Julia Bainbridge

The writer and Lonely Hour creator on the rise of non-alcoholic drinks, the rituals of cannabis, and her evolving relationship with relationships.


I was born and raised in Baltimore, but I almost feel like I'm from New York as well because that’s where so many of my formative career years happened. Also, my dad and his dad and his dad are from there. But right now, I'm nowhere: I'm in my car living a nomadic life around the U.S.

I was in Atlanta for a year and a half as the food editor of Atlanta Magazine, and before that I had editor roles at Bon AppetitCondé Nast Traveler, and Yahoo Food. During a time in which I was freelancing, I gave birth to the Lonely Hour podcast, which is what I still do. And now I’m working on a book on non-alcoholic drinks.

Plenty of people who get book deals are already experts on the topic: I am not that. I have a personal interest in the category of non-alcoholic drinks because I continue to negotiate my relationship with alcohol. I’m definitely somebody who I would say has struggled with alcohol abuse.

I'm the daughter, sister, and granddaughter of alcoholics, so I am just sort of constantly watching my relationship with alcohol, and I guess right now the way I've determined to keep it all in check is to take chunks of time off. The last period of time was nine months, which had nothing to do with anything else going on in my body. I was not pregnant. But when I took on the role of food editor for Atlanta Magazine, I figured that to be able to report on food and drinks, I would drink for the time. Now that I’m working on the book, I want to report it out honestly and have a clear mind, so I’m getting back to not drinking. That's how I think I'm going to manage it. We'll see, I may not be capable. It's just something I constantly work on.


A drink is like a prop that tells me that this is the moment where I can be completely relaxed.



I think loneliness is part of the mixed bag of the human experience, and yet, there is this taboo around it.