Long live summer! Today might be the first day of September but we’ve got one long weekend to go and the weather forecast is calling for high temperatures over at least the next two weeks. Plus, if you ask me there’s never a bad time for a cocktail/mocktail. So I’m happy to feature this guest post from Emilie Jenkins of Nesting Birth Doula Services in Bellingham, Washington.
Being pregnant in the summer is full of wonder—and a little bit of un-wonder. Things like the immense heat attached to your torso, the swelling, the sleepless nights, the battle of the swim suit. You need a drink after that!
So, let’s talk about the smooth refreshing tang of a mojito, a margarita, and an ice cold local brew.
Five Things I Know About Mocktails
Fresh mocktails add electrolytes to your diet. Pregnancy adds about 50% of your blood volume. The extra fluid plus your blossoming belly put strain on your capillaries, causing swelling. The best way to help decrease swelling is to hydrate. Water is best, but you also need some electrolytes. What better way than to add electrolytes with something cold and zippy?
Explore your local farmer’s markets. Not only is getting out for a walk good for your circulation, the farmer’s market is a perfect place to taste alternatives to alcohol and see what you like. Kvass, Kombucha, and Shrub are all flavorful alternatives to the regular line up and appearing regularly at famer’s markets everywhere.
Kvass has been around in Russia, Ukraine, and the Baltics for centuries and it’s just now gaining popularity here. It’s a nonalcoholic wheat based drink with a light fizz. It doesn’t have the vinegar taste of Kombucha and many farmer’s markets have a variety of flavors like beet, blueberry, and peach.
Kombucha is a drink made from a SCOBY, a sort of patty of good bacteria and yeast. When placed in an infusion of tea and/or fruit a delicious, tangy drink is produced. Easy to do on your own, and available at many grocers and farmer’s markets this drink is gluten-free and full of probiotics.
Shrub is made in the same manner as wine or vinegar. It’s fruit based and comes in as many flavors as the brewer’s imagination will allow. My favorite is blackberry. Shrubs seem to live in a cycle of popularity. First recorded in the 1840s in the White House Cookbook, they returned to popularity in the United States during prohibition and are back on the scene today.
Mocktails are kid-friendly. With baby on the way, older siblings can feel left out. Use mocktails for a date with your older children. Take them on a special picnic, go to a park, pull out the good dishes and share a drink with your little one. Fostering these intentional times now will help ease the transition when baby comes and connect you as a family after baby comes as well.
It’s a chance to let your creativity lead the way. You can tweak, create, twist, and mingle to your heart’s content. Find your favorites, change with your cravings, buy local, and share with friends.
If you’re not the creative type, recipes for thousands of mocktails contain simple ingredients and easy-to-follow directions. Late night craving for a mojito? No problem. You probably have everything in your fridge already!
Nesting Birth’s Mocktail White Sangria
One bottle sparkling white grape juice
12 ounces Mongo Nectar
12 ounces apple juice or sparkling apple cider
The juice of three limes
1 pint fresh raspberries
Two peaches cut into thin wedges
1 pint blueberries (You can freeze the blueberries ahead of time to help keep the sangria cold without diluting it.)
Mix everything in a large pitcher and chill for 1-2 hours.
Make jam with the leftovers. Yes. It’s amazing.
Emilie Jenkins is a beekeeper-baker-cellist in Bellingham, WA where she lives with her husband and two rambunctious boys. On her off time she enjoys reading, sipping tea, and tending her urban homestead. She loves giving unbiased support while empowering women in their individual birthing experiences as a pre-certified Birth and Postpartum Doula with Nesting Birth Doula Services.