The Only Thing That Got Me Through the Holidays When I Was Pregnant

updated May 24, 2019
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(Image credit: MaaHoo Studio/Stocksy)

Being pregnant during the holiday season definitely had its ups and downs. It was really nice to have an excuse to hunker down when the weather was cold. On the other hand, it also meant not being able to enjoy some of my favorite foods and drinks at all the various parties and gatherings.

I desperately wanted a glass of wine or a cocktail in my hand, but was usually resigned to some sparkling water if I didn’t want something sugary or fruity. Luckily, I did find a saving grace — and it came in tiny little bottles.

(Image credit: Christine Gallary)

While I was pregnant, I really missed drinking gin and tonics and negronis. I love these drinks because there is a signature bitterness from tonic water or Campari (something sorely lacking in most mocktails, which are usually just sweet and fruity). Knowing this, a friend and favorite bartender of mine took sympathy on me and created some really delicious non-alcoholic drinks that hit the perfect balance of sweet, bitter, and refreshing. One of the ingredients he introduced me to is an Italian drink sold in little bottles called Sanbittèr.

What Is Sanbittèr?

Made by San Pellegrino, it’s a soft drink that’s bright red and tastes remarkably like Campari without the alcohol, and it’s bitter and floral at the same time. I was reminded of its popularity when I was in Milan, Italy, recently and every bar seemed to have a spritz and aperitif happy hour, not to mention that every grocery store was well-stocked with Sanbittèr in both regular and diet (clear) form.

How to Drink Sanbittèr

Sanbittèr was my saving grace during the holiday season when I was eight months pregnant. I drank it over ice with a strip of orange peel, or sometimes added a splash of sparkling water if I wanted some bubbles. The bitter notes were all there, and the festive red color made it feel like I was actually drinking a cocktail with everyone else.

It’s worth seeking out and stocking up on for the holidays for yourself, pregnant guests, or as a non-alcoholic offering. Sanbittèr can be found on Amazon, but I’ve also had luck at Italian delis and grocers, so keep an eye out for those adorable little bottles full of bright-red deliciousness!