When there’s cause to celebrate, we often think of raising a cocktail or glass of champagne. For many moms-to-be and those who are nursing, though, those are drinks are amber and bubbly – and, of course, alcohol free.
Nonalcoholic wines and festive nonalcoholic mixed drinks called mocktails are increasingly popular at gatherings and parties. But if you think your options are restricted to a Shirley Temple or Virgin Mary, think again.
There are multitudes of tasty mixology recipes. The key to a delicious drink? Fresh juices and flavorings and no mixes, says Natalie Bovis-Nelsen, editor and head consultant for The Liquid Muse and author of Preggatinis: Mixology for the Mom-to-Be.
Bovis-Nelsen says that mocktails can hold their own against alcoholic drinks through a mix of juices, sodas, fruits, vegetables, herbs and syrups blended to be tasty, refreshing and sophisticated. And our own AAA Michigan has long been a proponent of mocktails for designated drivers. They’ve compiled “The Great Pretenders” mocktail collection with recipe contributions from area restaurants and resorts.
So, raise your glass – and celebrate with a few recipes you can try at home!
- 2 oz. peach nectar
- Chilled sparkling cider
Pour the peach nectar into a champagne flute and slowly add the cider.
Virgin Strawberry Daquiri
- 3 1/2 oz. frozen strawberries
- 1/8 cup ice
- 1/2 fluid oz. sweet and sour mix
- Dash of grenadine syrup
Place strawberries, ice cubes, sweet and sour mix and grenadine in a blender. Blend until smooth. Add more ice or less depending on your taste.
Grapefruit Melon Cocktail
The elegant Amway Grand Plaza Hotel in Grand Rapids offers this recipe courtesy of AAA Michigan.
- 3 oz. watermelon juice
- 2 oz. grapefruit juice
- 1 oz. fresh lemon juice
- 1 tsp. honey
- Dash Tabasco sauce
Combine all ingredients in an ice-filled shaker and shake well for 10 seconds. Strain into a martini glass and garnish with watermelon cube.
The MGM Grand in Detroit serves up this treat via AAA Michigan.
- 1 oz. POM brand pomegranate juice
- 3/4 oz. fresh limejuice
- 1/4 oz. simple syrup
- 2 oz. ginger ale
- 1 oz. tonic water
Build all ingredients over ice in cocktail shaker. Lightly stir. Roll into highball or Collins glass. Garnish with lime twist.
The former Ritz-Carlton Hotel (now The Henry Autograph Collection) in Dearborn gave this tasty recipe to AAA Michigan.
- 4 oz. orange sherbet
- 2 oz. pineapple juice
- 1 oz. coconut cream
Blend all ingredients with a half glass of ice. Garnish with a pineapple chunk and a cherry.
Fresh from up north, this yummy recipe is from the Grand Hotel Mackinac Island, also courtesy of AAA Michigan.
- Ginger ale
- Fresh limes
- Granulated brown sugar
- Fresh mint sprigs
For two drinks, cut one lime into eight wedges. Place two lime wedges into a sturdy glass with two to three sprigs of mint and one tablespoon of brown sugar. Muddle until all the sugar is absorbed into limejuice. Add 1/2 a glass of ice and ginger ale. Stir it so the muddled fruit and spice is mixed, then top off with the ginger ale. Garnish with sprigs of mint, two lime wedges and serve. Repeat for the second glass.
Sparkling Pomegranate Snowflake
Try a little fruity bubbly from Preggatinis: Mixology for the Mom-To-Be.
- 2 Tbsp. granulated white sugar
- 1 sugar cube
- Dash orange bitters
- 1 1/2 oz. pomegranate juice
- 3 oz. nonalcoholic sparkling wine
- 1 tsp. pomegranate seeds
Bitters are a concentrated liquid made of water, alcohol and herbal essences. Gets its name from its bittersweet taste. Most recipes call for just a dash or two.
Rim champagne flute with sugar. Place the sugar cube into the bottom of the flute and soak it with the bitters. Add pomegranate juice and nonalcoholic sparkling wine. Drop in pomegranate seeds.
Another mom friendly mocktail from Preggatinis: Mixology for the Mom-To-Be.
- 2 Tbsp. rimming salt
- 1 oz. agave nectar
- 1/2 oz. freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 oz. orange juice
- 3 oz. limeade
- 1 lime wedge
Salt the rim of margarita glass and set aside. Stir agave and lemon juice in the bottom of a mixing glass until nectar dissolves. Add orange juice limeade and ice then shake vigorously. Strain into margarita glass and serve with lime wedge.
Preggatinis: Mixology for the Mom-To-Be also serves up this incredibly flavorful mocktail.
- 5-6 rosemary leaves
- 3-4 white grapes, halved
- 1/2 oz. simple syrup
- 1/4 tsp. fresh lavender flower petals
- 1/2 tsp. grated lemon peal
- 2 oz. lemonade
- 3 oz. DRY brand soda or lavender soda
- 1 lemon wheel (slice of lemon cut into a circle)
- 1 sprig rosemary
Muddle rosemary leaves with the cut grapes, simple syrup, lavender flower petals and grated lemon peel in the bottom of a mixing glass. Add lemonade; then shake well with ice. Strain into a cocktail glass. Top with lavender soda and garnish with lemon wheel and sprig of rosemary.
This post was originally published in 2011 and is updated regularly.