Mother and Baby

The best non-alcoholic drinks for when you're off the booze this Christmas

Section: Christmas
non-alcoholic drinks

Christmas, and let's face it, the entirety of December is often a period of indulgence and sometimes drinking to excess. Whether it is mulled wine at a German market, a fizzy pre-dinner aperitif, a glass of wine with your meal or a post-dinner Baileys, alcohol is EVERYWHERE you look (and we aren't exactly complaining TBH).

However, experts are unsure what level of alcohol is safe during pregnancy so the NHS recommends avoiding alcohol entirely.

If you are pregnant at Christmas and are off the booze or are sober for health reasons it can be difficult to know how to fully embrace the festive season. Sometimes it's the feeling of a glass in your hand, and the smell of something that's not tea, that can make you feel part of the party even when you're the only one not getting merry. 

So if you're pregnant, breastfeeding, or staying off the booze to look after the little ones, you need some exciting alternatives to alcohol for all those get-togethers and Wednesday evenings.

We've tried, tested, and chosen some of the best non-alcohol options from the shops - either to buy online, or grab at the weekly shop at the supermarket. No-alcohol doesn’t have to mean no fun! Grab a bottle and join in with those drinkies on a Friday night, whether you're at a friend's house, or in front of Corrie (or Zoom).

 

Everyone is talking about Seedlip at the mo (well, not everyone, 'cos I'm just talking about tractors these days). This is a non-alcoholic spirit that you can really pretend is a classy gin. Mix it with tonic and no one will know it's not the real deal. Except for you, when you can remember everything the next day, unlike your hungover partner. 

If you're normally a fan of a flavoured gin, then this non-alcoholic spirit might be for you. It's delicatedly fruity and floral, and it does feel like you're drinking a G&T (it's good with tonic as a mixer). And if anyone tastes a swig of you're drink, they might not even realise it's missing the booze. 

Leave everyone behind with their fancy cocktails and mocktails and alcohol-free beer - just brew yourself up a nice, traditional hot chocolate. You can't go wrong with this luxurious Hotel Chocolat version.

Not only do Bottlegreen drinks come in lovely bottles that you can keep, they taste delicious - the sparkling pressé is so good that you’ll forget it’s not real champagne.

Drinking Amplify is very much like drinking a gin - you can have it with tonic, or use it as part of a non-alcoholic cocktail. It's fragrant like gin, and 50ml only contains 27 calories. 
Here's a good non-alcoholic cocktail recipe you could try: 

50ml Amplify
50ml Pineapple Juice
10ml Grapefruit Juice
Fresh ginger
Pistachio nuts – crushed

Muddle the fresh ginger then add the Amplify, pineapple juice, and grapefruit juice. Shake and strain into a short glass, and garnish with pistachio dust.

If you're going booze-free - whether for pregnancy or breast-feeding or just because you're in charge of a child - then so should the beer-drinkers of the party. And there are loads of alcohol-free beers available these days - we've tested a range of these Real Ales and they're pretty good. Available online or from Real Ale shops.

Who says staying sober means you can't enjoy cocktail making? Well, mocktail making. This tipple box is a wonderful gift for a mum-to-be, as you can indulge your love of cocktails without the booze. 

Miss sipping on a glass of red with your dinner or by the fire? With this alcohol free Cabernet Sauvingnon, you can have the whole bottle to yourself! 

Celebrate with some (alcohol free) fizz! This Chardonnay is not only alcohol free, it's vegan and low in calories too making it the ideal party tipple while you're pregnant. 

It's not Christmas without some warming mulled wine. This non-alcoholic alternative from Belvoir has all the taste and smells of the traditional winter drink without the booze. 

9 tips to help you enjoy an alcohol-free Christmas

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1) Go for dinner instead of drinks

If before now you loved going out for drinks with the girls, it is easy enough to replace your fave past-time with a delicious dinner with friends instead. Your friends can still drink but you won't feel as left out. You'll be saving the calories that you'd normally be consuming with alcohol so you can afford to have a treat. Bonding over food or sharing plates is just as lovely and you won't have a hangover the next day (although it might be replaced with a food coma!).
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2) Be the designated driver

Being the designated driver means you will be less likely to give into temptation and people won't be able to badger you to have a drink if they don't know you're pregnant or sober. It is also a nice treat for your family and friends to have a personal chauffeur!
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3) Find an alcohol-free alternative

Gone are the days where you could only get a limited selection of alcohol-free drinks. No more orange juice, lemonade or coke. Now most bars have mocktails and there are great alcohol-free beers, wines and the first alcohol-free distilled spirit Seedlip entered the market a few years ago. These drinks will really make being sober interesting and spice up your options. 
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4) Treat yourself

Being sober at Christmas can be difficult so don't be hard on yourself if you are a bit sulky and not quite in the Christmas spirit. With all the money you'll be saving you can afford to treat yourself a little. Why not buy a new outfit, treat a friend to a spa day or indulge in an afternoon tea. It is important to reward your behaviour to make you feel good about your achievements - as long as you don't go too crazy.
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5) Relax

If you would prefer not to treat yourself by spending money and would rather save those extra pennies, there are plenty of other ways to treat yourself. Have a bath and pamper yourself with all your favourite products or sit down with a good book. If you're pregnant, these little moments of peace will be few and far between once your little one is born, so make the most of the downtime while you have it. This will also help replenish your energy and remove that feeling of stress which often surrounds the holidays.
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6) Get organising

Now that you aren't groggy with a hangover from the night before and you're turning down a few events that you know will be impossible to enjoy sober, you're bound to have more free time. You can do fun activities with family instead of lying on the sofa. Or use this as an opportunity to get organised for the festive season. Be productive and write those Christmas cards that you never normally get round to, organise shopping lists or do some extravagant wrapping.
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7) Exercise and get outside

Hangover-free means that you can get up before lunchtime and seize the day. Go for a crisp morning walk and enjoy the outdoors or stay in and practise some yoga. If you get up and get moving you're bound to feel better (and perhaps a little bit smug!).
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8) Make new traditions

If most of your Christmas traditions or events revolve around alcohol, this is a chance to make new ones. Visit Christmas markets, go on a mini-break to a different winter city, make Christmas cards with your friends or children, visit Winter Wonderland or pop on some ice skates (obviously not if you're heavily pregnant or uneasy on the ice). 
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9) Make staying in special

If every event revolves around alcohol, you can make the effort to organise events without it. Luckily, Christmas is a time of great TV drama and festive movies. Replace your boozy nights out with special nights in. Invite all your friends round, get some delicious snacks and snuggle down for the night. Good friends won't mind missing out on one night of drinking for some quality time. If not a night in with movies what about a dinner party or board games?

 

 
  • Author: Sophie Knight Sophie Knight
  • Job Title: Contributing Editor

Sophie is a journalist and mum of one, and previously edited motherandbaby.co.uk before moving on to write about family cars for Parkers.co.uk - now Sophie is Commercial Content Editor for M&B, Closer, Heat, Empire, Yours, Garden News, and WhatsTheBest.co.uk 

She is passionate about raising awareness around postnatal depression and is a Mental Health First Aider.

Sophie studied History at the University of Sheffield and has been in journalism for 16 years. 

Other contributors

Lorna White - Digital Writer

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