Sober in the city: Sarah-Kate Lynch does Dry Jan and asks ‘what would Carrie do?’

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1 January 1970

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Can Sarah-Kate Carrie through with her self-imposed dry spell? She questions the point of mocktails and what Sex and the City would be without cosmos.

This year I’m one of many thirsty people who embraced Dry January.

I think perhaps 2020 was particularly wet? What with all the extra baking and those consolatory bags of potato chips that seem to go hand in hand with a pandemic, I now find myself veering towards the darker reaches of my wardrobe for things with elasticated waistbands.

I’ve been there before, many a time – that’s why I keep the clothes. And it’s hardly an arm or a leg (it’s a middle-age spread), but experience tells me you need to nip elevenses and cocktail hour in the bud pronto if you’re to avoid heading into the winter in a muumuu – which anyone knows can be drafty (and look funny with tights).

So Dry January it is. It’s not that I’m a boozehound – but I’m definitely a boozepup. I like a gin and tonic or two of a summer evening, and if there’s an event I can easily polish off my share of a chardonnay bottle, if not someone else’s.

However, my personality probably couldn’t be less addictive – unless you’re talking about those potato chips and even then, while I can definitely nail a large bag on my own in one sitting if I have to, I won’t feel like a second. And I won’t feel like them again the next day either. I’ll feel like something completely different, like my sister Anna’s irresistible, heart-attack-inducing Russian fudge.

Even when I smoked ciggies back in my wild misspent youth, I couldn’t smoke them two days running. It seems I’m too mathematically inclined to totally blow myself out of the water – I can’t help counting things. You know, like Dustin Hoffman in Rain Man, but without it being at all helpful or related to Tom Cruise.

The trick is, if you’re giving up cocktails to get back into your cocktail frocks, you can’t swap them for mocktails because – newsflash – mocktails can have just as many calories as their alcoholic cousins (#whatsthepoint?).

So you can probably blame me for Auckland’s water shortage, because what else is a muffin-topped temporary teetotaller to do? There’s only so much a slice of lemon and an ice cube can do. My delicate constitution does not respond well to sparkling water, so I’m stuck with the liquid gold that comes out of the tap.


At times like this I wonder what Carrie from Sex and the City would do. Take away her inclination to drink Cosmopolitans and would she still bar hop, knocking back glasses of Manhattan’s finest H2O as she goes?

Hopefully we’ll get to find out when SATC is rebooted as And Just Like That… minus sexy Samantha. To be honest, as a calorie counter from way back (old habits die hard), I found the Cosmopolitan drinking one of the least authentic aspects of the original show. Anyone as thin as Sarah Jessica Parker does not avail herself of sugary mixes. I identified way more with Reese Witherspoon in the TV series Little Fires Everywhere, when she measured out her evening glass of wine. I even have the same jug (#nerdalert).

Will Carrie, Miranda and Charlotte even bother with bars in the 2020s version, I wonder? I know I certainly don’t, but you can’t make a TV series about three women sitting separately at home watching Netflix. Or if you did it would be called Gogglebox and they’ve already done that.

Maybe Carrie will have opened some shoe shops, Miranda will have run for Mayor of New York City and Charlotte will be – you know what, I never really took to Charlotte, so I don’t care what she’s doing. But maybe Samantha will be 60-something and naked on a sex swing in a different show of her own. That I’d like to see.

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