Although a debate pops up every so often among health experts on the topic of drinking alcohol during pregnancy, we prefer to stick to the official advice, so we recommend sipping on nothing stronger than lemonade for the entire nine months (or from the time you find out you’re pregnant).
It’s funny though – as soon as you are told that you can’t have something, all of a sudden you want it ten times more than you did before! This is often the case with drinking – especially during the summer, when you’ll probably be spending a fair amount of time at BBQs and garden parties where everyone around you will be indulging in nice cool glasses of their favourite tipple.
But there is an alternative to knocking back endless cans of diet coke or water and possibly feeling a little sorry for yourself. How about trying some tasty mock cocktails – mocktails – this year? There are lots of great recipes around and many of them taste so good that you won’t miss the alcohol in the slightest!
There is also an added bonus for pregnant women, as mocktails are usually full of fruit juices and so contain lots of extra nutrients for you and the baby. Throw in the fact that they’re usually lower in sugar and calories (as long as they’re not cream-based) than fizzy drinks like cola, and they really are the perfect drink for expectant yummy mummies.
So, how do you create the perfect mocktail? Master mixer Ryan Magarian from Liquid Relations told Fit Pregnancy it’s all about symmetry. “When you’re replacing alcohol with water, tea or juice, you still want a perfect balance of all ingredients. Just like a real cocktail, a mocktail should never be too sweet or too syrupy,” he explained.
You should aim for crisp flavours – not just a mish-mash of different tastes because you’ve piled everything into one glass – a dash of colour, and something to decorate your drink when you present it. Don’t forget that colour can come in the form of fruit or tinted glasses if you’re making something like elderflower-based drinks that won’t appear bright. And to add to your five-a-day, look out for recipes containing pomegranate, orange or acai, as they’ll provide a real boost of antioxidants.
Here are some of Seraphine’s favourites to get you started.
1. Ray of Sunshine (from Baby Centre)
Fill a two-litre jug with ice and add two tablespoons of lemon and orange sherbet mixed into a paste with a little water. Pour in 50ml of apple juice and 50ml of pineapple juice. Top the jug up with sparkling water or lemonade and serve with umbrellas.
2. Mango Fizz (from Wayne Collins at BBC’s Something for the Weekend)
Place two scoops of mango sorbet and a tablespoon of ready-made fruit salad into a highball glass, then pour in two teaspoons of passion fruit syrup and two teaspoons of grenadine. Top up with ginger beer and serve with a long-handled spoon.
3. Juicy Ginger (this one is great if you’re getting morning sickness)
Fill a cocktail shaker with ice and add 100ml of apple juice, 50ml of pear juice, 20ml of lemon juice and one medium-sized piece of grated root ginger. Shake well and strain into a highball glass filled with ice. Top it up with ginger beer and garnish with a slice of apple.
If you throw a summer party and serve up mocktails like this, we think even guests who can drink will be queuing up for them – why not make up a few ideas of your own and share them with us too?