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Jun 29, 2010 06:21 AM

Non-Alcoholic Beverage/Mocktail Pairing Suggestions?

Family is coming to town for the Fourth, and Mrs. Brewer and I are planning a tasting menu with paired wines for each course. We just found out yesterday, though, that our sister-in-law is pregnant! Exciting news, but that eliminates her from the wine-pairing fun.

Any suggestions for non-alcoholic beverage pairings (juices, mocktails, etc.) for the following dishes that will let our expecting mom enjoy some of the fun that we hope the rest of the group will have with their paired courses?

> Arugula Salad with Lemon-Oil Dressing
> Homemade Papparedelle with Tomato Sugo
> Herbed Pork Tenderloin with Balsamic-Roasted Cherries
> Chocolate Gelato and Walnut Shortbread Cookies


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  1. A cranberry-blueberry juice combo makes a good substitute for red wine in most instances (I think Ocean Spray makes one pre-mixed but I haven't tried that to comment on the flavor balance). I think that would work with pork tenderloin.

    Club soda with a splash of cranberry and health squeeze of lime or lemon juice would work with the arugula salad and the papparedelle.

    For the gelato, get a good decaf coffee, if she's a coffee drinker.

    1. The arugula salad might go well with my pomegranate sparkler!

      1. I like a bit of orange juice or grapefruit juice, topped off with club soda. You could fancy it up with a sprig of thyme, basil or rosemary.

        1. I don't know your sister-in-law's tastes but as someone who used to enjoy many a pairing menu but is now 8 months pregnant I might be able to offer something useful. You also didn't mention how far along she is; since you only just found out I'd take that to mean she probably isn't too far along. It is possible she might be having nausea, heartburn, etc. The one thing I did NOT like having paired with meals was anything too sweet as it really interfered with enjoying the food offered (water would ahve been a better pairing than a sweet drink). I think I would have enjoyed starting with something like operagirl's pomegranate sparkler so long as it wasn't too sweet. i think the pasta dish is a tough one so if it were me I might just prefer some water with that course, espcially as tomatoes are acidic and can aggrevate any heartburn or similar issues (you could always have some fancy water to offer to make it more festive) . With the pork tenderloin a good ginger beer might be good. I foudn myself drinking that often while others were enjoying wine. Lastly with dessert, a good decaf coffee or tea if that is to her liking; even milk or hot cocoa or seltzer/club soda with raspberry (to go with the chocolate). Good luck and i am sure she will really appreciate whatever you offer as it is so thoughtful of you to consider!

          1. Not exactly a mocktail, but have you ever had fresh ginger-ale? This might pair with your main course

            Virgin mojitos sound refreshing, and might pair well with the salad - you can add additional flavoring to this

            You could also brew a type of tea that may interest her an combine it with lemonade for a unique Arnold Palmer

            1 Reply
            1. re: enbell

              I was also going to suggest virgin mohitos :-) they're really good! Homemade soda sounds like a great idea too.