If you’re observing Dry January, doing a Whole 30, or just not drinking right now for whatever reason, you might be perplexed about what to order if you go out to eat – or just want to catch up with some friends at the bar. But if you think your only option is a boring club soda or something syrupy sweet, check out this roundup of alcohol-free options brought to you by Berrien County restaurants, bars, and tap rooms:
Try a Mocktail
Forget the virgin daquiris or Shirley Temples. These days, Berrien County mixologists know that discerning non-drinkers want something a lot more sophisticated than what you’d serve a six-year-old. Try one of these options:
- Ask for the Cranberry Mule at the Lakehouse Restaurant and Bar. Cranberry and ginger beer are warming and wintry, and served in a copper mug, you’d never know it’s missing the vodka.
- The Clover Collins at Plank’s Tavern at the Inn at Harbor Shores is made with Seedlip Garden 108, an herb-forward alcohol-free spirit, wildberry syrup, tonic water and lemon juice. Bright, citrusy, and refreshing.
- The Mariposa at Brewster’s Italian Cafe in New Buffalo is a refreshing and not-too-sweet mix of pear nectar and ginger. Served in a coupe glass, you’ll feel just as fancy as your surroundings.
- The Son of Shiva adds zero-proof intrigue to the cocktail menu at Houndstooth Restaurant in Benton Harbor’s Arts District. A shaken-and-stirred blend of Seedlip spice 94, mango, fenugreek, macadamia, & black lime, it’s tropical and daring.
Grown-Up Sodas and Seltzers
If the word “soda” makes you think of syrupy-sweet and mass-produced, think again. Restaurants and taprooms across Southwest Michigan offer an interesting and decidedly grownup selection of seltzers, tonics, and other bubbly bevvies:
- Try a CBD seltzer or shrub at St. Joe Community Tap inside The Market, downtown St. Joseph. The Marz Cherry-Lime Shrub is my fave: with a bit of a vinegary kick and just the right amount of sweetness, it’s downright addictive.
- Ask for a Farm Fizz at River Saint Joe in Buchanan. These house-made sodas are anything but kid stuff, and come in a range of flavors including cream soda, orange cream soda, blueberry, ginger pepper, and fall apple.
- Try one of the variety of sodas and non-alcoholic options at Local Pour in Sawyer, including Bea’s Squeeze craft lemonades and Brix pure cane sugar sodas, made in Grand Rapids.
- And of course, you can’t go wrong with an Italian Soda from our Fun & Festive Content Partner, Caffe Tosi in downtown St. Joseph! “We have over 30 flavors to choose from, and we use top-of-the-line syrups that are kosher and contain only natural flavors, no preservatives, and pure cane sugar,” says owner Anne Reitz. You can ask for the soda with or without cream – called “cremosa” – and while the most popular flavors are strawberry, mango, caramel, vanilla and raspberry, Reitz recommends mixing it up and getting adventurous. “The pineapple coconut cremosa will definitely put you in a tropical mood!”