moderating my drink units,” she said. “The industry seems so binary – Either you choose drinks with high alcohol content or no or low alcohol. Many people are not out to ditch alcohol completely; they just want less.

“There was nothing mid-level. so, I decided to solve the problem and create that replacement drink.”

Together with her friend Mo Lane, she set up Mooze Booze, securing supplies from the English Spirits distillery in Great Yeldham. Now they’re looking to expand into pubs.

Mel (right) with her Mooze Booze partner Mo Lane. Photo: Claire Naylor

“Mooze means there is no excuse anymore for those people who want to reduce their drinking without there being any compromise on taste,” she says. “Lower in calories and alcohol units, be kinder to yourself with that glass in your hand.”

For more information, visit Mooze Booze

Tempted? What is your alternative to alcohol? Let me know in the comments below – and don’t forget to sign up for a monthly newsletter and your free 20-page guide to menopause and midlife

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