You just found out you are pregnant. Congratulations! It’s time to celebrate, but now that you are pregnant, celebrating looks a little different. You used to be the Queen of Queen Park Social and the Belle of the Breweries, but what now? How does a socialite stay social while still growing a healthy human?!
I faced this question when I first found out that my husband and I were expecting, and I’m happy to report that there is a way to stay social while nurturing your brewing babe. As with any challenge you face at work or home, you just have to get creative. Lucky for you, Charlotte is the heart of creativity when it comes to culinary craft cocktails and libations.
During my first trimester, I made many attempts at ordering a mocktail, only to receive a response from the bartender like: “So, you want me to make you like a virgin margarita or a mojito, right?” Wrong! The last thing I wanted while my friends were sipping on their Pisco sours and delicious apple red Negroni was a Shirley temple, or virgin strawberry daiquiri. I’m pregnant, not 12 years old.
Eventually I took it upon myself to get creative when ordering mocktails. I approached the bartender with statements like: “I want something sweet, not like Cancun, Mexico sweet, but more like Charleston, South Carolina sweet”; or “I want it to taste like I’m drinking alcohol but I’m not”.
Now, I know what you’re thinking: “Wow, she sounds high maintenance,” but I started to notice that the more creative my descriptions were for the mixologists, the better the mocktail turned out. Honestly, I found some really good mocktails right here in Charlotte that make you question whether you’re sipping on a mocktail or the real thing; that’s not even the best part. They are all just as Instagram worthy to shoot as they are to taste.
Since I know I’m not the only one building a human, I’m going to help all you pregnant mommas out there. I found out that not all mocktails are pregnancy approved; that’s right, the absence of alcohol doesn’t mean that it’s automatically good for you and baby. Always make sure when ordering a mocktail, that you know exactly what is going into them.
I curated a list of my top 6 mocktails and where to get them, below.
235 N Tryon St.
Craving: I’m craving a gin & tonic. It’s been a long day at work and I want to feel like I’m actually drinking alcohol — obviously, without the alcohol.
Order this mocktail: Salted Cucumber
Ingredients: Fresh cucumber, lime, .75 oz Jack Rudy Tonic Concentrate, 1 oz Spindrift Cucumber Sparkling Water, a dash of salt
Craving: I could really go for something sweet with some sparkle in a fancy glass!
Order this mocktail: Berry Tea
Ingredients: 1 oz Old North ‘Two in the Bush’ Shrub, 2 oz Wild Orange Tea, 1 oz Spindrift Blackberry Sparkling Water, basil, lemon twist
1508 Unit B, S Mint St.
Craving: A refreshing mocktail, not too sweet, with a little bit of sparkle — something that you’d order in Charleston after a long day of walking Market Street.
Order this mocktail: Honey Peach Lemonade
Ingredients: Honey, peach, cardamom, lemon juice, sparkling water
3106 N Davidson St, Charlotte, NC 28205
Craving: I’m looking for something light and fresh with a little bit of a bite.
Order this mocktail: Grapefruit & Hibiscus Mocktail
Ingredients: House-made grapefruit juice, house made hibiscus syrup, fresh squeezed lime juice, orange bitters, shaken with a splash of soda
303 S Church St, Charlotte, NC 28202
Craving: I’ll be “drinking” all night so I want something that is delicious and fruity but that won’t make me sick with all the sugar, and it must look just as good as it tastes.
Order this mocktail: Cleverly Called “The DD” by mixologist Julian Billings
Ingredients: Lavender simple syrup, raspberry simple syrup, orange juice, pineapple juice, and a splash of lemon.
135 Levine Avenue of the Arts #100
Craving: Something hydrating without all the sparkle.
Order this mocktail: Ask for the Fresh Blueberry with Coconut Water (they’ll know what you mean).
Ingredients: Fresh blueberry, coconut water, and citrus extract
Other mentionable mocktails at Fin & Fino: Rumless Punch, Melon Soda, and Rose No Thorns, which combines rose sparkling grape juice and oranges.
Now, if you’re just not feeling social and want to kick it at home with your mocktails, then Larry Suggs (Follow him at @bartenderlarry) from Crowntown Collective (follow @crowntowncollective) has the perfect recipe for you:
3 oz Lenny Boy good ol’ Ginger Kombucha
4 big chunks of honey dew melon
1 oz cloister honey
1 oz lemon
Start by muddling the honey dew. Add honey and fresh lemon and shake vigorously. Top with kombucha and serve up or on ice.