Feierabend is one of those perfect, untranslatable words that fills you with joy and anticipation. A word that conjures images of laughing with friends as the sun sets or after-work wild swims in one of Germany’s beautiful lakes. It means the time after work that people around the world look forward to.
Fira means "Feierabend" in old German. And we’d like to introduce you to Fira Soda, a non-alcoholic, CBD iced tea and one of The Staycation Collection’s partners, whose ethos is centred in personal wellbeing and little moments of joy.
We spoke founder Alexandra Lotte Quadt about Feierabend, Fira Soda and happy childhood memories on German islands.
We want as many people as possible to treat themselves to a mini-holiday in the form of "Feierabend". That’s not to say people shouldn’t take holidays (I believe they’re vital for our wellbeing plus it's so much fun to explore), rather a Feierabend offers the opportunity to inject the holiday feeling into your daily life.
I have two favourite Feierabend setups: 1. alone with a good book on a terrace, or 2. Relaxing with friends at home. I used to go out a lot, but as my days are busy, I really enjoy just chilling in an environment that doesn't demand too much of me. Remember “holiday” doesn’t mean doing a million things, it means doing the things you love that help you unwind and disconnect!
I was born in Munich so I was lucky to grow up skiing in the mountains in winter and swimming in the deep blue lakes in summer. Bavaria is simply stunning, but what I am craving more and more from my holidays is an unobstructed horizon, so I tend to go to the ocean or the sea.
A lot of my international friends don't know that Germany has fantastic islands! I still remember the first time my late grandparents took us to Amrum, a very small island in the North Sea. Just thinking of it brings a smile to my face and warmth to my chest. Imagine, you have to cycle everywhere are cars aren’t allowed.
I was mesmerised by the space and the light, and have been back to visit a few times since, as well as explore several of the other islands. They are simply magical: so flat and sandy, but strikingly beautiful. I haven’t seen many places on land where the sea and the sky seem so close together.
A few friends and I sat by the Spree in Berlin last summer, and we went to get drinks from the kiosk. Most people grabbed a beer, but I try to stay away from alcohol during the week. But so many alcohol-free alternatives contain a lot of sugar or consist mainly of chemical ingredients and I don’t enjoy drinking them.
I was missing that rewarding moment at the end of a long day where you take a sip, lean back and go "aaahh"! I want to treat myself to something delicious, refreshing and wholesome.
So I started thinking: wouldn’t it be great if there was a drink that wasn't so sweet and that made me feel relaxed, like a glass of wine, but without making me feel foggy or hungover the next day.
From there, the idea to use CBD as an ingredient was obvious to me, as I have been using it to help with my sleep problems. CBD is one of Cannabis’ 100+ active ingredients. It doesn’t make you high; what it does is reduces stress and decreases the physiological effects of anxiety.
With the other ingredients, I selected those whose properties enhance our wellbeing. Verveine is one of my favourite teas, as it has a subtle, pleasant and elegant taste. Plus it’s been long used in folk medicine as a relaxant or nerve tonic, and there’s modern which backs up these claims. Elderflower has been used in traditional medicine across the globe due to its antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties, while many know turmeric for its potent antioxidant properties and potential to help improve symptoms of depression.
Even prior to the pandemic, individual stress levels were rising significantly and, of course, the current situation is a major additional burden on one’s mental health. Self-care has reached a new level of recognition and people are monitoring their alcohol consumption more than ever, for instance, the trend of "mindful drinking" focuses on fully participating in social occasions without drinking alcohol.
When I founded Fira Soda in February 2020, I was totally unaware of what would hit us only days later. I believe that with stress, being bound to the home office, the lack of being able to travel and constant distractions have made the need for self-care and the enjoyment of a "Feierabend" more relevant than ever.
Why we partnered with Fira Soda: Fira Soda is Berlin's first CBD-infused non-alcoholic drink, and focuses on wellbeing. It chills us out, and the mix of verbena tea, elderberry and lemon are delicious.
Members of The Staycation Collection can get 20% off a six-pack, find out how to claim the offer here.