Everyone I informed about my pregnancy immediately asked one of two questions. I’ll start with the obvious: “How are you feeling?” The second was, “Wait…don’t you drink for a living?”
I suppose I did during the first few years I was employed at Serious Eats. I edited pieces on cocktails, cider, spirits, and other alcoholic beverages in addition to writing about wine and beer. The majority of my drinking since last summer has been voluntary, since I took up the role of managing editor for the site in June. I didn’t have to give up my work because I decided to stop drinking.
After surviving the emotional roller coaster that is the first trimester of pregnancy, the thought of relaxing with a glass of wine or a cocktail began to appeal to me. Simple beverages like juice or soda weren’t cutting it. Consequently, I started looking for recipes for non-alcoholic drinks that serve more than simply a thirst-quenching purpose. The good news is that we have a repository stocked with excellent choices. Thanks to the combination of spices, sour vinegar, fruit, and nuts, these eight cocktails have a surprising depth of flavour.
1. Kumquat and pear juice with a tangy flavour
There aren’t a lot of options for non-alcoholic beverages that have the same bitterness and little heat that you’d get in a cocktail. Thanks to the tart astringency of kumquats and the spicy bite of fresh ginger, this dish delivers on all fronts. The drink’s primary flavour comes from pears, which provide a mild, rustic sweetness.
2. Peppercorn Limeade with Black Peppercorns
I like a good sour beverage, and this limeade has a unique twist owing to the finely powdered black peppercorns that flavour the simple syrup. This is perfect for serving in large quantities, like as a pitcher at a gathering.
3. Blended Coquito
“Hello there,” said the lover. This eggnog-like Puerto Rican drink inspired smoothie is great without the addition of rum. Smoothie is produced by blending a frozen banana with a carton of coconut milk (unlike the canned stuff, which separates). An undertone of barrel-aged taste is brought out by the addition of nutmeg and maple syrup.
4. Rosemary Tangerine Shrub Drink
Indulge in enough mocktails at the local watering holes, and you could start to think that every drink is just a different kind of lemonade. Vinegar, though, is another choice for bringing out the best in your beverages. Rosemary and tart cider vinegar give this drink its woodsy (and even gin-like) taste, while tangelo juice provides a touch of sweetness. Simply topping it up with seltzer will do the trick.
5. Pistachio Milk
These days it seems like everyone is selling almond milk, but this pistachio variety scented with cardamom and vanilla is my favourite dairy-free creamy drink. It has a wonderful flavour that brings to mind pistachio gelato.
6. Orgeat Lemonade
Use orgeat, a cocktail component produced from almonds and orange blossom water, to sweeten some fresh lemonade and give it a unique flavour. Orgeat may either be made at home or purchased from a reliable retailer, such as Small Hand Foods.
7. Thai Mango-Pineapple-Coconut Juice
Enjoy a taste of Thailand with this refreshing cocktail made with fresh mango and pineapple, with a kick of ginger and savoury galangal. Coconut adds richness, while lime brings out the drink’s sour undertones.
8. Rhubarb-Ginger Cooler
A pitcher of rosy rhubarb spiked with ginger, orange zest, and allspice and topped off with spicy ginger beer is the perfect alcohol-free beverage for a brunch or picnic.