Today's post, contrary to the title, is not about boozing it up while with bambino, but moreso the beverage stand-ins for those forty long weeks, and what some of my favorite choices have been!
I'll separate the post into a few different segments:
+ Faking Them Out ("drinking" while keeping your growing baby a secret)
It goes without saying that there are a lot of things you can drink that aren't even alcoholic stand-ins ... I have consumed my fair share of water, sparkling water, flavored sparkling water, ginger ale, lemonade, herbal tea, decaf coffee and tea, you name it! But -- I have found that in some social situations, it has been so very nice to have a decent non-alcoholic stand-in.
Faking Them Out
We guarded our baby news for roughly 13 weeks. This meant a lot of creativity. We have a really fun and social group of friends, and this "fake wine" concoction that I came up with really was quite a help.
I started off with a box of pinot grigio. Really, any sort of wine with a screwcap will work well here -- we just don't want corks for this project. Pour out the wine (in my case, I just decanted it for Ian to enjoy) and wash the container really, really well. In the photo above, the original wine is in the tumbler on the right. Then, just mix up water with a few splashes of apple juice to reach your desired wine color. You can see that what I mixed in the glass pitcher was pretty spot-on. Funnel back into your wine container, screw the lid on, and then just hope that your girlfriend doesn't ask for a glass!
This was the recipe that I made before our Labor Day weekend at the lake in this post. We had just found out our news the day before, so maybe that's why we looked so happy at the lake that day :)
I posted this photo on that blog post of my "wine" -- and I have to say, it was the perfect stand-in!
The friends we went to the lake with had no idea, and while it did feel a bit sneaky, it was the right move for us. I even used this same fake wine idea when I went over to a girlfriend's house not too long after this lake trip. I finished off the "wine" I brought over, and then she insisted on pouring me a glass from her bottle of red. Uh-oh. I waited until she got up for a potty break to run and pour half down the sink drain, and then I later took a potty break and flushed the rest of it. She later told me she was clueless about my antics. Gotta do what you gotta do!
There are a few different brands of alcohol-removed wine that our grocery store carries -- Fre and Ariel. Don't get too excited ... these do not taste just like wine. I've tried both of the reds that Fre makes, the merlot and the red blend, and the best way I could describe them is that they taste like wine mixed half-and-half with Welch's grape juice. If you typically go for really sweet reds, you may be fine, but I'm more of a cabernet drinker. They certainly are good stand-ins in a pinch. It was nice around Christmastime to be able to sit around with my family holding a glass of red along with everyone else.
And sometimes, on Friday nights, you've just gotta cozy up to the fire with a glass in hand. :)
There are a lot more options out there for non-alcoholic beer, and while I still have yet to see non-alcoholic wine on a bar's drink list, you are pretty much guaranteed one n.a. beer option on the menu at most bars.
St. Pauli N.A. is a fairly common one, and I'll drink it, but to me, it has more of a skunky taste and smell.
If you're typically a light beer drinker, regular O'Douls is a pretty easy option and easily found. That's what I went for in the photo below at a bar here in Charlotte.
I think the best option out there if you like a darker beer is the O'Douls Amber. It's very tasty -- a pretty good dupe for "normal" beer.
Sometimes a girl just has to have some bubbly. In fact, when one of my aunts asked me if I was missing wine, I told her it wasn't the wine I missed -- it was the stemware! I love coming home after a long workday and unwinding with a beverage in a pretty glass. Especially a champagne flute. Ours are from Crate & Barrel and I just love them to death.
And bubbles? Just the icing on the cake.
These little Martinelli's single-serving sparkling ciders are very sweet, but they make a fun drink. I topped mine here with some frozen blackberries to keep it cool and add a little flair. ;)
One of the best options, though, that I've found is the Fre Brut. It is no Veuve, but it does the trick!
When it comes to booze, there are a million ways you can get creative. If Ian and I are out for a nice dinner, I'll ask for the cocktail menu. The first thing I do is scan all of the drinks and look for creative, non-alcoholic drink ingredients such as simple syrups, fruit purees, and muddled ingredients. Then, I will just ask the waiter or bartender to come up with a non-alcoholic cocktail that includes that ingredient that I want. So, for example, if I see a drink with vodka, lavender simple syrup, mint, and prosecco, I'll ask the bartender to omit the vodka and prosecco and just do the lavender simple syrup, muddled mint, and soda water. I still love having something pretty to sip out of a martini or lowball glass, even if it is void of liquor!
Here is a delicious mocktail recipe for Grapefruit Honey Ginger Soda. How delicious does this look? I haven't made this yet, but I'm hoping to give it a shot this weekend.
So there you have it -- my favorite alcoholic beverage stand-ins. And I do have to say -- although I miss my wine nights with the girls, waking up feeling great every morning for the past 31 weeks has been pretty. darn. fabulous.
What are some of your favorite non-alcoholic drinks? If you have been pregnant before, what were your beverages of choice?