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by Linda Smyth July 22, 2021 4 min read

the most cursory investigation into menopause will uncover flushes as one of it's most significant and well known symptoms.

and the most novice of researcher's will soon discover that alcohol is one of the most significant and 'well known' triggers for flushing. 

safe to say, alcohol, for many women experiencing peri-menopausal symptoms, will  bring on, or exacerbate a flush. 

unsurprisingly, 9 out of 10 menopause related articles will tell you to avoid alcohol if you're peri-menopausal.

consider this article the 1 out of 10*.  bottoms up buttercup!

it's short and sweet.  and honest and somewhat light hearted.   but in all serious-ness if you're an alcoholic or addict of any kind it may not be appropriate to read.  Please read the * below.  Sending love. 

A chart of the benefit of an alcoholic beverage in certain peri-menopausal moments. You do the math. 

Sample size - 1. But rigorously tested and therefore statistically solid.

situation pre-meno. peri-meno. a sip of... positive effect /10 negative effect (flush)  /10
you're cooking dinner and your kid/s are tired and hangry and literally dragging you out of the kitchen by your i'd-prefer-you-didn't-stretch-the-shit-out-of-it jumper to play trucks
darling, i can't play trucks right now because i'm cooking a nutritious dinner [you won't eat] so i'll pop bluey on, here are some carrots and hummous to tide you over and dinner will be ready in 5. love you!
i want to smash a fucking plate at the wall

"botox for the soul" negroni

thank you to Libby for the excellent analogy

+10 -1
you're out with friends at a cool but not too cool, very fun bar having an excellent time. (bear in mind i write this during lockdown so the thought of such an outing is extra exciting)

i love you guys.

i love life!

i love you guys.

i love life!

fark me it's so loud and so hot in here!

margarita +10 -4
you had a bit of a shit day on the work front
i'm going for a run and i'll come back feeling a million bucks!

omfg, is that my grey re-growth already?!?

my hairdresser sucks!

rosé and/or 


+7 -3
your husband does not come home in a timely manner, and or, at the time you expected

hi darling, bad day? 

big kiss. big hug

i love you!

i literally cannot look at you right now pinot +8 -2
you forget stuff.  like what this 5th point was going to be
uh, funny. it'll come to me 3 hours later, ummmm waiting.... anytime now brain... brain?... BRAIN!!! arrrrghhhhhhhh! any of the above +6 -2


I could go on, but it's fairly conclusive that the benefits of a little drink can outweigh the downside of a thought-stopping, sweat-inducing hot flushy flush.

I don't know about you but I'm relieved.  along with all the other downsides of menopause i do not want to feel guilty about having a drink.  I do not want to feel like I'm doing the wrong thing. 

sometimes the ritual of opening, pouring, mixing and swirling is therapeutic in itself.  Slowly sipping an ice cold negroni while I cook, literally melts some of my menopause induced tension away. 

Menopause is constant, for years.  With an end date impossible to know or predict.

At the end of an annoying day, when I've been angry for no reason, itchy for no reason, a bit lacklustre for no reason, pissed off for an actual reason but 10 x more pissed off than I would have been pre-menopause, a little drink takes the edge off.   A little numbing of the constant irritation that surrounds menopause.

and that is so ok.  a slowly sipped, delicious tasting alcoholic beverage can outweigh the consequence of another flush. 

Which possibly, you might have had anyway. 

so there. Bottoms up buttercup!

~ Footnote (with links to drinks) ~

as with everything in life, it's all about balance.  I'm not advocating excessive or on-going alcohol consumption.  I'm just saying that life is kind of like a set of scales and menopause is the ultimate unbalancer.  A cheeky little red, a very nice negroni, a spirit lifting margarita - for me, they take the edge off and set about balancing those scales. 

So cheers. for me, I say drink the drink.

and on that note, here are a few of my current faves:

negroni - it's lockdown so pre-mixed is where I'm at and these are good

margarita - if you feel the need for a little spice in your margy go here otherwise create a killer classic aka alfred cointreau, none other than heir to the cointreau throne, and obviously a margarita expert. you heard it here first (well second actually, urban list published alfred's recipe a couple of years ago and it's still the best). 

a good red - I'm really enjoying Lisa McGuigan's pinot noir.  it's light enough to sip without needing a meal to accompany it, but it's got all the delicious rich, earthy tones of a good shiraz.

a good rosé - Racer and I were lucky enough to get 2 weeks in NZ before the travel bubble burst at the end of June.  On our first night my Dad poured a glass of Rockburn's Stolen Kiss Rosé.  It was amazing to be with my parents after such a long time, we were all happy and having a lovely time and it tasted so delicious.  It remained my favourite drink of the trip and I'm so glad this company ship worldwide.

And if none of that floats your boat, do what I do and head to Winona Wine for a top notch selection of artisan wines, beers and spirits and excellent helpful service. 

à votre santé. xo, Linda


* If you have a history of alcoholism or addiction of any kind I am not advocating having a drink, or saying it is ok for you to drink.  Please consult a professional for advice.   As with all my writing, I write with honesty and humour in an effort to entertain and inform.  I do not advocate drinking alcohol if alcohol causes problems for you or anyone in your life. 

I also want to be clear that I very rarely drink more than two drinks in any one 'session'.  Every week I have more alcohol free days than drinking days and drinking alcohol does not negatively affect my life, or others in my life.

Ironically, I'm having a giant flush as I finish this post.  And I have consumed zero alcohol today. Ha!

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