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Published May 23, 2012, 11:30 PM

Mocktails for moms-to-be: Drinks to enjoy while pregnant

FARGO - Last summer, I lamented the loss of libations. Pregnant through the dog days of summer, I couldn’t enjoy my favorite warm-weather cocktails.

By: Sherri Richards, INFORUM

FARGO - Last summer, I lamented the loss of libations.

Pregnant through the dog days of summer, I couldn’t enjoy my favorite warm-weather cocktails.

While that certainly doesn’t rise to a life-altering dilemma, as I wrote on my blog last July, there’s just something about summertime that calls for a refreshing adult beverage.

I yearned for an occasional frosty mug or a glass of chilled wine while soaking up the sun outdoors. I missed mojitos and margaritas and the handmade wine coolers at Newman Outdoor Field. And, most regrettably, I had to skip my favorite summer drink:

Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy, a seasonal lemony brew.

A pregnant friend understood, and came up with an acceptable alternative. We concocted our own shandygaffs by mixing cans of O’Doul’s, a nonalcoholic beer, with splashes of lemonade in tall glasses.

Not far into this warm spring, I realized that once again I’d be missing out on many of my favorite summer drinks, as I’m breastfeeding. While I have a bit more freedom to imbibe, I still severely restrict my drink intake.

A co-worker then brought to my attention the 2008 book “Preggatinis: Mixology for the Mom-to-Be.” Written by “the Liquid Muse” Natalie Bovis-Nelsen, who creates cocktail recipes for upscale events and liquor launches, the book is described as “the how-to book for sipping your way through this special time.”

Of its 75 original recipes, some re-create well-known cocktails without the alcohol while others combine fresh juices and herbs to give the mom-to-be a nutritional boost.

“Nonalcoholic Preggatinis are designed to make that transition easy – and even enjoyable,” Bovis-Nelsen writes. “Created with the fun and stylish modern mom-to-be in mind, Preggatinis retain the glitz of any alcoholic ‘tini’ drink. They are colorful and exotic and presented in fancy stemware.”

It was nice to know I wasn’t alone in my cocktail cravings, and that there are nonalcoholic options for summertime classics, including the minty mojito.

Bovis-Nelsen also offers “de-virginize” options for dads. When in doubt, use a shot of vodka, she advises, though gin and tequila are also options. Tropical juices beg for rum. Substitute orange-flavored liqueur for orange juice, and champagne for club soda, she writes.

Many of the “Preggatinis” call for exotic ingredients, but there are several that can be easily shaken or stirred without a trip to a specialty store.

Here are a few that may satisfy a summertime thirst when alcohol is off the table.

Folic Fizz

(a first-trimester

Preggatini)

½ cup cantaloupe chunks

3 large strawberries

½ ounce lime juice

1 ounce simple syrup (recipe below)

Lime-flavored mineral water

Put the cantaloupe through a fruit juicer, then pour 3 ounces of the resulting juice into a wine glass. Slice 2 strawberries and put them into the glass. Add the lime juice and simple syrup, then add ice and stir gently. Top with lime-flavored mineral water, and garnish with the remaining strawberry on a cocktail pick.

De-Virginize for Dad: Add 1 ounce ginger liqueur along with the juices and top with champagne instead of mineral water.

Simple Syrup

2 cups sugar (raw, organic, white sugar)

1 cup water

Pour sugar and water into a small saucepan, stirring constantly. Allow mixture to come to a boil, then reduce heat to low and let simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cool and refrigerate in glass jar or plastic bottle. Blend plain simple syrup and lemon juice to taste to make your own sweet-n-sour.

Madras Mia (a non-alcoholic Madras)

2 ounces cranberry juice

2 ounces orange juice

1 ounce club soda

1 lemon wedge

Pour all liquid ingredients into a tall glass filled with ice. Garnish with a lemon wedge on the rim of the glass.

De-Virginize for Dad: Add 1 ounce vodka instead of club soda.

Momosa (a n/a Mimosa)

3 ounces orange juice

1½ ounces nonalcoholic sparkling wine or club soda

½ ounce simple syrup (if using club soda)

Pour ingredients into a chilled champagne flute.

De-Virginize for Dad: Use champagne instead of nonalcoholic wine or club soda and simple syrup.

Momjito (virgin mojito)

1 lime, diced with peel on

5 or 6 mint leaves

1 teaspoon brown sugar

1 ounce Torani Butter Rum syrup

Lemon-lime soda or club soda

1 lime wheel

Muddle diced lime, mint, sugar, and syrup in the bottom of a tall glass. Fill with ice. Top with lemon-lime soda or club soda, depending on how sweet you want it. Garnish with a lime wheel.

De-Virginize for Dad: Use 1½ ounces rum or cachaça (Brazilian sugarcane liquor) instead of the butter rum syrup to make this drink more like a traditional mojito or caipirinha.

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