First, there are several varieties of sparkling juices available these days that are wonderful and, best of all, very affordable. Of course, we're familiar with sparkling apple cider and sparkling grape juice. Did you know you can also find sparkling pear and sparkling blueberry juices, too? The pear is really dreamy and the blueberry is my particular favorite. Think of all the wonderful antioxidants you'll be getting with that blueberry juice, too! Many of these can be found right in your local supermarket and generally for less than $5/bottle. That's a super deal for something that tastes so delicious!
Second, you can make your own beverages. It's as easy as mixing your favorite juice with a clear carbonated soda (7-Up or Sprite work well) or with soda water. I suggest using a frozen juice concentrate for this and just replacing the water you would normally mix with it with your carbonated beverage of choice. If you use juice that is already made up, mixing it with soda water or soda can tend to water down the juice and you'll lose the real flavor of the juice.
Third, if you're out at a restaurant and want a cocktail but don't want to order yet another virgin daquiri, tell your server/bartender what flavors you normally like and ask to have something non-alcoholic specially made for you. I got a great drink this way while I was pregnant with my second child. It was a combination of grapefruit juice, cranberry juice and soda water. It was delightful and I don't even like grapefruit juice! The key here is finding a bartender that really is experienced and creative.
And, don't forget good old gingerale. This is an often overlooked soda that is a real treat. We think of it mainly as something to calm an upset stomach but it really is a remarkably yummy soda.
Finally, and we think most importantly, don't let your inability to imbibe keep you from getting out there and celebrating with friends and family. There are lots of options and don't be afraid to bring your own beverage. We're sure no one will give it a second thought if you show up with a bottle of your favorite sparkling cider to enjoy. Whatever you choose this holiday season, though, we hope that your celebrations are full of joy.