Alcohol, Christmas and Pregnancy

Pregnancy at Christmas

This guest blog is appreciatively written by Health Garlick, owner of SipSin, a low and no alcohol bar in Liverpool.

Pregnancy at Christmas

We all know that there’s a whole host of things we need to give up when we’re pregnant. How high alcohol scores in the list of what we miss most is a matter of personal preference. But there’s no mistaking that lots of us use it as a treat after a difficult day or week and there are certainly enough of those while we’re growing a baby. For that reason it’s important to find options which can give us a similar feeling of reward and relaxation.

I found out I was pregnant on the same day in October that I learned I’d won a lease to open an alcohol free cocktail bar and bottle shop in Liverpool City Centre.

This has obviously had its drawbacks but one thing I have found is that being surrounded by fantastic alcohol free options has meant that I don’t miss booze at all. I’ve realised that, for me, much of what I enjoyed was the ritual and process of taking out a cork and picking a pretty glass, accompanied with the symbolism of that drink meaning the end of work mode. Now that I realise I can replace all of those elements with alternatives, I’m not bothered about alcohol at all.

Overcoming the ritual

When it comes to Christmas, those feelings of reward and ritual are heightened. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t equally replaceable. And with all the other festive gubbins that we associate with the period, with a tiny bit of thought, I’m pretty confident that you also can find ways of avoiding craving a glass of champagne or mug of mulled wine.

Here are my top tips around approaching your drinking this Christmas.

If you’re newly pregnant and keen not to show that you’re not drinking.

  • Offer to make the drinks. My nausea was weirdly brought on by the smell of alcohol but if you can mix without sniffing, you can be the only one to know that your gin and tonic doesn’t actually contain gin.
  • Have a partner or friend close at hand to swap drinks with. If you can surreptitiously swap in between their mouthfuls you can get away with many festive events. Your partner in crime needs to be willing to drink for two though.
  • Simply say you’re sober curious. It’s so widespread these days that likely no one will blink an eyelid.

If you’re missing drinking alcohol:

  • Make sure you have something really special and tasty on hand to drink while those around you are boozing. It can be easy to resent the money you spend on alcohol free products but it’s worth reminding yourself that all you’re actually getting extra with booze is a bit of ethanol; basically a cleaning product.
  • Use really nice glassware and add ice and a garnish to your glass. We drink with our eyes as much as we eat with them.
  • Look out for options that replace the flavours you enjoy. Kombuchas have a tart tannin filled taste which can make them a good wine replacement. Mixing coconut water with juice can recreate some of those tropical rum notes.
  • Don’t shy away from science. The rise in going alcohol free has resulted in massive strides forward in alcohol replacement products. Whether you’re hankering for an IPA or after a tequila, don’t be put off by your memory of alcohol free drinks from a few years ago. Times have seriously changed.
  • Don’t confine yourself to the supermarket. Though most stock a broad range of alcohol free products these days they’re likely to be guided by bigger brands and good mark ups. The best alcohol free products tend to be small batch so pop by our bottle shop or hit up an online store like Wise Bartender.

Heather opened SipSin at the start of November 2023. It is a low and no bar and bottle shop, located on Gradwell Street, L14JH. Find out more at @SipSinLiverpool

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