What to Drink When You’re Expecting Part I

Well, it’s official, I’m pregnant! My due date is October 22nd, I am 19 weeks along, and we just found out a couple day ago we’re having a boy. My husband and I are both super excited to start this new chapter of our lives (especially my husband, I kept him waiting long enough for kids!). 🙂

Just to have a little fun, I thought I would do a two-part series on “What to Drink When You’re Expecting” on The Rambling Vine. With all the fun options taken away during those nine months, what’s a woman going to drink that will be enjoyable and not a drag? Here are the results of my investigation.

In anticipation of possibly getting pregnant last fall and winter, I cut down on my caffeine and alcohol intake in order to accustom myself to the probability of going without for about 9 months. So by the time I found out I was indeed pregnant, it wasn’t too hard to abstain, since I’d been having maybe a quarter to half a single glass of wine, not finishing a beer, etc.

I have to admit I’ve had tiny sips of my husband’s beer on random occasions these last few months, hardly enough to harm a fly. Sneaking sips, though, only reminds me of what I’m missing, and that I had to find some satisfying alternatives.

So, I turned to the common non-alcoholic beverage alternatives, most of which involve way more sugar than I’m used to drinking (fruit juice, sodas, iced teas, etc.). Of course water with some fresh lemon is fantastic in copious quantities and should top the list of every pregnant woman, but everyone gets tired of water and needs other options for variety.

First off, because I want my research to benefit the rest of abstaining humanity, here are some of my favorite beverage finds that aren’t too sugary (not like a Pepsi, anyway) and give you some refreshing flavor:

Dry Soda (I especially like Rhubarb and Lavender… low calorie, not too sweet)
Izze Sparkling Juices (My favorites are GrapefruitClementine, and Green Apple, refreshing)
San Pellegrino Sparkling Natural Mineral Water (I like their flavor the best of the sparkling mineral waters… and believe me, I tried a lot in my first trimester)
The Republic of Tea Orange Ginger Mint Tea (helps aid digestion and calm your stomach)
Seattle’s Best Decaf Coffee (for a rich, smooth decaf that tastes like regular coffee)

I am grateful to each and every one of these aforementioned beverages for taking care of my tummy and nausea during the first trimester and satisfying my thirst. Your kindnesses will never be forgotten!

And just when you think, hey, sparkling water and tea ain’t so bad, I can do this, you wander into Total Wine & More with your husband, stroll down the aisles and salivate over the beautiful, exotic wines and tempting craft beers that beckon you from their shelf perches. I pouted as I realized I couldn’t buy wine for myself for a while longer yet, in large part because we already have plenty of wine that will need to be consumed after I give birth (and indeed it shall be heartily imbibed!).

As I wandered by the O’Douls in one of the beer aisles, I looked up and read the “Non-Alcoholic Beer” tag, and had a moment of truth… this was the one and only time I’d have to try non-alcoholic beer and wine, and see if the stuff was actually worth drinking. Does it actually hit the spot and make you feel like you’re not missing anything? So I grabbed the sales guy, asked him what he thought their best non-A beer and wine were, and purchased those immediately. Anything for the sake of research!

So here is the non-A beer I bought:
Paulaner Thomas Brau Non-Alcoholic Brew from Munich, Germany

Thomas Brau Non Alcoholic Beer

Thomas Brau Non Alcoholic Beer

“Brewed in strict accordance with the German Beer Purity Law, Thomas Brau delivers German brewing heritage in a non-alcoholic beverage alternative. Enjoy Thomas Brau during business lunches, anytime where true beer taste is desired!” Yes, business lunches, just what I needed this for! 🙂
This isn’t terrible, it’s a lighter beer but the flavor is OK, especially if you don’t remind yourself it’s non-A. There is less than 0.5% alcohol by volume. I wouldn’t turn one down if offered one of these at a BBQ, but for sipping on its own, meh. On the whole, not bad.

And here is the non-A wine:
St. Regis Non-Alcoholic Cabernet Sauvignon

St. Regis Non-Alcoholic Cabernet Sauvignon

St. Regis Non-Alcoholic Cabernet Sauvignon

I have to say I liked the beer much better compared to this swill.

Here are my tasting notes on this “beverage”: on the nose, mildewed gym socks overshadowed by aged cardboard, on the palate, stewed dirt with hair spray, and on the finish, garden compost mingled gently with bleach and tobacco. And I’m being serious!

If this is the best non-A wine they have to offer, then leave it, it’s horrible. I have nothing good to say about this. Even my husband tried it and found it abysmal.

Well, that saved you some money, right? 🙂

In conclusion, if you are REALLY missing wine, and you REALLY want, in my opinion, the closest thing to it? Stick with grape juice, specifically, R.W. Knudsen Family Organic Concord Grape Juice. It has no sugar added, is super thick, dark, viscous, and very close to a heavy red in its body and appearance. It’s very rich without being too sweet. Trying pouring a little over ice, it comes as close to hitting the wine spot as you can get. I’m calling it “preggo punch.”

Have any of you found really good non-alcoholic beverages that got you through your pregnancy? What were they? Also, stay tuned for part two of this series! 🙂

© Brenna Arnesen and The Rambling Vine, 2012 – Present. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Brenna Arnesen and The Rambling Vine with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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