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"Baby Shower Mocktails"
-Diane Lawlor
date posted: June 07, 2013

Baby showers are a celebration of a magical time. Especially when it`s for a first-time mom. Sure, showers are a good way to help stock up the nursery, but they`re also a sort of support group. Once you have a child, your whole life changes. It`s easy to get caught up in what everyone else needs. Your support network is there to help you remember to take a breather, go for a run, and enjoy the ride. The best, most lasting gift you can give is your friendship.

Since the mom-to-be can`t enjoy her favorite cocktail, than it`s unfair for everyone else to be drinking. I always go with "mocktails," and I`ve never had a serious complaint!

I like to plan the entire party around a theme. It doesn`t have to be extreme. It could be as subtle as a favorite color, food or pattern. I`ve done Tiffany blue themes, houndstooth themes, tea party themes and plenty of others. Even if it`s not obvious to the attendees, choosing a theme will help you make decisions about everything from baby shower favors to food offerings.

Choosing Beverages

When I`m choosing beverages, I like to keep the selection limited. By offering only two or three drink options, I can maintain my sanity and stick to my budget. My personal motto is: fizz adds flair. I don`t like using soda as a base because I can`t pronounce most of the ingredients. I prefer to use sparkling water either purchased from the store or made at home. I use a sodastream maker because it`s easy and I don`t have to agonize over how much to buy, where to store it and what to do with leftovers.

Option One: Something Simple

Always, always, always have something simple available for your guests. It could be unsweetened tea (with sweeteners on the side) or lemonade. Regardless, if you`re going to offer fancy flavors in other beverages, be considerate of simpler palates.

Option Two: Twist on a Classic

Most people like lemonade. Lots of people like iced tea. When you put them together, they make an Arnold Palmer. If you`ve only had canned Arnold Palmers from a gas station cooler, you need to try the real thing. Start with a quality lemonade: freshly made at home or store bought. Don`t be afraid of a little pulp. Brew some iced tea. Use quality black tea and make it nice and strong. The ice and lemonade will dilute it plenty. The best Arnold Palmer I ever had was at a restaurant that made it with a blend of several teas. It was sweet and tart and refreshing.

I love a Shirley Temple. Always have. Recipes for these will vary between a base of lemon-lime soda and ginger ale. Some people add cherry juice, and others add grenadine syrup. Everyone garnishes with a cherry. I make mine in a pitcher with sparkling water for the base. Then I add lemon, lime and cherry juice for taste. Generally the cherry juice is sweet enough that you shouldn`t need any additional sweetener, but if you do, you can add some simple syrup.

Option Three: Getting Fancy

If you want to go all out with your mocktails, you can adapt almost any classic cocktail to make it free of alcohol. For loads of inspiration look for "Preggatinis: Mixology for the Mom-to-Be" by Natalie Bovis Nelsen at your local bookstore or library. While you can substitute alternate ingredients for alcohol, in some cases you can also substitute alcohol-removed products. Here, she demonstrates cocktails made with alcohol-removed wine and champagne. Enjoy!

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