How to order a mocktail and sound classy

How to order a mocktail and sound super classy

Hi! Do you like to socially drink liquids but find yourself, for some reason, unable to consume alcohol? Are you temporarily pregnant (an accurate statement!), taking medicine that doesn’t play well with alcohol, or just engaging in a “dry” month? Do you still want to take part in the social activity of “going to a bar to hang out”?? WELL, I’VE GOT NEWS FOR YOU! You can still get tasty, thoughtful drinks crafted by your favorite mixologists! You just have to know when, where, and how to order a mocktail (your alcohol-free concoctions, for newbs). Fortunately, this pregnant liquor-aficionado has figured it out and is here to show you the way.

It’s not terribly difficult, but you may still run into some awkward moments or less-than-amazing results. That’s okay! You have to remember that you are now in the 1% of people who is going for something beyond a club soda + lime or cranberry + soda at a bar but still can’t have alcohol. It’s a rough business, but — if you’ll pardon the pun — the juice is worth the squeeze.

So never fear, and don’t feel self-conscious, just follow these tips and you’ll be ordering and sipping teetotaler-friendly drankz in no time!

When: Slow Times

empty bar
Cement this image in your mind. If a bar looks like this, they probably have time for your ~special request.

This one should seem relatively obvious, but a sports bar during playoffs is a TERRIBLE time to try and get the bartender to do you a solid. “But it’s their job to make me a drink!,” you may whine, to which I encourage you to remember their job is to show up and sling brews and make sure no one leaves in too bad of shape while being yelled at by mostly awful people, so remember to tip well.

AND THEN I encourage you to not try this at any busy bar, ever. If you have to wait more than about 30 seconds to get the bartender/mixologist’s attention, just ask for a Topo Chico or a soda water with lime and step away from the bar. Or give up and drink water if you’re really not feeling the herd of boozers crowding the good bartender.

TL;DR: Crowd at the bar? Teetotalers stay far. (Sure.)

Where: Spirit- and Craft-focused Bars

More accurately, this should read: Where? Not at the afore-mentioned, beer-slinging sports bars or rowdy college dives. Or any “dive”, come to think of it. They’re less likely to have both the means and the patience to thoughtfully concoct a charming little mocktail for you. (Not that they wouldn’t be into it — I don’t want to paint with too broad a brush! But let’s face it, that’s not what they’re expecting from clientele and it’s probably just not a good fit.)

That being said, you should go ahead and feel comfortable engaging with your bartender in a mocktail-curious conversation at a craft or spirit-focused cocktail establishment, or at a swankier restaurant (read: NOT CHAINS) bar during a slow time. These places are way more likely to have house-made mixers (think: sour, grenadine, orgeat) or bitters that could be blended together in interesting ways to tickle your alcohol-free palate. In fact, some of these places may even have a set of alcohol-free “cocktails” that they serve during lunches — never hurts to ask! (Well, except if you decide to ask during a super busy time or in wholly the wrong kind of establishment.)

TL;DR: If neon signs are blinking, it’s not a great place for mocktail-drinking.

How: Patience, kindness, and a little self-deprecation

This really should be the easiest and most obvious one of all: be the person you’d want to make a special drink for in your own home. Yes, the golden rule comes into play here, too! Remember that these good folks behind the bar probably make about the same 12 – 20 drinks all day, every day they’re on the clock, and you may be asking them to step outside of that routine and reflex and put on their thinking caps. It requires some patience and sweetness on your part, but if you’ve got the right place, time, and person, it should be well worth it.

There’s also a wrong and a better way (there’s no one single right way!) to start the conversation. Instead of saying, “Hi, I’m obviously pregnant and can’t drink. What can you make for me that doesn’t have alcohol in it but feels fancy?” maybe try, “Hey there. These are some really beautiful concoctions you’re putting together! Do you have a minute to put together something without alcohol in it for me? I like bright drinks with a lot of citrus flavors and I’m not afraid of a little spice.” Ya gotta give the dog a bone to work with here — start them out with a few directions that they could take the drink then be ready to answer a few questions. Here are some other flavor “starter” concepts that you could drop, depending on what you’re into:

