When I think of Christmas as an adult, I think of red wine by a roaring fire, laughing amongst family. That warm, buzzy, giddy feeling of Christmas as an adult often comes from a wine or cocktail in hand. This year, since I'm six months pregnant, I am trying to wrap my head around Christmas party season and New Years without a drink to cheers with. Everything just feels more celebratory with wine and bubbles and they certainly make things easier at awkward office parties and when dealing with family! (see: drunk uncle)
I had been ordering water or seltzer with lime at holiday parties, but soon realized that I didn't have to limit myself to such boring choices. Together with Jamie, who has survived a holiday season pregnant, we came up with our own mocktails to serve at parties to pregnant or abstaining guests or to make for yourself this holiday season.
All of these mocktails taste delicious, but also have one ingredient that somewhat mimics what liquor brings to cocktails. I seriously could be fooled that these were spiked if I were served them at a bar. Whether it's a hint of apple cider vinegar, the tartness and acidity of grapefruit juice or the slight burn and spice of ginger - they all have a certain punch, as any great cocktail should. Often when pregnant people or non-drinkers arrive at the party they are offered water or soda. Water can get boring and soda is pretty unhealthy to drink all night. Unlike soda, these mocktails are full of healthy ingredients and seltzer for hydration, so you can sip them throughout the night without feeling guilty!
And if you're not pregnant, all these mocktails would go great with a liquor added in!
The Faux-loma (Thyme Paloma Mocktail)
A take on The Thyme Paloma - this is one I order most often at bars, by asking for grapefruit, lime and seltzer and if they look fancy enough I ask for some simple syrup added in!
- 3 ounces of grapefruit juice
- 1 ounce of thyme simple syrup
- Juice of one lime
In highball glass add grapefruit juice, thyme simple syrup and the juice of one lime. Top with seltzer and stir. (To make simple syrup follow these simple directions and infuse with thyme.)
Apple Cider Spritzer
The secret ingredient to this mocktail is the apple cider vinegar - it adds a bitterness that mimics what alcohol brings to cocktail flavors.
- 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar
- 1 ounce of pasteurized apple cider
In a wine glass, add 2 tsp. of apple cider vinegar and 1 ounce of apple cider, top with selzer and sprinkle fresh pomegranate seeds on top for a seasonal garnish.
Ginger Cucumber Cooler
This was my favorite one of the bunch. It's refreshing, unique and soothes the tummy for when you stay up way past your early pregnancy bedtime, eating far too much for your squished stomach to handle.
- 3 inches of cucumber
- 2 inches of ginger
- 1 teaspoon of sugar
Peel cucumber and ginger and dice. In cocktail shaker or jar, muddle the cucumber, ginger and sugar together. Really mash it up so all the juices are extracted. Strain juice into coup and top with seltzer.
I also just ordered this alcohol free mulled wine from Terrain that I am excited to try with Christmas Eve dinner!
Cheers to an exciting new year!
(all photos, jamie grill photography)