My Gay Toronto - Ray's Anatomy

Mixing it up at the Mocktail Mixer

by RAYMOND HELKIO - Photos by Jrotica 

Are you experiencing giddiness, a slight belly-ache from excessive laughter and a sore face from smiling too much? If so, you may be in the throes of a mocktail hangover which, according to Fatima Mechtab, there is only one remedy: more mocktails!

The Mocktail Mixer is Fatima Mechtab and life partner Natalie Zielinski alternative to a boozy night out in Toronto. The alcohol-free affair is a super-charged night of music, entertainment and frivolity, all without the hangover. 

Despite the rain, upwards of 40 people took over Glad Day Bookshop for their inaugural event on April 6. With their sights focused on a Mocktail Mixer for Pride, the creators are already busy working at bettering the experience, so I interviewed Fatima and Natalie to find out what we can look forward to.

Raymond: How did you come up with Mocktail Mixer?

Fatima: The idea of Mocktail Mixer started with my own personal need to see more queer events that did not focus on alcohol. As someone who is celebrating  sobriety, I think it is important to address this need in our community for more sober spaces and to also show that they can be fun and exciting and well-attended. We embrace the personal choices of everyone but we also feel that our community should have options and we want Mocktail Mixer to serve as an example of a great party that just happens to be free of alcohol [Glad Day did not serve any alcohol at the event]. It also makes me accountable for my own sobriety and it strengthens me as a queer sober person to provide such an environment for my peers.

Throughout the process, I became more aware that there are so many wonderful queer folks who are also sober...I used to feel like one of a small few and that our scene was all about partying and losing oneself in the mix. We created a space based on what we wanted in our own lives but it turns out, other people are looking for the same thing. I felt it really brought our community together and I am excited about the future of Mocktail Mixer.

Natalie: Almost all nightlife and socializing revolve around alcohol and I never really liked drinking. We thought it was time for something new and fresh. 

With Pride in mind, are there any plans for more mixers?

Fatima: The first thing we want to do is secure the venue! We will not have a photographer again because it some folks would prefer anonymity which I can absolutely respect. 

What was the highlight of the night for you? 

Fatima: We had some fun games planned but "Hip Hop Musical Chairs" took the cake! It was hilarious and awesome to see everyone scrurrying around the chairs while dancing to "The Humpty Dance" and "Hip Hop Hurray." This will definitely make a comeback at the next Mocktail Mixer event - it  was just so much fun to be a quasi-kid again.

What is a "mock-hangover?"

Fatima:Lying in bed the morning after a night of sober partying and feeling healthy from not having had anything to drink. Having replaced all the drinking with laughter, you wake up still smiling from the night before. Technically speaking, laughing helps your lymph system which in turn boosts your immune system. So a "mock-hangover" would be an immune system reaction opposite to that of drinking.

Mocktail Mixer - Apr 6, 8 PM · Glad Day Bookshop · Toronto


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