Conscious Drinker (Author Interview)

Janica Hall has been a bartender for over a decade. With a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, she has combined her love for writing, health, and making drinks. Hall’s healthy cocktails appear on menus in the Los Angeles area. She currently lives in Santa Monica with her husband and rambunctious dog, where she continues to sling drinks and teach others how to be a conscious drinker.

Conscious Drinker looks like a great health guide to alcohol.  Any plans to release similar books?   

I had so much fun writing this book. My husband and I got to taste many many cocktails! This will be a standalone title, but I have plans to continue to educate people online. Next week I’ll be launching a FREE five-day liver detox. Your liver is not only where you process alcohol but every other toxin you consume, like medications, fructose, plastics, and air pollutants. You can sign up to get the free meal plan and printable daily check-lists HERE!

What will readers get out of your guide?    

Conscious Drinker is all about alcohol education. You will learn what alcohol is, how it’s digested, how to avoid hangovers, and even care for your liver long term. I talk about what alcohol does to the body and how you can choose better ingredients for that perfect after-work drink. I also include 36 plant-based cocktail recipes, each specifically geared to increase micronutrients and decrease sugars and additives that are in so many traditional cocktails.

What inspired you when writing Conscious Drinker?    

As a bartender in a busy tourist location, I hear a lot of bar talk. People toss around misinformation about alcohol as if it were fact! For example, that whiskey is mostly sugar, which is absolutely false, or that tequila is the healthiest liquor choice, a statement with absolutely no science backing.

We live in a time with so much focus on personal health, but when it comes to alcohol, we’re all just guessing or making it up as we go along. I have found a lot of joy learning about alcohol, but the real inspiration comes from wanting to share what I’ve learned with others.

When did you decide to become a writer?

I don’t know if I ever really decided! I just started writing at a very young age. In first grade, I illustrated a story about bears going into a haunted house. My mom put the pages in ziplock bags and tied them all together so I had a little book that I had written myself. I’ve always been a writer. I went to school to study writing and to “become” a writer. I graduated knowing I was the next great American author….you know, like every other na├»ve 20-some. I’m not concerned with that now of course. I just really enjoy writing and telling stories!

When writing Conscious Drinker did anything stand out as particularly challenging?   

I have a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, which means I’m basically a trained researcher! I did extensive research into peer-reviewed studies, scholarly papers, and science-backed articles. The hardest part was delving into these dense chemical and biological papers that I, first, had to make sense of and then transpose into digestible information for the masses. Organizing that information was pretty difficult. But I think it all came together well! I keep it really witty and light-hearted without dumbing down the information too much. It’s a very informative read with about three pages of reference material in case you want to nerd out with me!

What does your title Conscious Drinker actually mean?   

I’ve been a bartender for ten years. A lot of people are very interested in health and in alcohol. They want to drink but they want to take care of their bodies at the same time. I don’t think this is impossible despite the fact that alcohol is a toxin. Being a “conscious drinker” means making smart choices and being aware of what you are doing to your body. “Conscious” does not mean never. It doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy, indulge, or have fun. Being conscious means to be aware, to research, understand, and use that knowledge wisely in your everyday choices AND your happy hour.

What do you like to do when not writing? 

My husband and I love to travel! We just recently got back from a three-week Japan trip. Traveling and writing are why I became a bartender in the first place! And when we’re not flying off to exotic countries, we’re hiking, camping, riding motorcycles or just laying around snuggling with our dog!

How can readers discover more about you and your work?

The best way is to follow me on Instagram. I share drink recipes and inspiration mostly through that platform. However, you can also sign up for my newsletter if you want updates on the book or to receive your FREE five-day liver detox. Stay tuned for what’s coming up as well! My next book will be another helpful guide for women! The Tom Boy’s Guide on How to Be a Girl. Follow me for these updates and more!