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N/A ideas for a newly pregnant cocktail lover?

Hi, I realize I'm not asking about spirits, but since there are a lot of people who love to mix drinks, I think I'm in the right place. As someone who loves her cocktail hour, I'm looking for really creative ideas I can make for myself without alcohol. Also, what drinks would you/could you make in a "virgin" way that would actually be worth drinking, or is it better to completely start fresh with drink ideas? Thanks for your help! :) dahlsk

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  1. It depends on what you like to drink. A good spicy Virgin Mary can be very satisfying. Mixed juices like cranberry and orange with a splash of seltzer can trick your palate into thinking there's some vodka in there. Club soda with lots of lemon and lime is very refreshing.

    2 Replies
    1. re: mojoeater

      but spicy virgin marys give a lot of expecting moms heartburn :(

      at home, i'd make some sparklers with good mineral water and sophisticated juices. citrus slice and paper umbrella optional!-- if you are feeling nauseous some mint in your n/a cocktail will help, or some ginger crushed with a muddler in the base of your glass.

      in your favorite bar, i'd ask your bartender (when she's not busy) to make you a good n/a cocktail that she enjoys. most bts have an n/a that they sip behind the bar while working (& often then add liq after punching out at end of shift). i used to make a concoction the waitstaff dubbed "fruity punch" mixing all of the standard bar juices (cran, pineapple, o.j. teeny squirt grenadine & sometimes a shot of plain soda, shaken & strained over lots of ice). very refreshing for servers working hard on the hot patio.

      there was a good thread on n/a cocktails a while back but i can't find it-- maybe someone else can do better?

      1. re: soupkitten

        My wife found ginger-anything to be quite enjoyable while pregnant... Reed's Ginger Brew screams ginger - you can tone it down by adding fruit juice, lighter sodas, even sparkling water - add a wedge or two of your favorite cocktail fruits and it's quite nice - alcohol or not... but I like Reed's straight up - love the smack of ginger... Hmmm - wonder how their ginger ice cream would be as a float with their ginger brew?

    2. ever try rooibos tea or honeybush tea? herbal, no caffeine and very refreshing iced - either would also mix well with a splash of juice or ginger ale. they make a red (fermented) and a green (not fermented) so it's a matter of tasting to see what you like - i mix them together.

      also, fruit frappes or smoothies with yogurt or frozen yogurt and fresh or frozen fruit.

      9 Replies
      1. re: hitachino

        Herbal teas can make great cocktails. Rooibos, a tiny splash of sweet vermouth and a shake of angostura bitters, stirred with ice then strained into a cocktail glass is great. Spear-mint tea, ginger tea, some muddled orange rind, and a dash or peychaud's is nice, too.

        1. re: tmso

          Vermouth is alcholic, even in small amounts, people may be wanting to avoid it altogether.

            1. re: invinotheresverde

              You are both correct of course, but I don't see that it's all that relevant to what was asked. If someone were avoiding alcohol for religious reasons, I wouldn't recommend drinks like the ones I did above. But since it's for health concerns (ie, not wanting an appreciable level of blood alcohol), the equivalent of a small sip of wine that will be consumed over 20 minutes or so is effectively nothing. Non-alcoholic beer also contains alcohol, by the way.

              1. re: tmso

                You may know there's alcohol in vermouth and Angostura bitters, but not everyone does. Since you recommended them as non-alcoholic drinks, it's just slightly misleading. Many women want to imbibe zero alcohol while expecting.


                1. re: tmso

                  Poster was asking for non-alcoholic drink suggestions. Both of your additives contain alcohol. those wanting to abstain might think differently if they were aware of the small amount of ETOH, including the small amount in non-alcoholic beer. Slight in the amount and concern but just pointing it out for those looking for zero alcohol...

                  1. re: jspear

                    I gave two drink ideas for a reason: if anyone is concerned about a dash of peychaud's, they should also avoid processed foods, fruit juices, ...

                    1. re: tmso

                      Again, you KNOW there's alcohol in the bitters and vermouth, but not everyone reading this thread would (especially since the post asks for n/a).

                      Anyhow, your tea drinks sound great. I'll try some this weekend.

                      1. re: invinotheresverde

                        I know this is hair splitting for you but for friends who are very concerned about intake, it is not and they would be concerned about even a bit of alcohol. Agreed invino, knowledge of what is in these may be critical when making these na beverages.

        2. Schweppes Bitter Lemon is sometimes used as a mixer, but I love it straight. It's a summer favorite.

          You might also try a few slices of cucumber with a slice or lemon or orange mixed wth club soda. The fresh cucumber with a little citrus isn't too sweet, but has nice flavor. You might also experiment with flavors you aren't used to, such as mixing elderflower concentrate or cordial (I get it at IKEA, but it is probably available at high end groceries) with club soda or blackcurrent something with soda. I really got into Ribena, a blackcurrent concentrate that is popular in England, Australia, and New Zealand when I lived in N.Z. Beautiful and unexpected to American palates. There are also fresh herbs... You could mixed yourself a virgin Mojito with a splash of fruit juice to replace the booze since the mint and lime and sugar is so good.

