Pregnancy’s a generally accepted excuse for satisfying most any craving. Except, of course, the one that tends to hit the hardest on a hot summer day, the one that has you ready to do anything for an ice-cold cocktail—a refreshing margarita, perhaps?
Here to help expecting moms: Tony Muralles, bartender at the Taco Boy downtown, where the festive and family-friendly atmosphere leads to a high demand for virgin drinks. And among them, an alcohol-free take on their skinny house margarita, which uses agave nectar in place of sugar, tops the most-requested list.
“The margarita’s such a classic that you can drink a virgin version and still feel like you’re having a cocktail,” says Muralles. “In a good alcohol drink, you can hardly taste the liquor anyway, so you’re just looking to replicate the other flavors as much as possible.”
To achieve the tastiest “mocktail,” Muralles points to the importance of using fresh lime juice as well as a top-of-the-line orange juice. “We use Natalie’s brand, but Simply Orange is one that’s less expensive and easier to find,” he says. “Then add the agave nectar. It’s strong, so you only need a tiny bit—start small and add slowly until the drink’s sweet enough for you.”
To make the virgin version taste more like a cocktail, Muralles adds a splash of soda on top. “It’s a classic cocktail ingredient, because the carbonation actually helps the alcohol hit the bloodstream faster. Feeling that texture in your drink makes you feel like you’re sipping a real margarita,” he notes. Cheers to the new arrival!