The Best of the Booze-Less
No More Boring Soda Water and Lime Wedges
Today’s bartenders are catering to teetotalers with concoctions that are just as complex and delicious as the real deal. “You want the drink to be refreshing,” says Joshua Wolter, beverage director and general manager at C. 1880. “Also, a nonalcoholic drink should never take away from the experience of enjoying a cocktail.”
Ask Wolter for a nonalcoholic option at C. 1880 and he’ll deliver a drink that isn’t dulled down. During late summer months, he reaches for cucumber or ripe melon, fresh herbs and a bottle of Fever-Tree ginger beer. Shaken, strained and served in a coupe, no one will know the concoction is sans spirits.
Belly up to the bar at Goodkind and enjoy the invigorating flavors of a craft soda laced with fresh ginger, Szechuan peppercorns and lime juice. The housemade ginger beer, served over ice with a lime, arrives at the table in its own individual bottle.
Tiki drinks are notoriously heavy on the alcohol, but if you ask for a booze-less option at Foundation Bar, they’ll happily oblige— umbrella and all. Try the lightly carbonated “Lei Cooler” with fresh pomegranate, lime and grapefruit juices, finished with a splash of fragrant and floral rosewater.
The Hamilton’s menu can swing both ways when it comes to containing alcohol. The “Snap Into It” combines muddled sugar snap peas, lemon juice and ginger along with Top Note Tonics’ bitter lemon and a splash of soda water.
The bartenders at Balzac accommodate nonalcoholic requests by making a few modifications to the classic Collins. Starting with a housemade lavender simple syrup, the cocktail is crafted with fresh lemon juice and basil, and topped with soda water.
Wherever you go to whet your whistle, Milwaukee restaurants have options for drinkers and non-drinkers alike.
Balzac Wine Bar
1716 N. Arlington Pl.
110 S. 1st St.
2718 N. Bremen St.
823 E. Hamilton St.