Cheers to a Long and Lasting Relationship! Literally!

If you’re like me, you enjoy savoring a well-poured cocktail, glass of wine, or regional ale with your partner, on a fairly regular basis. You might also enjoy sharing sips of each other’s drinks and taking notes, comparing and contrasting each other’s beverages. We thought we were indulging in this because it just tasted good and made a meaningful nightcap, but now we know that it will also help us stay together longer as a couple! And we’ll both be around longer!

Thank you, science. Thank you, statistics.

Yes, folks, there are scholars who study relationships and drinking and aging processes. They survey people about their drinking habits and marriages, health and other factors. They publish papers on these subjects and receive coverage in publications such as Food and Wine, the New York Post, and elsewhere. This is more than just an academic exercise, and while you and I (and our partners) are happy just to clink glasses at bars, restaurants and at home, there are experts who are analyzing our imbibing habits.

A few of these expert conclusions are quite encouraging. Stick around for some facts, but first, let’s think about how to achieve and strengthen those relationship goals of enjoying drinks together as a couple.

Let’s brainstorm. What are some delectable ways in which to indulge in this? Think like an eager cub reporter: WHO, WHAT, WHEN, WHERE, WHY and HOW.

The WHO is you two.

The WHAT can be answered in a variety of ways: what or which drinks do you like? Or which drinks are you both curious to try? (Some suggestions will follow soon.)

The WHEN has some flexibility. Which days of the week, which times? When you come home from work? As a nightcap? With brunch on the weekend? (Please don’t suggest drinking before brushing your teeth in the morning.

The WHERE also has options: Home? Midway between your offices? Twice per week at restaurants? Picnics at your favorite parks? At a beloved sporting event or concert? On the back porch?

The WHY? Well, you want to indulge in your “concordant drinking behaviors” and maintain a “quality marriage(s) and (be) married longer compared with those who report discordant drinking behaviors” as the researchers report. And because it’s fun. And tasty.

The HOW. Now, here are some suggestions, and back to the brainstorming. You could start with two of your favorite liquors and two liquors you would like to explore more. On some days you could plan a drink menu, on other days you can wing it.

Let’s say you’re interested in working more tequila into your drink routine. San Martin de Hidalgo offers wonderful options- smooth and tasty, and each of their three tequilas is a sophisticated choice.

The Blanco, Reposado and Anejo tequilas from San Martin de Hidalgo will make wonderful additions to your couples’ drinking goals. All three tequilas express distinct flavors and are remarkable for cocktails. Prepare and mix them together, for a true couple’s experience😉.

(Some cocktails might require prep work; so make it a team effort.) Or create simpler classic drinks with your tequila, such as a Margarita, a Paloma with grapefruit soda (one of my favorites), even mixing it with lager beer.

I introduced my partner to the Reposado tequila and he was pleasantly surprised by the taste. We had a pleasant time sipping and comparing our notes on flavor profiles. (By the way, he’s typically a beer and ale kind of guy.)

Now, for some fun facts from the scientists.

According to the recently published paperAlcohol Use and Mortality Among Older Couples in the United States: Evidence of Individual and Partner Effects,” published in the February 2024 edition of the journal The Gerontologist, “concordant drinking spouses (both indicated they drank in the last 3 months) survived longer than discordant drinking spouses (1 partner drinks and the other does not) and concordant non drinking spouses.” In addition, “similar levels of drinking in terms of the amount of drinking were associated with greater survival, particularly among wives.”

In other words, if you and your lawfully wedded partner are both drinking more or less the same amount and on a similar basis, then you track for success! This might seem logical, and it might seem cozy too, but there are serious undertones to these findings. They suggest that a couple that is somewhat harmonious is also drinking together, and similar amounts.

I do suggest that you and your partner have a drink or two and then take a stroll through the park or botanic gardens (one of our fave activities). Maybe add in a visit to your favorite local art museum. Or share a cocktail and then head to the theater or a sports event.

So many options, all leading to a few simple but worthwhile goals: strengthening your life as a couple, sipping delicious drinks, and making life a bit sweeter.

Ellen Levitt, S&P

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