Why Blake Lively Doesn't Drink and Her Tip for Still Getting the 'Flavor Experience' At Parties
The actress and Betty Buzz founder recently spoke to reporters in a mocktail-making class promoting her new line of mixers about her decision not to consume alcohol.
"I don't drink because I don't like the effects of alcohol, but I like being a part of it," she said. "I like being social. I like people coming together. I found that sometimes not drinking, the thing that was interesting was that it was a little alienating, because you don't feel — and maybe it's just in your own head — but you just don't really feel a part of it."
Her experience, of course, led her to create Betty Buzz, which includes five flavors of bottle beverages that can be mixed with liquor but more than stand up on their own.
The line — tonic water, sparkling grapefruit, meyer lemon club soda, sparkling lemon lime and ginger beer — is currently offered in 12-packs for $29.99 online and at select retailers across the country.
(PEOPLE got a first taste of the mixers and sparkling lemon lime is a stand-out favorite.)
"When we first started talking about this company, one of the conversations that came up was like, 'Are we going to be pushing a boulder up a hill because you don't drink and mixers are made to mix with alcohol? I mean, that's the name of them. So are you going to have credibility in this space as somebody who doesn't drink?' And I was like, 'Yeah, because I feel like I'm somebody who really likes flavor, that's it for me,' " recalled Lively.
The Gossip Girl alum revealed she is often the mixologist at her parties — despite husband Ryan Reynolds being the owner of Aviation Gin. Though she makes a mean cocktail for others, she was often having to do "much more heavy lifting" when it came to her own drinks.
One tip she picked up on was to add one or two "drops" of liquor to a mixed drink, like you would bitters.
"It gives it a flavor, but it's not going to give it a sort of experience — well, it'll give it a flavor experience — but not [much] alcohol," she said, noting that this should only be done for those who are sober-curious rather than in active recovery.
Lively also suggested using a dab of liquor to moisten the rim of your glass before salting it — like with tequila for a virgin margarita. "That would make the salt stay, but you're not actually getting real alcohol content," she said. "You're just kind of getting the taste."