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To be honest, I didn’t even think about drinking during most of my pregnancy. I started vomiting at 6 weeks and never stopped until got on nausea medicine around around 14 weeks. Even so, there were times I threw up or had waves of nausea come over me, not to mention my constant aversions. The first trimester was the worst for that for me, as I pretty much lived on a diet of grilled cheese sandwiches and chicken nuggets. It got better as time passed, but it was more of a “what sounds okay” versus “what sounds good” type of deal. As someone who loves food and drink, it has been a pretty sad time in this arena, but I’m managing. Now that I’m in the third trimester, I still have the “what can I eat that doesn’t sound revolting” thoughts, but I can also stand to smell a glass of wine or two. Perhaps it is because we are heading into red wine season, or it is a sign labor is near. Either way, I know that not everyone has my issues and some really crave a glass or a cocktail during pregnancy.
Keep reading for ideas on how to have something fun to drink besides water and how to effortlessly spice up your beverages, pregnant or not.
BACK TO THE BASICS
Here are really easy ideas that don’t take the amount of time cocktails often do and are probably things you have in your current arsenal.
Use a fun cup. Grab your favorite wine or cocktail glass and place your beverage in that. This can make you feel fancy and included regardless of its contents.
Shirley Temple. A classic! I love a good Sprite with cherry juice or syrup. Zero caffeine and full of flavor.
Cherry Coke. I found caffeine free cokes (regular, not diet) and kept them stocked. If you don’t like cherry, try vanilla or another flavor you enjoy. You can obviously do this for any soda of your choice.
Infused Water. You can buy flavored water, but I often like to infuse it myself. I tend to stay away from carbonation which includes sparkling water. The bubbles aren’t good for my ulcerative colitis and often leave me feeling bloated. It also aggravated my heartburn during pregnancy. I love a good Topo Chico, but often just opt for my own infusions. Strawberries are probably my favorite right now, as I’m trying to stay away from citrus to help with heartburn. My favorite flavored water to purchase is Hint. You can get it non-sparkling and it is infused with real fruit! Also note that dropping fresh fruit in your cup is fun too! Muddle it, freeze it, or just let it float. You can’t go wrong!
Syrup. Keeping simple syrups on hand to beef up your water or other beverages. Our favorites are by Liquid Alchemist. They are high quality and minimal ingredients. Great for cocktails and mocktails, but also fun to flavor water. Nick will sometimes add a drop or two to an unflavored Topo Chicos
Lemonade. Don’t sleep on the opportunities with lemonade! There are so many options with it. I love muddling jalapeño, but you don’t have to make it spicy. One of my favorite varieties is muddling blueberries and basil leaves with it. Mint leaves work as well. An Arnold Palmer (50% lemonade / 50% tea) is a classic too. My mom makes a lemonade / limeade version mixed with tea and it is delicious - our favorite summer beverage. Trader Joe’s carries some fun lemonades too if you want some pre-made options.
*I didn’t mention kombucha even though I would consider it a basic; however, I know that it is some people’s favorite as a non-alcoholic option. I do like kombucha, but it contains a lot of sugar and actually contains trace amounts of alcohol, as it is fermented tea. If it is truly kombucha, it has “the mother” in it, which is raw and not really a great idea if you’re pregnant. Just keep that in mind!
These are options to directly replace cocktails and wine in your life and require a little more time and extra purchases than the above options.
Seedlip. This is our most used! We have the Spice 94, but I have also tried the Garden 108. Of the two I like the Spice better, but I think I'd like Grove 42 best. I haven’t tried that one yet, as they always seem to be sold out when I go to buy it. Great spirits to make mocktails with.
Ghia. I’ve had this one, but it is a little on the bitter side for me. It is an apertif so the flavor makes sense. It’s just less versatile for my palette. It is good though and even comes in a canned spritz version too.
Amass. I haven’t tried this non-alcoholic spirit, but I wanted to include it as their gin is one of my favorites! Made in LA and so delicious. I never bought Riverine as I didn’t feel good for most of my pregnancy, but I’d love to try it one day.
The Free Spirits. I haven’t tried these either, but they are cool because they mimic tequila, gin, and bourbon. With other spirits I often ask myself “but what do I mix with it?” These are self explanatory and you can mix them as you normally would.
Sovi. I missed patio wine season, so this kind of made up for it. It’s Rosé with the alcohol removed! It is made in Sonoma by actual winemakers who want it to taste authentic, which I appreciate. I prefer flat to sparkling, but since it doesn’t have the alcohol burn, the bubbles give it a little something-something. It is on the dryer side as opposed to sweet, which I also prefer. Since it is in a can it is really easy not to waste an entire bottle when you really just want a glass and it is portable for the beach or other places when you’re on the go.
Starla. On the non-alcoholic wine front, this is another option. I haven’t tried it, but have heard good things. It not only offers a sparkling Rosé, but a Sauvignon Blanc and a red blend. Love that there are options! I have had non-alcoholic red wine and it was really just for show as we hadn’t announced the pregnancy yet and not very good. These appear to actually have a nice flavor!
Having been pregnant about 8+ months of the last year, I have definitely noticed that restaurants are lacking in the alternate beverage lists. I think this is an area we will see growth in the coming years, as less people drink and more try to live sober lives. Personally, I enjoy a good glass of Grenache, but I don’t always feel like drinking. There are some restaurants and even “sober” bars that exist and they do such a good job! The Alchemists’ Garden in Paso Robles California served me my favorite mocktail ever last November. I also think Nobu (most locations) and Ester’s Wine Bar in Santa Monica have good mocktail capabilities. Tacos Tu Madre in LA has a pretty good zero proof margarita on menu. When in doubt, I just ask for a Shirley Temple or a virgin mojito and they can usually do it. While I love water, sometimes I just want something a little fancier that goes beyond iced tea or lemonade from the soda fountain and have found the above to be great options!
MOCKTAIL RECIPES // IDEAS
Lime Topo Chico with grenadine syrup
1/2 Lemonade / 1/2 ginger tea muddled with blueberries and fresh basil leaves
Sparkling Apple Juice or Sparkling Grape Juice
Have a favorite mocktail I left off? Let me know! I know I didn’t’ include any beer options, but the flavor of most beers aren’t my jam and I have not found any craft beers that are alcohol free. If you’ve found a good alcohol-free farmhouse sour, let me know. Those tend to be my favorite. Always searching for more beverages to add to my list. Cheers!
P.S. If you need inspiration for mocktails, try an app! You can type in the ingredients you have and / or scroll for ideas. My Cocktail App, The Liquor Cabinet, and Drinkspiration are several options to try out. Pinterest works too.
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