Virgin Cocktails

iStock_000009732924SmallI went out to dinner recently with some pregnant and nursing mommies and they had Shirley Temple’s to drink as a treat with dinner. That got me thinking about other possibilities. First off, ask for the Shirley Temple straight up in a sugar-rimmed martini glass. And, at home, if you like the ritual and romance of a cocktail, but don’t want the alcohol because you’re pregnant or nursing or just because, here are some recipes you can try:


  • 1/2 cucumber, peeled and chopped coarsely
  • 1 ounce aloe vera juice
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon sugar or agave nectar

Blend all together in a blender or juicer. Pour over cracked ice into a tall frosted glass or into a chilled martini glass with a salted rim and garnished with a chili dusted lime.

iStock_000022833688SmallMOSCOW WITHOUT THE MULE

I never liked ginger beer until I tasted Cock ‘n Bull. Considered to be the finest of all ginger beers, it is delicious with a smooth finish and has been made since the 1800s. But of course, you can use your own favorite ginger beer. Squeeze the lime into a copper mug or frosted glass. Add lots of cracked ice. Add ginger beer. Garnish with a lime.

iStock_000013245066SmallGOOD GIRL COSMO

  • Red Zinger or Wild Berry Zinger tea, 8 bags
  • 1 blood orange
  • 1 lime
  • Sugar or sweetener to taste.
  • Shaker with ice.

Put a martini glass in the freezer. Make a batch of Celestial Seasonings Red Zinger or Wild Berry Zinger tea by placing 8 tea bags into 2 to 3 quarts of water and letting it  set out on the counter or on the window sill for 30 minutes, or until it reaches a nice, deep color.

Squeeze the juice of the orange and the lime into a cocktail shaker or a quart-sized canning jar. Add 1 to 2 cups of the tea and sweetener to taste. Put some sugar on a saucer. Take the glass out of the freezer and rub lime on its edge. Dip the edge of the glass in the sugar and move around to coat. Add a bunch of ice to the shaker and shake well. Pour mixture into sugar-rimmed glass.

Variations: Cranberry juice or pomegranate concentrate can be substituted for or added to any of the liquids in this recipe.

 Closeup of drink with citrus fruit and iceAROMATIC BITTERS AND LIME

Bitters are less than 50% alcohol by volume and the amount in a few shakes is negligible, however, non-alcoholic bitters are available (see below). The alcohol is used to infuse the aromatic herbs and the infusion is the bitters. Pour your favorite bubbly water over a big glass of ice. Add several generous shakes of bitters. Finish with juice from half a lime. Garnish with lime slices and mint (optional). Here are some old school as well as newbie bitters to choose from:

You can learn more about bitters and how to make your own from the book, Bitters: A  Spirited History of a Classic Cure-All, with Cocktails, Recipes, and Formulas.

Pomegranate Open with SeedsPG SLING

  • 3/4 cup pomegranate juice
  • 1/2 cup mango juice
  • 1/2 cup pineapple juice
  • juice of one lime

Fill four Collins glasses with ice. Mix all ingredients and pour into each glass. Top with tonic water and mint leaves.

Spices for Chai TeaCHAI SOUR

  • 2 cups chai tea bags
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup fresh lime juice

Dissolve two chai tea bags in 1 cup of boiling water. Let stand 10 minutes. Discard tea bags. Add sugar. Let cool. Combine cooled chai syrup with lime juice. Pour mixture into four old fashioned glasses filled with cracked ice. Add club soda, or bubbly water. Garnish with thin lemon slices and star anise pods.

Variation: You can also make this with homemade chai by reducing (slowly simmering down) two cups of chai to one cup.


If you want to make simple syrup so your sweetener will dissolve more easily in these drinks, dissolve equal parts sugar into equal parts water by heating them together in a saucepan on low until dissolved. Don’t overcook. Cool and keep in the refrigerator.

Enjoy these fun, non-alcoholic drinks with some gluten-free pretzels, raw veggies with a dip or mixed nuts. Put your feet up, if for just a minute—maybe on the porch at the end of the day—while you watch your little ones, and feel like a Fancy Lady.


PEGGY-headshotPeggy O’Mara is the editor and publisher of  She was the editor and publisher of Mothering Magazine from 1980 to 2011 and founded in 1995. The author of Having a Baby Naturally; Natural Family Living; The Way Back Home; and A Quiet Place, Peggy has conducted workshops at Omega Institute, Esalen, La Leche League, and Bioneers. She is the mother of four and grandmother of two. 

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Peggy O'Mara

About Peggy O'Mara

Editor and Publisher of Longtime natural living advocate, award winning writer, and independent thinker.

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