When sparkling water just doesn’t cut it
Are you pregnant and tired of drinking water day in and day out? Pregnancy doesn’t have to mean the end of enjoying parties or a girls’ night out. You’re not broken or sick, you’re just with child. When a glass of red wine isn’t an option, or isn’t cutting it, mix up a single serving or a batch of these mocktails.
Mocktails aren’t just for pregnant moms. They can be prepared for friends who don’t drink, designated drivers, or Solo Moms who have kiddos in tow. But really, when we’re pregnant, it’s all about us. When it’s time for a sweet, refreshing nonalcoholic drink, these one-off options are perfect. Most are made from things you likely already have on hand, and some look downright decadent.
Safe Sex on the Beach. Yes, I know that ship has sailed already, but the drink is as amazing as the name implies. Mix 3 ounces cranberry juice, 3 ounces grapefruit juice, 2 ounces peach nectar, and top with a maraschino cherry. Serve it in a fancy glass because that makes all the difference.
Shirley Temple. A throwback to your teenage days, this drink is cute and adorable, just like you keep telling yourself this child will be. Repeat after me: it’ll be worth it, it’ll be worth it! Combine 1 cup of Sprite with 1/3 cup of orange juice and then add 2 tablespoons of grenadine syrup and a maraschino cherry. Be careful—this one is so refreshing you may start thinking of Shirley as a viable name for your baby.
Blackberry Fauxjito. When you have a little extra time on your hands, this ombre-looking drink is sure to lift your spirits. In a lowball glass, muddle 3 blackberries, 3 mint leaves, 2 lime wedges, and a 1/2 tablespoon of raw honey to make a thick, dark liquid. Add ice to fill the glass, and top with a 1/2 cup of 7Up. Gently stir; after all, that ombre look is part of the effect. Consider adding a garnish of mint or additional fruit.
Enough for friends
Baby showers, lunches, and even playdates are a great opportunity for making mocktails. Whip up some of these in your swankiest plastic pitcher for your Solo Mom friends to share while the little heathens, I mean angels, tear apart the playroom. Maybe even make a double batch, for when the kids go down for naps.
Cactus Cooler. Mix together 4 cups of orange juice, a 1/2 cup of lemon juice, and 1 1/2 cups of pineapple juice. After pouring into six glasses (or Tupperware, we don’t judge), add a drizzle of grenadine for a swirl of color. If you’re looking to add some fruit to this liquid diet, garnish with orange or pineapple wedges.
Strawberry Mint Spritzer. This recipe makes 2 1/2 quarts, so it’s perfect for a crowd. Start with pureeing 10 ounces of frozen, sweetened strawberries and pour that in the bottom of four to six glasses (depending on the glass size), dividing evenly. Then mix 2 liters of lemon-lime soda; a 1/2 cup of fresh mint, roughly chopped; and 12 ounces of frozen pink lemonade concentrate, thawed. Add this mixture to the puree and then top with garnish, such as sliced lemons or diced strawberries.
White Sangria. What Solo Mom doesn’t love sangria? This white mocktail includes fruit, which makes it practically healthy. Mix 4 cups of orange juice with 1 1/2 cups white unsweetened grape juice, and gently add 1 liter of ginger ale. Pour into a glass that already has ice, and add your fruit. Prepare about 2 cups of assorted fruit, such as oranges, grapes, and pineapples. Then share with 10 friends—or not, and save the rest for yourself!
When out with friends at a local bar or when you find yourself the only Solo Mom not imbibing, these simple substitutes will make any cocktail safe. Bonus points if they’re served in a fancy glass just like all the other cocktails. If you’re six months pregnant and going to be at a bar with your friends, you may as well give everyone else something to talk about.
When out for brunch, try a mimosa mocktail by simply replacing the champagne with seltzer or ginger ale. Or add some cranapple juice to Sprite, and taste the rainbow. I like club soda with my orange juice. It’s still bubbly, and I tip any bartender extra who thinks to put it in a champagne flute like the other mimosas. Bartenders are artists, and nothing pleases them more than seeing their clients enjoy the presentation and taste of their drinks.
Some tips from the experts include using unique garnishes and fresh ingredients to create the perfect balance of taste, nothing too sweet. To re-create some of the ambiance at home, keep these things handy: club soda, pineapple juice, cucumber, and mint. Don’t be afraid to add things such as muddled strawberries or even a muddled red pepper.
For a bubbly drink that’s not soda and easy to make at home, combine some apple-cider vinegar, sparkling water, and frozen raspberries and blueberries. Another suggestion is to freeze cranberry juice in ice-cube trays and add to your water, sparkling or still, for a quick mocktail-hour pick-me-up.
Mocktails can be incredibly fun to prepare and share with friends. Despite the reason behind removing the alcohol, everyone agrees that more than half the fun is in the creative process. The added benefit of mocktails is that if it doesn’t taste right the first time, you’re not pouring expensive liquor down the drain. So grab some fellow Solo Moms, a few tasty ingredients, and bottoms up!
Rebecca Alwine is a freelance writer, army wife, and mother of three. Her writing experience includes military-family topics, research pieces, guest blogging, and much more. She’s a contributing writer for ARMY magazine and a regular contributor to several online publications, including the Homefront United Network, PCSgrades, and ESME. She also has been published in Ms. magazine and the Atlantic. You can follow her online at www.whatrebeccathinks.com and on Twitter and Instagram.