          1 Reply
          1. re: slowfoodgrrl

            Great ideas everyone! I did buy some ginger beer, lime and fresh mint over the weekend, so I plan on mixing that with some things. And getting some syrups and sparkling water to play around with sounds good, too. Thanks :)

          2. drinkboston.com did a nice piece on mocktails a few months back


            1. Congrats on the bebe... but sorry you have to go all prohibition style.

              I posted a detox-y question on the General board not-so-long ago, and got some fantastic responses. Perhaps you'll find inspiration?


              1 Reply
              1. Pom blueberry pomegranate with fizzy water is one of my favorite non-alcohol mixes. I can't take Pom straight, it's too goopy, so adding fizzy water makes it perfect to me.

                Ginger beer with mint is great and it seems you already have the ingredients. If you ever feel like brewing your own ginger syrup it's kind of fun to play around with.

                1. Depending on your tastes, if you like bitter rather than sweet, I'd suggest tonic water with a health splash of Angostura bitters and a slice of lime. I find it very refreshing in the awful Toronto summers. And, it looks snazzy.

                  1. All these suggestions are terrific. One thing I'd say is that a few frozen blueberries or raspberries dropped into your fizzy N/A mocktail adds not only good flavor but may add the air of sophistication and ceremony you're pining for. ;)

                    1 Reply
                    1. Try hibiscus tea, cold, with pomegranate juice. The other thing that occurs to me (and you might want to check with your ob/gyn first) is fresh coconut water. It has a somewhat cloudy appearance, which makes me feel like I'm drinking something special. It's very healthful and rehydrating, full of minerals, sort of a nature's gatorade. To be honest, I'm hooked on cracking the white immature coconuts open with a cleaver, 'cause the canned stuff no longer does it for me. ETA: I forgot to mention that the gelatinous young coconut in these babies makes fantastic virgin pina coladas with fresh pineapple and some ice in the blender. Soooo good.

                      1. I like club soda, lots of fresh squeezed lime, some cranberry juice, and a little bit of juice from a sweet orange. Very refreshing, and nice color.

                        1. As another pregnant cocktail lover, I find myself drinking a LOT of lemonade. Lemonade with a splash of cranberry juice, or made with sparkling water and some mint or basil is also nice. Or grapefruit juice with sparkling water. But I've also had a sour craving through much of this pregnancy.

                          For pre-mixed, if you live near a Trader Joe's the sparkling Pomegranate spritzer is really delicious -- I also love the Italian Grapefruit soda (I've gotten something similar at Whole Foods).

                          In the case of virgin drinks, I've had a virgin margarita (made with just the mix, blended with ice, and a bit of lime), and a virgin tequila sunrise (only OK), and rediscovered my childhood love of Shirley Temples (now a bit too sweet, but good in a pinch or at a bar). I'm thinking a virgin Mojito (soda, lime, mint and sugar) might make a mighty refreshing summer cocktail.

                          Good luck! I've found that even though I love cocktails, I've really been craving wine, and after my first trimester allowed myself to have a glass very occasionally.

                          1. I just discovered a delicious mix that would be great without the vodka i put in it. I cooked down about 2-3 pounds of rhubarb with 1.5 cups sugar and 3 cups of water for about 45 minutes. I then strained it for the most amazing rhubarb syrup. I mixed it with seltzer (and added vodka). It was awesome. A beautiful shade of pink and really strongly rhubarb flavored. I'd highly recommend it. (Oh and I am going to do some baking with the rhubarb pulp that is left)

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: kolgrim

                              yum i love rhubarb-- i've done a similar one adding ginger to the rhubarb, or a strawberry rhubarb one-- but just stir the cut strawberries into the hot syrup when you are done cooking the rhubarb their flavor is better if not cooked very long. that one is a beautiful red color too.

                            2. "Preggatinis: Mixology for the Mom-to-Be" hits bookshelves in December 2008, and is already available on Amazon! 75 nonalcoholic cocktail recipes for preggie party lovers!

                              1. Virgin Mai-Tais; virgin mojitos . . . AND, a big "second" to soupkitten's suggestion of "ask[ing] your bartender (when she's not busy) to make you a good n/a cocktail that she enjoys. most bts have an n/a that they sip behind the bar while working (& often then add liq after punching out at end of shift). i used to make a concoction the waitstaff dubbed "fruity punch" mixing all of the standard bar juices (cran, pineapple, o.j. teeny squirt grenadine & sometimes a shot of plain soda, shaken & strained over lots of ice). very refreshing for servers working hard on the hot patio . . ."

                                1. How about a steamed milk with flavor shot, vanilla, caramel, hazelnut, dusted with a bit of nutmeg....

                                  1. Check out "Preggatinis: Mixology for the Mom To Be" at http://www.amazon.com/Preggatinis-Nat...