Recipe Redux–Summer Beverages

This month’s theme for Recipe Redux is summer beverages. If you missed last month’s, it was on grilling and you can see my recipe for Grilled Flank Steak with Grilled Corn and Peach Salsa. So I thought I’d share three of my favorite Pregnancy “Mocktails.” Normally, I drink primarily water with all meals and throughout the day as well as a glass of milk here and there. Of course, I love my wine and I have a glass a few times a week. But now that I’m pregnant, I have to forego my occasional glass of wine. For some reason, I am no longer satisfied with just water. While I still drink plenty of it, I usually have to have another “fun” drink a few times a week. So here are my three favorites, each with their own great nutritional qualities:

Concord Grape Spritzer

1/3 part Concord Grape Juice*
2/3 part Lemon Lime Seltzer Water

My husband created his own concoction using Fresca instead of the seltzer water, which is also very good. Mint makes a great garnish for a little extra flavor.

*Research has shown that Concord grape juice has many of the same flavonoids (antioxidants) as red wine, cocoa, tea and berries. It has also been shown to have a very high antioxidant activity compared to other juices. So I can get many of the same health benefits of red wine without the alcohol. Welch’s makes a Concord grape and Black Cherry juice that is also delicious.

Ginger Orange Juice

1/2 part Orange Juice*
1/2 part Ginger Ale (or diet ginger ale if you want to save some calories)

*I use an orange juice with added calcium and vitamin D for an extra nutrition boost. Vitamin C is of course great for the immune system, which needs all the help it can get during pregnancy. Fortunately I haven’t suffered from nausea in this pregnancy, but ginger ale can be soothing for those who do. Thai basil makes a nice garnish and adds a little of a spicy kick.

Cucumber Water with a Kick

4-6 slices Cucumber
Thai Basil leaves (or Mint)

Staying hydrated is very important during pregnancy. This is a very refreshing way to drink water! I have an abundance of both cucumbers and Thai basil in our garden, so this is a fun way to use it. Cucumber really transforms water into a special treat. The Thai basil gives it a little bit of a peppery kick. Mint is also a good substitute if you don’t have any Thai basil.

What are your favorite mocktails?

Below are some other refreshing summer beverages from dietitians participating in Recipe Redux: