What To Order When You Aren’t Drinking: 8 Great Alcohol-Free Options At Berrien County Bars and Restaurants

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.
Cranberry Mule Mocktail at the Lakehouse Restaurant and Bar in St. Joseph
  • 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.
Clover Collins at Plank’s Tavern
  • 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 Mariposa Mocktail at Brewster’s Italian Cafe in New Buffalo
  • 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.
Cherry-Lime Shrub at St. Joe Community Taproom
  • 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.
Farm Fizz at River Saint Joe
  • 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.
Craft Sodas at Local Pour in Sawyer
  • 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!”
Caffe Tosi, downtown St. Joseph

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