  • I like lightly fruity flavors and herbal notes. (Ding ding! They know it’s cool to muddle some berries and mint/basil/tarragon/whatever they use in their other fancy drinks together in a glass for you and top with soda water.)
  • I like sweeter drinks with bubbles in them. (Rad — juices and grenadine and maybe their fancy infused house simple syrup plus sparkling water and you’re set.)
  • I typically like bitter flavors and neat drinks. (No ice! House bitters and a little simple and flat water and that’s a wrap.)
  • I typically like tiki drinks/sours but I’m avoiding alcohol/alcohol and raw egg. (This signals that they should use typical ingredients in each of these drink categories — orgeat, fruit juices, etc. and lemon juice and simple syrup, respectively — but just remove the spirits.)

Maybe you weren’t a seasoned pro at talking about what drinks you liked before you stopped imbibing the hard stuff, but I promise you this is a great way to start getting comfortable with it. Talking about cocktails shouldn’t be as intimidating as talking about beer or wine — really! It’s just like cooking, except without the stress of burning stuff! But it is still a flavors and ingredients game and everyone has their preferences and it’s a big wide continuum to work and play in.

And, of course, don’t be afraid, as you are chatting with your new friend bartender, to apologize and thank them for helping your special case. They will (hopefully) be gracious about it, and maybe even appreciate the challenge, but you are still being a snowflake and it’s good to call attention to that and own it and the inconvenience it creates like the un-entitled grown-up you are.

Now get out there and see what the folks behind the bar can scheme up for ya!

From the obvious to the surprising, these 5 second-trimester headache remedies will help cure what ails you and get your second trimester back to awesome!

Second Trimester Headache Remedies

Okay, I kiiiinda feel like I was sold a bill of goods with this second-trimester thing. “It’s the best!” “The honeymoon period of your pregnancy!” “You won’t even know you’re pregnant!” (1) No, (2) LOL, (3) Yeah, and those days terrify me. My second trimester has been a rollercoaster of back pain, surprise acne, more morning sickness and constipation (sorrynotsorry), oh yeah, and persistent throbbing headaches. Yay? The good news is: I now have the answers for solving and resolving the most difficult of these — the dreaded second-trimester headache. I’ve tried everything and collected the Best Of below.

Some of these probably seem a little obvious, but some will not! In fact, I stopped looking up “headache remedies” and just started trying everything and logged what made my head ache less. So enjoy a few interesting new tactics in my list of second trimester headache remedies!

(And, while this should go without saying: I am not a doctor. Don’t do anything your doctor doesn’t totally bless, and if in doubt, always do nothing (except talk to your doctor — always do that instead. And probably cut back on reading the internet instead of talking to your doctor. It’s a bad idea. Okay now carry on!))

1. Cool cloth on forehead

I warned you that some of these would be obvious. Putting a cold, damp washcloth on my head makes me feel (a) like an overly dramatic Southern belle, and (b) soooo much better immediately, both of which are great as far as I’m concerned. If I can wait long enough, it’s even better to get a small towel damp, then FREEZE IT for like 10 minutes, and then put it on your head whilst in a reclined position. It really does help almost instantly.

You can also try this with the cloth on the back of your neck. This is amazing both for your headache as well as for the f’ing hot months if you happen to be pregnant in Texas between the months of February and November (haha you think I’m joking.) This pose might require you to lie on your stomach, so it’s less ideal if you have started to get that bump of course, but for the late-bumpers it’s really a dream. Give it a chance!

2. Warm milk

Not just for bedtime anymore! That’s right, a glass of milk popped in the microwave (yes, microwave, not stove top. What am I, the Queen??) for a few seconds really does to WONDERS not just to make you sleepy, but to totally smooth out that throbbing in your noggin. When I started waking up with headaches, even in the middle of summer, I’d zap a little milk with a cinnamon stick in the mug and sip that down with breakfast. IT. ALWAYS. HELPED. I don’t know what the magic is, but the rest of the internets seems to agree with me that this is a solid pick.

And on top of that, it gets you more calcium and dairy goodness in your day! What’s not to love? I also recommend taking this in whatever flavor direction you want it to go: chai milk tea? Do it. Super-milky-latte? Yas! I also got used to dropping in a little English Toffee liquid stevia when I was craving a little sweetness and lemme tell ya, folks: it is not half bad. Maybe try it out yourself!

