Drinking While Pregnant

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)
+ Wine
+ Beer
+ Bubbly
+ Mocktails

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. 

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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!

Fre Wines - Brut

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?

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  1. I hosted a baby shower this past weekend and half the girls were pregnant- I had never heard of the Fre Brut until then but it worked out great so that they could enjoy Mimosas with the rest of us!!

  2. These are all such good ideas!! I'm not pregnant yet but, when I am this will be a great reference!!

  3. Love all of this! The idea of the apple juice in the wine bottle is great. I'll def remember this for the future :)

  4. I loved Beck's N/A beer, way better than O'Doul's in my opinion.

  5. At my supper club, I accidentally got my friend drunk. She was the only one that knew I was pregnant, so she kept drinking my wine and hers, and we would swap glasses. It is hilarious that nobody busted us but they didn't. That is true friendship. I drank soda water with fruit in it or cut it with juice when I wanted a mocktail.

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  7. I think it's great to have mocktails to hide your pregnancy, however, I'm not keen on drinking the extra calories just for "show". :-) These are all great ideas though. I personally find it OK to have the occasional glass of red wine during pregnancy - after passing the first trimester of course. I am almost 30 weeks and this is my 3rd pregnancy. With the exception of my first {I wasn't much of a wine drinker back then}, I've had an occasional glass of wine in each pregnancy. Certainly not every day, or every week, just occasional. I won't do hard liquor or beer though. Best of luck in this final stretch - I am eager for May!

  8. I sound like such a lush typing out these words, but I will 100% need some "fake outs" for my coworkers and friends whenever I get pregnant!

  9. This is a brilliant post! I'm bookmarking this right now for when the day comes that I can't drink. Because there's no doubt I'll for sure be missing my wine! : )

  10. This brings me back to trying to hide I was pregnant - and oh how terrible I was at it. We found out the day before a big football game and bar tailgate. I'm a beer lover and the bar had no NA beers. I asked for a sprite with a lime wedge and tried to pass it off as vodka but everyone called me on it and outed me. I tried! :) I agree on the wines - they just taste like juice. Coors makes a decent NA beer, I was surprised to find. I almost made a sport of going to my local total wine and trying the many options they stocked. Have to keep it interesting! :) Glad you're enjoying your mocktails!

  11. Haha- I love how sneaky you were! This is a great post :)

  12. Oh my goodness April, this was the best post! I'll be looking back at this one day!

  13. Free brut was hands down my favorite when I was pregnant! It wasn't the best but it did the trick when martinelli's sparkling cider just wasn't cutting it. I did the club soda with lime trick with my friends and passed it off as a vodka soda- it worked but a lot of my girlfriends were suspicious!

  14. Fake drinking while pregnant- haha we had some good times with that too! The first weekend I was out in public after finding out we went to an alive at five with alllll of our friends. My sister and I both got a lime a rita and she just kept grabbing mine while no one was looking. she loved it! haha. I always had sparking water at dinner and maybe some cherry 7 up...soooo good

  15. this is sooo smart! pinning for the future! xo jillian - cornflake dreams

  16. Agreed, the Fre Brut is just about the only alcohol removed wine/bubbly that I've found worth drinking during pregnancy! It's been my "go to" for anniversary, holidays, Valentine's Day, and soon- birthday!

  17. I love this post! It's great for moms-to-be but also for the friends of expecting mothers, so we can provide fun alternatives. Don't want to leave anyone out on girls nights.

  18. I love this, I will definitely have to look back here in the future :)

  19. Definitely saving this for future reference--Love the fake out wine idea!

  20. I loved reading this post. I may have to start "drinking" again. I am 28 weeks and these sound yummy, plus I may request that we serve these at my shower :)

  21. Great ideas! I drank a lot of fake G&T's when I was preggo. Club soda and lime looks just the same.

  22. We found out we were expecting the day before New Years Eve! So I bought wine with a twist off cap, poured it all out and then filled it with Welch's grape juice. Luckily no one was paying close enough attention to me to see the subtle bubbles! However we did wind up telling close friends we were expecting sooner than 12 weeks. They would have known my gig was up when I turned down Diet Coke!

  23. I am just like you! I love to have my fancy stemware and I do love to have something fun and different to drink. I did miss my fun drinks when I was pregnant. We kept our pregnancies a secret until the second trimesters too.

  24. I am alcohol free. I have been for the past five years as we have been ttc and diagnosed with IF. But I stay alcohol free just in case we get lucky! I enjoy my tea and mixing sodas and flavors!!

  25. Great post! I'm 27 weeks pregnant and need a good mock tail!!

  26. I'm 27 weeks pregnant and can echo so much of this post. Fabulous for all the newly pregnant gals. Two more suggestions not on the list:
    1. Kaliber (made by Guinness) is the best N.A. beer stand in I've found on the lighter side (O'Doul's Amber is the best darker fake me out)
    2. Bloody Mary mix with sparkling water (I even like it withe the lemon or lime seltzer flavors) is actually pretty tasty!

    That being said, I cannot wait for real, dry wine and champagne and a super hoppy IPA come the beginning of June!!!

  27. I never had to do the fake thing because I just used the excuse of fertility treatments to why i wasn't drinking. People believed me :-)
    I generally did Perrier with a splash of orange juice!

  28. We were like you and Ian. We have a very social group of friends and we had to be super sneaky. I tried the NA wines and couldn't do them at all. My favorites were:

    Fresca with a splash of cranberry juice and lime

    Ginger beer with Fresca and lime. Mock Moscow Mule :)

    And NA Beer with lime juice and salt - mock michelada

    I also did some NA bloody marys. I would just add some O Douls into it to thin out the mix instead of using vodka.

    Great post!

  29. These are all such great things to know! I would have never thought there would be so many mocktails to enjoy while pregnant! And yes, waking up feeling 100% every morning is always great! :)

  30. BEST post ever (& I'm not even preggo) Filing this one away in my "future reference folder" haha love it!

  31. Genius! I wish I had found your blog when I was pregnant...though you wouldn't have been then, but still! Maybe for next time :)

  32. LOVE this post --- I'm sending it to my bff right now (and great ideas for mocktails at her baby shower!).


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