Given up drinking for Lent? Wet your whistle with these Milwaukee mocktails
"Bar Month" at OnMilwaukee is brought to you by Miller Brewing Company, calling Milwaukee home since 1855. For the entire month of March, we're serving up fun articles on bars, clubs and beverages – including guides, the latest trends, bar reviews, the results of our Best of Bars poll and more. Grab a designated driver and dive in!
Today marks the first day of Lent, which means millions of people are giving up something (or at least trying to give up something) for 40 days and 40 nights. And according to Christianity Today, a large portion of you are axing alcohol from your lives. But this is just day one, and by the time you reach day 14, day 40 or, more realistically, day four, you'll likely be tired of drinking cranberry juice and seltzer, or La Croix.
No fear – there's plenty of ways to hit the bars without having to hit up booze, to enjoy a creative concoction without ordering a cocktail. In fact, it's easy, thanks to OnMilwaukee contributor Erik Kennedy's continuing quest for mocktails across Milwaukee. Here are some examples you can discover throughout the city – and where you can find them. (Note: Some restaurants change out their mocktails seasonally, so be sure to ask the bartender or check the website's cocktail menu.)
818 S. Water St.
"The Cardinal Punch, Arnold Booner, Backseat Bingo and Bout-it Bout it are four featured mocktails, and each one exceeds expectations without exceeding your bank account, selling for just $5. These mocktails, perfect all year round for any occasion that takes you to the Harbor District, will take you on a journey of culinary exploration and help you discover your own drink palate."
Arnold Booner: Lemonade, sport tea, and Nuf Said with a garnish of lime slice
Backseat Bingo: Lime juice, grapefruit juice, simple syrup, seltzer with a garnish of rosemary and a pinch of salt
Bout-it Bout it: Pineapple and orange juice, topped with Top Note Ginger Beer with a garnish of an amarena cherry and orange slice
Cardinal Punch: Mixed blackberries, handful of mint leaves, muddled, raw sugar syrup, lemon juice, and cranberry juice, with a garnish of a blackberry and mint.
4044 N. Oakland Ave., Shorewood, (414) 962-5182
6600 W. North Ave., Wauwatosa, (414) 763-3793
525 E. Menomonee St., (414) 930-9282
"The Moscow Mocktail and Old Fashioned Mocktail are not necessarily on the drink menu. However, each Camp Bar location and its bartenders are more than happy to make them – and each one has their own variation on how they make them, which is pretty cool because there is no refined way to make one. No matter what the season is in Milwaukee, these two mocktails are perfect for any occasion – and they sell for just $3 each."
Moscow Mule Mocktail: Lime juice, ginger beer, club soda (you can ask for tonic water), simple syrup (1 part water, 1 part sugar), and a lime (for garnishing)
Old Fashioned Mocktail: Muddled sugar cube, cherry and orange wedge, club soda or tonic water, cherry or cranberry or orange juice, lemon juice, and maraschino cherries & orange peel (for garnishing).
718 N. Milwaukee St.
"The SURG Restaurant Group staple continues to be one of Milwaukee's premier steakhouses and has been regarded as one of Wisconsin's most acclaimed dining destinations. But did you know that besides its impressive wine, beer and cocktail list, Carnevor makes personalized mocktails for its patrons that further the feeling that each customer is special?"
The Clean Living: Composed of grapefruit, pineapple, orange, cranberry and a kiss of bubbles (aka Sprite) along with biodegradable straws and garnish picks.
Honey Basil Lemonade: Composed of fresh squeezed lemon juice, honey, basil and soda water along with biodegradable straws and garnish picks.
613 S. 2nd St., #609
"Those who, like me, choose not to drink might feel uncomfortable or quickly decline an invitation to grab a drink and hang out at Central Standard, thinking the distillery only serves spirits, cocktails and some selected drafts while the non-alcoholic options would be limited to water, seltzer and maybe a soft drink. But I'm happy to announce that Central Standard literally raises the standard by making sure everyone feels included."
Summertime Spritzer: Lemon, Blueberry Central Standard Simple Syrup, splash of house sour mix and Two Brothers tonic water along lemon rind garnish in a seasonal glass.
Rosemary Smash: Lime, grapefruit juice, rosemary Central Standard simple syrup and Two Brothers tonic water served in a rox glass.
Where's the Whiskey: Basil Central Standard simple syrup, house sour mix, and ginger beer float along with a lime and orange rind garnish served in a rox glass.
600 S. 6th St.
"The story of how StandEatDrink came together began – fittingly – at a bar in Spain, when friends reunited over cañas and tapas. Now, they look forward to providing the same type of culture in Milwaukee through Hotel Madrid and Movida. Through the ambiance, soulful music and attentive service, you too will become inspired to learn more about the culture of Spain – especially when you cool down with a refreshing mocktail."
Sin and Tonic: Lime juice, grapefruit juice and Top Note Indian Tonic along with a basil leave, slice of lime and a star anise.
Strawberry Lemonade: Strawberry juice, kiwi juice, lemon, water and a dash of love along with a strawberry and orange peel garnish.
2423 N. Murray Ave.
"The Jazz Estate mocktails are staples not only on the East Side but throughout the community. How does The Jazz Estate differ from other refreshing mocktails throughout Greater Milwaukee, one might ask? Answer: Rishi tea and homebrew coffee, which were game changers for me, adding an impressive depth to the drinks. Each of these crafted mocktails sell for just $7."