3. Eat more protein!

Surprise! You should be slamming those steaks right about now, missy! (Well done, of course.) Now, I can’t take any credit for this either, except for the fact that I was trying desperately hard to avoid Googling “pregnancy headaches” and ended up just searching “why does my brain hurt all the time.” Managing to also avoid all the Web MD articles about brain cancer, I found several recommendations around upping your protein intake to help manage headaches.

I haven’t been super hungry in my second trimester, and protein is really filling, so I tackled this from a bunch of weird angles. I made yogurt my go-to snack, that or cold chicken (cooked in the pressure cooker and shredded, then topped with buffalo sauce and greek yogurt because #PREGNANT), or straight up nut butter on a spoon. We bought protein-enriched everything — bread, buttery spread, Cheerios — and I noticed an almost immediate improvement in how I felt.

Gone quickly were the morning when I woke up with my head aching! Gone were the 2 PM cripping, pouding skull! Full was my tummy with all the good proteiny goodness! Long story short: get the protein. Put it in your body. You can do this without eating meat, but meat sure is great. 🙂

4. Hips on blocks (“yoga”)

Okay, this one is only an option to you before about 20 weeks, depending on how big you get and how soon. However, it works GANGBUSTERS and not just for your headache!

Months before I got pregnant, I started taking this great ‘Upside Down Workout’ class at my local ballet studio. You basically spend an hour with your hips on a yoga block, starting with the lowest height and gradually working up to the highest height, flexing and toning your legs and increasing flexibility while letting blood flow “in reverse” back toward your heart.

I know this may sound a little crunchy/granola/hippy-dippy, but it helped me in a big way with stress relief and a general sense of “chill” in my pre-pregnancy months, so much so that I bought a cheap set of foam yoga blocks from Amazon (for like $10) so I could start putting my hips on blocks while watching TV or reading at home.

Let me tell you: I am so glad I did. Because now that I’m pregnant, that class has been canceled but I can still reap the MEGA BENEFITS of having the blood flow toward my heart, getting the bliss hormones going, and just generally peacing out when these bad headaches hit. It’s almost a miracle.

Just lie on your back (again, when you can) and put the block under your sacrum (the bony part of your low-butt). You’ll know it’s in the right place because it won’t hurt, and you’ll feel stable. Then just pop those legs in the air (sometimes it’s good to do this against a wall or a piece of furniture — couches and beds work great — to prop your legs against) and let the magic of gravity + your body do its thang. Give it 10 – 20 minutes and you’ll see how floaty-floaty you feel, and your headache will melt away. 

5. Magnesium supplements

Natural Vitality Calm magnesium supplement is one of my favorite things in the world. When I used to work as a nanny, the kids would get Calm every night before bed, mixed into their yogurt. It froths up and basically turns the yogurt into foam (awesome) and makes plain, unsweetened yogurt really tasty. And then it would knock them out because magnesium is a magical gift that none of us get enough of.

The TL;DR on magnesium is that most people don’t get enough of it and it works hand-in-hand with calcium, which most people get plenty of. Calcium effectively tenses up your muscles or flexes them, and magnesium is the juice that helps them retract/expand/stretch back out. Magnesium also has a wonderful natural ability to um, speed things up down there and keep you regular. (Double win for preggos.)

My doctor recommended no more than 350 mg of magnesium (in supplement form) per day, and my pre-natal has no magnesium in it, so I just take the recommended dose of 2 teaspoons of Calm mixed into some cool water most nights before bed. Once I started doing this regularly, the chance of me waking up with a headache basically dropped to zero, and the odds of them sprouting up in the middle of the day really decreased as well. Magic, I tell ya!

So there you have it! Five tried-and-true second trimester headache remedies, some a little more obvious than others, all worth giving a go (if your doctor gives you the green light, of course.) Now get back to humble bragging about how amazing your pregnancy has been and wait for people to compliment your glow. 😉

From the obvious to the surprising, these 5 second trimester headache remedies will help cure what ails you and get your second trimester back to awesome!
From the obvious to the surprising, these 5 second trimester headache remedies will help cure what ails you and get your second trimester back to awesome!