Yet he struggled when it came to socializing with his friends—a key part of maintaining a work-life balance—without alcohol. “There is pressure within a social setting,” he admits. “You have that one shot and are like, ‘Damn, why did I do that?’ when you get home,” he said. “I was like, wow, that’s kind of crazy how I’m feeling pressured. And I realized, how can I be feeling pressure at 38? Imagine young 18 year olds.”
Then there was the mental health aspect: as a Formula 1 champion and a worldwide celebrity, Hamilton admits that sometimes the pressure can get to him. “The fact is—alcohol does not help with that,” he says.
So he dove head-first into solving his own problem and co-founded a tequila alternative—his spirit of choice—that made him feel like he wasn’t making such a social sacrifice. Almave comes in two variations: the first, Almave Blanco, is meant for mixing in cocktails. The second, the herbaceous Almave Ámbar, is for sipping on the rocks.
Hamilton says he hasn’t had an alcoholic drink in four months, and counting: “I don’t know if I’m going to drink again,” he said of his new approach. “Since I’ve stopped drinking, I’ve just been feeling so much better, so much more clarity. I sleep better, I wake up in the morning and I can still get up at 5 a.m.,” he says. Two days later, he placed second in the Mexico City Grand-Prix—one of his top-place finishes of the season. Clearly, something’s working.
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