New Orleans might not be the first place you think of when you think of alcohol-free mocktails, but co-founder of Mockly Tarik Sedky and his wife, Aimée Sedky, are trying to change that.
They founded Mockly in March 2021 with a vision of creating a convenient-to-drink non-alcoholic beverage that didn’t merely imitate existing cocktails without alcohol, but can establish itself as a distinctive and delicious beverage.
But Mockly won’t exist if Tarik Sedky did not choose sobriety 35 years ago. In an interview with One Club Sober, Tarik talks about decision to go sober, lessons from his sober journey, and his decision to launch Mockly.
Take us back to the beginning. What led you to embark on your journey to sobriety 35 years ago?
I remember having this unshakeable sensation that the life I was living wasn’t the life I was meant to live, and that the person I had become was not who I was supposed to be. That feeling, together with some painful, traumatic experiences directly related to alcohol and the knowledge that alcohol issues ran deep in my family, helped move me in a new direction.
What were some of the most challenging moments you faced during your sober journey, and how did you overcome them?
Life is challenging; anyone who’s been alive awhile can attest to that. The idea that I’ve accomplished sobriety on my own is laughable.
Since I stopped drinking, I’ve gone through a divorce, been laid off, and stared down the near-closing of my ad agency during the pandemic. A great support network, a loving family, and faith got me through those times and the countless other setbacks and painful moments that come with living life.
People often experience moments of temptation or doubt during sobriety. How did you handle those moments, and what advice do you have for others facing similar challenges?
My experience is that it’s not so much the big events that tempt me, but the little ones, out of nowhere. Like a random martini glass passing by at dinner with friends.
My advice is to stay vigilant and keep working actively on your sobriety. When the temptation comes, you may need all the help you can get.
Reflecting on your journey, what have been some of the most surprising or unexpected rewards of maintaining sobriety for 35 years?
That’s an easy one: the love in my life. I didn’t even know the kind of love I have in my life now was possible before I quit drinking.
Recovery is an ongoing process. How have you continued to nurture your sobriety and personal well-being over the past 35 years?
I guess it’s like any relationship; sobriety takes work to be successful. In the early days, it was all about not drinking. Period. Over the years, it’s become a spiritual journey, too.
All along the way, though, it’s been about taking action — working to become a better person and building stronger relationships.
Tell us more about Mockly mocktails. What was the inspiration behind Mockly?
In the thick of COVID in New Orleans, my wife and I often found ourselves on our back deck in the late afternoon with my daughter who was living with us during lockdown.
Day after day, they’d shout “Cheers!” and I’d look up to see them toasting some great-looking, delicious cocktail while I stared down my seven-thousandth soda water with a slab of grapefruit. I thought, there must be something better than this.
We looked around and couldn’t find anything. So we launched Mockly.
If you had to pick one Mockly drink as your favorite, what would it be?
I’ve got four kids and couldn’t pick a favorite among them. Ditto for Mockly. I truly love them all.
Shop all Mockly mocktails from their website (within the United States).