Easy Walker: Rishi raspberry green tea, lime and ginger beer garnished with a hydrated lime
Paradise Montana: Rishi peach blossom tea, orange, lime and ginger beer garnished with a hydrated lime
Talk to the Shadows: Hawthorne cold brew coffee, housemade horchata and nutmeg
2535 S. Kinnickinnic Ave.
"Kindred features four refreshing mocktails: Awilda, Rosie, Tamara and Violet, each selling for just $7. This fall's mocktails come named after the staff's mothers or grandmothers, a heartwarming embodiment of inclusion and creating a culture of family. Each mocktail includes fresh ingredients and fruits while being inspired by classic flavors."
Awilda: Apple cider, pear nectar, fresh lemon, cardamom cinnamon spice infused maple – garnished with cinnamon stick and cinnamon sugar roasted apple slice
Rosie: Blood orange, grapefruit, vanilla rosemary honey, seltzer – garnished with fresh rosemary
Violet: Plum nectar, hibiscus flower, demerara syrup, fresh lemon, tonic – garnished with star anise and pickled plum
Tamara: Turmeric, honey, coconut lemon, cayenne, ginger
2151 S. Kinnickinnic Ave.
"Lost Whale has quickly become a part of the Bay View neighborhood, in large part because of its commitment to being a green bar, highlighting the importance of sustainability, along with a commitment to being collaborative with the community – like Stone Creek Coffee – as it repurposes everything, namely with its drinks."
If You Like Pina Coladas: Pineapple, crème de coconut, lime, grapefruit, clove, filthy black cherry
N/A Drop It Like It's Hot: Almond milk, Stone Creek and Lost Whale collaborative brownie scrap syrup, Stone Creek coffee, vanilla, homemade spiced whipped cream
Winter Tonic: Red chili pepper, lime, cacao, Cubeb Berry, Top Note classic tonic, cinnamon
240 E. Pittsburgh Ave.
"Did you know that Merriment Social has three refreshing signature mocktails on its menu? And that they were one of the first Greater Milwaukee establishments that created a dedicated mocktail list?
"The Amazebasil, How the West Was Won and You Deserve It are three mocktails that may look the same at first glance, but trust me, each one – selling for just $5 – has a dignified taste that pairs great with your meal or just a social outing."
Amazebasil: Housemade Blackberry syrup, muddled basil and lemon juice
How the West Was Won: Housemade pomegranate grenadine, fresh lime juice, chipotle chile and Tajín (Mexican chile lime salt)
You Deserve It: Housemade strawberry and blueberry syrup, lemon juice, and mint
5623 6th Ave., Kenosha
"Grease & Honey Restaurants has become a staple in the Kenosha community thanks to the belief that the "best things in life are just a bit better after a hard days work and as they strive to not only provide the reward, but also to earn it." They are committed to creating an unique culinary and cocktail/mocktail experience for everyone, which is why Sazzy B is such a Kenosha destination."
Due Date: Lavender simple syrup, lemonade, mint leaves
Migration Pattern: Mango puree, cranberry juice, pineapple juice, house sour
Powder Day: Almond milk, vanilla bean tea, honey simple syrup, lemon juice
Weatherman's Promise: Cinnamon plum simple syrup, chai tea simple syrup, rosemary
124 N. Water St.
"Tied House's seasonal mocktails are influenced by Mexican culture. For the Webers, Mexico is almost like a second home, and the epitome of hospitality as it creates memories of comfort, relaxation and much more, which comes through in the refreshing and comforting mocktails – each selling for just $6."
Feisty Pepino: Fresh cucumber puree, lime juice, simple syrup, Indian tonic water and Mexican spice citrus salt, garnished with a cucumber ribbon
Shrub-It-Off: apple beet shrub, orange juice, soda water and egg white foam, garnished with a lemon peel
231 S. 2nd St.
"I was recently informed that Toast in Walker's Point created a handful of "far out" mocktails. Far out, indeed. If you have not been to Toast, you are in for a groovy treat because it truly embraces a '60s vibe, creating a peaceful, loving and happy experience – especially when it comes to mocktail creations."
Good Vibrations: Orange juice, pineapple juice, coconut syrup, grenadine and garnished with a lime wheel
Kesey's Test: Lemonade, black raspberry syrup, muddled lime, seltzer and garnished with a lime wheel
Lucy in the Sky: Strawberry mango & peach puree, kiwi & banana syrup, lime juice, cream, muddled raspberries and blackberries, unicorn sprinkle dust and garnished with a lemon wheel
Purple Haze: Cranberry juice, almond milk, almond syrup, lemon juice, muddled blackberries, gold sugar and garnished with blackberries
1818 N. Hubbard St.
"What restaurant has your favorite view of Milwaukee? For me, View MKE in Brewers Hill has one of the most breathtaking views of our city. But besides the views, the ambiance and the welcoming neighborhood environment instantly helps create a memorable experience at View MKE, which prides itself on creating a welcoming environment that will bring people together to enjoy the neighborhood."
A Peachy Mule: Peach puree, lime juice and ginger beer, garnished with citrus slices
Pineapple Mojito: Muddles mint leaves, pineapple juice, lime juice, press, and garnished with fresh mint and lime
Sparkling Lavender Lemonade: Lavender-infused in-house simple syrup, lemon juice and seltzer, garnished with lemon wheel
Post a comment / write a review.
Disclaimer: Please note that Facebook comments are posted through Facebook and cannot be approved, edited or declined by OnMilwaukee.com. The opinions expressed in Facebook comments do not necessarily reflect those of OnMilwaukee.com or its staff.