People who abstain from drinking or prefer non-alcoholic drinks have few options when they join friends at the neighborhood bar. They could hold a beer all night and never take one sip or they could sip their water or fruit juice politely.
Metro Detroit bars and taverns are changing that scene, adding an array of “mocktails” to their menus and proudly serving everyone who steps up to the rail, no matter what they want to order. Popular spots such as Detroit’s Lost River advertise their mocktails right on the menu and serve a wide audience looking for dry options.
“Our most popular mocktail is the Painkiller mocktail – a delicious combination or fresh squeezed pineapple juice, orange juice and coconut cream,” said Matt Mergener, co-owner of the Tiki bar on Mack Avenue.
Lost River offers its mocktails for a variety of reasons, including the fact that they’re delicious for any bar patron and allow the bartenders to show off their in-house skills with syrups and new non-alcoholic products.
“We realize that not everyone wants to drink, whether that is simply a choice, someone is a designated driver or even women that might be pregnant. With juices and syrups that we make or squeeze fresh in house every day, a tiki bar is perfectly set up already to make delicious mocktails and non-alcoholic drinks,” Mergener said.
“The second reason is that potential ingredients for mocktails have improved over the past couple of years. For example, there are now distilled non-alcoholic “spirits” like Seedlip that you can add to a mocktail, giving it a distinct flavor profile that you couldn’t find anywhere else,” he added.
Here are a few other Metro Detroit bars that go out of their way to offer mocktails, as recommended by Nick Britsky, the brains and taste buds behind Nick Drinks, a website and personal blog that highlights his explorations of all kinds of beverages from beer to wine to spirits.