My Life in Drinks: Gary Barlow: ‘I quickly learned I can’t drink and sing’

As a child, Gary's favorite drink was a blue Slush Puppie

As a child, Gary's favorite drink was a blue Slush Puppie

As a child, Gary’s favorite drink was a blue Slush Puppie

As a kid, my favorite drink was a blue Slush Puppie. That was always the bribe for me to behave in such a way during our Asda store that I got a smack on the way out.

We went to the supermarket every Thursday night after my mother finished her shift as a lab technician at Chester Hospital. I think the Slush Puppie was around 15p – that was the 70’s! I haven’t had any since then.

I was late for alcohol. My friends were like 13, 14 when they started drinking but I was never interested. At that age I was playing clubs five nights a week, so I saw people drinking and smoking all night.

The other musicians I played with got free drinks, but you know how it is – if something’s on your doorstep you’re not interested, and that’s how it was with me and drinking. I didn’t have my first alcoholic drink until I was 18. It was a summer thing – we were at the Silcock’s Amusements funfair visiting Southport, it was a nice day and I was thirsty so I thought I’d try a shandy. It was wonderful.

Take That educated me on red wine. If we were nice somewhere, Howard [Donald] and Jason [Orange] would always order red wine. They would sit back in their chairs, spin around and talk about it with each other.

He might have been a slush puppie connoisseur as a kid, but Gary's dream aperitif is now champagne with a view in the south of France

He might have been a slush puppie connoisseur as a kid, but Gary's dream aperitif is now champagne with a view in the south of France

He might have been a slush puppie connoisseur as a kid, but Gary’s dream aperitif is now champagne with a view in the south of France

Gary used to be a Diet Coke addict and drank a Coke a day for years, but a decade ago, just after his 40th birthday, he went on a major health spree and cut out refined sugar and processed foods

Gary used to be a Diet Coke addict and drank a Coke a day for years, but a decade ago, just after his 40th birthday, he went on a major health spree and cut out refined sugar and processed foods

Gary used to be a Diet Coke addict and drank a Coke a day for years, but a decade ago, just after his 40th birthday, he went on a major health spree and cut out refined sugar and processed foods

That was the first time I realized there was a conversation about it – it’s not just people pushing it down. Because I used to see people drinking all night, falling out of these clubs – it never looked that exciting to me. But when I saw Howard and Jason enjoying it, I wanted to join. I didn’t like the first one I tried, but Jason said, ‘You just have to keep at it until you find one you like.’

Two nights later I tried a Châteauneuf-du-Pape – and it was delicious. I still order it every now and then. It’s a reward. I love a glass of this at the hotel after a show. Even today, a whole ceremony is part of it: looking at the bottle, the glasses… it’s more than the wine.

You should always end a show with a drink instead of starting it. We do not have drinks on the Take That driver. I quickly learned that I can’t drink and sing. So I’ve never been able to go on TV or do a live show after I’ve had one – it just doesn’t feel right.

I used to be addicted to Diet Coke. I drank one a day for years, but a decade ago, just after my 40th birthday, I went on a major health kick and cut out refined sugar and processed foods. After that, for about six or seven years, I was a real bore and criticized everyone else. I used to drive everyone up the wall. I just have a feeling you’re fighting some changes in your metabolism every decade. Someone will have an explanation I’m sure but I seem to be entering a new decade and ‘Boom!’ everything moves and changes.

I want to get credit for Negronis coming into fashion. I started drinking them about ten years ago – it’s my favorite drink. The key to a Negroni is the sweet vermouth – there are many types and they all taste different. Whenever I’m somewhere and they make a good Negroni, I always ask them what vermouth they use. I’m fortunate to have friends like the barman at Dukes in London, Alessandro, who referred me to a British barman that I love. It’s called Sacred English and has a certain spice to it. Then I add Monkey 47 Gin and Campari – Campari is a must have, can’t be messed around with.

The trick to a well-mixed Negroni? According to the barman at London's Dukes Hotel, the secret is in the vermouth

The trick to a well-mixed Negroni? According to the barman at London's Dukes Hotel, the secret is in the vermouth

The trick to a well-mixed Negroni? According to the barman at London’s Dukes Hotel, the secret is in the vermouth

Gary still orders Châteauneuf-du-Pape every now and then and said it was a treat. I love a glass of this at the hotel after a show

Gary still orders Châteauneuf-du-Pape every now and then and said it was a treat. I love a glass of this at the hotel after a show

Gary still orders Châteauneuf-du-Pape every now and then and said it was a treat. I love a glass of this at the hotel after a show

I spend between £15 and £20 on a nice bottle of wine to drink at home. I get it online from Nemo Wine Cellars. My perfect birthday present would be a bottle of Pauillac [which costs from around £25]. At a West End restaurant, £20 for a glass seems about right and should get you something pretty good. I know it sounds crazy, but welcome to the modern world – everything has gone through the roof.

Sir Paul McCartney and I shared a glass. Take That did a concert for Children in Need in 2009 and he came into our dressing room. Mark and Robbie don’t drink anymore but the rest of us did and he sipped with us.

He wasn’t there long enough – I could have endured a few more hours of him telling stories. He wanted to go to Australia and said he hadn’t been there in 25 years. I told him we were going back there too, and haven’t for 22 years. He couldn’t believe Take That had been around for 22 years. Damn we did!

One of the most memorable places I’ve ever had a drink was at our home in the south of France. We lived there for about nine years and I particularly remember one night in 2005. We were sitting behind our house, it was a beautiful evening, mid-August, and someone had brought us champagne. My wife, Dawn, and I would look at our children, taking in the surroundings with a glass in hand and thinking, ‘This is as good as it gets.’

I gave up milk completely. Another decade has passed and milk no longer suits me. I always start my day with a coffee, but I now mix it with oat milk – I love the Oatly Barista brand.

My favorite song after a few drinks? It’s always Bon Jovi’s ‘Livin’ On A Prayer’. I’m big on that. The last time I did it was before the pandemic, on the last night of our Odyssey tour in Cardiff. We have a huge band of people traveling with us: 20 dancers, a 10 piece band, production team, manager. We got off the stage around 11pm so it would have been back at the hotel around 2 or 3am. We would have gone to the cocktails – when it’s late I like a Manhattan.

I want people to toast me with champagne at my funeral. Celebrate through and through. I forbid any form of tears at my funeral – I just want happiness. Happy they saw me go and happy they were there.

Gary’s organic wine range is available from Morrisons and garybarlowwines.com from £8 a bottle. The red and white wines are also available from Asda, Ocado and Amazon

Source: | This article originally belongs to Dailymail.co.uk

https://www.soundhealthandlastingwealth.com/health-news/my-life-in-drinks-gary-barlow-i-learned-quickly-that-i-cant-drink-and-sing/ My Life in Drinks: Gary Barlow: ‘I quickly learned I can’t drink and sing’

Brian Ashcraft

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