8 Great Non-Alcoholic Cocktails
Abstain from alcohol, but not from fun! Here are some tips and nonalcoholic drink recipes for those pregnant or trying to conceive.
Virgin Drinking Tips
Stemware! Anything seems more elegant in a wine, champagne, or martini glass. Even water.
Garnish! From a simple slice of lime to a sugared rim, a decoration adds panache to your glass.
Sparkle! Whether it’s the carbonation in your drink, a wine charm on your glass, or fun beads around your wrist, enjoy the details that make the moment special.
Named for the child star from the 1930s—what could be more wholesome?—this may be the most famous of the non-alcoholic cocktails.
6 ounces ginger ale
1 1/2 tsp. grenadine
Garnish: orange slice and/or maraschino cherry
Directions: Pour ginger ale over crushed ice, top with grenadine, garnish, and serve. For a Roy Rogers (another classic mocktail, named for the 1940s cowboy actor), substitute caffeine-free cola for the ginger ale.
This brunch classic is a fantastic source of
vitamin C, magnesium, and vitamin K. Ideal if you’re not in the mood for a sweet fruity drink. Ingredients:
3 ounces tomato juice or V-8
3 ounces cranberry juice
1/2 tsp. Tabasco (more to taste)
1 tsp. lime juice
Fresh ground black pepper (to taste)
Garnish: cilantro sprig, celery stick, lime wedge, or pickle!
Directions: Pour all ingredients over crushed ice. Stir, garnish, and serve.
Not So Dark & Stormy
The traditional dark & stormy is made with dark Bermuda rum, ginger beer, and a squeeze of lime. Ginger beer has no more beer in it than ginger ale has ale, but it tastes zippier. We’ve upped the lime and replaced the rum with a dash of molasses (what rum is distilled from in the first place, and a very good source of iron, calcium, potassium, and other minerals).
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1/2 tsp. blackstrap molasses
1 cup ginger beer
Garnish: lime wedge
Directions: In a wide glass, add ice, lime juice, and molasses, then pour ginger beer over all. Stir well, as molasses is thick, particularly when cold. Float the lime wedge on top. Your average bar may not have molasses on hand; see what else the bartender can offer!
This classic non-alcoholic cocktail is named for the 20th-century golfing great—reportedly his favorite drink. (Order it and test your bartender’s knowledge!)
1 part iced tea
1 part lemonade
Sugar, to taste
Garnish: lemon, mint, or a slice of kiwi<
Pour iced tea (sweetened or not) and lemonade over ice; stir and garnish. For a fancier presentation, pour the lemonade over ice first, then slowly add the iced tea and they will stay in somewhat separate layers. This is a summer favorite, called a “half-and-half” in some parts of the country, and usually served in a tumbler or highball glass.
These customary wintertime flavors combine for a great holiday drink.
3 parts pear nectar
1 part cranberry juice
A big squeeze of fresh lemon juice
Garnish: lemon and cinnamon stick
Directions: Pour the pear nectar, cranberry juice, and dash of lemon juice over ice in a cocktail shaker. Shake and strain into a martini glass. Pierce a perfect round lemon slice with a cinnamon stick and add to the glass.
A Kir is white wine with creme de cassis (a raspberry liqueur); a Kir royale replaces the white wine with champagne; and a Kir Normand or Kir Breton replaces it with hard cider. To make this sans alcohol, try this:
1 tsp. raspberry syrup (available in coffee and gourmet stores) or grenadine
6 ounces sparkling cider, chilled
Garnish: fresh raspberries
Directions: Put a teaspoon of syrup in a champagne flute, add the sparkling cider, and float several raspberries on top. Cheers!
The mojito was rumored to be Ernest Hemingway’s drink of choice when in Cuba. It normally contains a good dose of rum, but tastes equally refreshing and complex without it.
Ingredients: 4 or 5 springs of fresh mint
1 ounce simple syrup
6 to 8 ounces soda water
Garnish: lime wedges and mint sprigs
Directions: Muddle the mint (reserve one sprig for garnish) with the simple syrup in the bottom of a tall glass. Add ice cubes. Squeeze half of one lime into the glass, reserving the other half for garnish (slice it into three or four wedges). Top with soda water. Stir, drop in lime wedges, and decorate with the last sprig of mint.
Some bars and restaurants pride themselves on creativity and may have a house mocktail. This recipe is inspired by a drink of the same name offered at the Eastern Standard in Boston.
6 1/2-inch slices of peeled cucumber
Salt (just a dash)
6 ounces cranberry juice
1 ounce simple syrup
Juice squeezed from half a lime
Garnish: salt and sugar, cucumber slic
Directions: Mix a teaspoon each of salt and sugar in a saucer or shallow bowl. Moisten the rim of a wine or martini glass and press the rim into the salt-sugar mix. Add ice to the glass. In a separate glass or bowl, muddle the cucumber with a sprinkle of salt (i.e., smash it up a bit with a spoon). Add that to a shaker of ice, along with the cranberry juice, simple syrup, and lime juice. Shake well and pour into your prepared glass.
We hope these ideas keep you from beverage boredom. Of course there is nothing wrong with sticking with what works, like milk (every woman needs her calcium!). You can always dress that up for the holidays too, as in cocoa with a candy cane swizzle stick. So drink up. More ideas for eating and drinking well include:
Water and Pregnancy: How Much to Drink (and Why!)
Best Holiday Foods for You and Your Baby
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