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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Thursday, Nov. 27, 2014

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Non-alcoholic choices are often limited at bars and restaurants.
Non-alcoholic choices are often limited at bars and restaurants.

Limited non-alcoholic choices

I've been conducting an experiment to see what my options would be at Milwaukee bars and restaurants if I decided not to consume alcohol.

Funny, in a state where we are so focused on designated driving, there don't seem to be a whole heck of a lot of options.

Sure, soda is aplenty. You can get a soda, lemonade, usually coffee, tea or any juice that typically plays a role in a mixed drink (grapefruit juice, cranberry juice, OJ -- you get to picture).

Many places seem to be pretty good about having some sort of non-alcoholic beer; be it an O'Douls, Clausthaler or Kaliber to get you through the evening without feeling like you have to sip a Shirley Temple. Although usually you'll only get one option, and you may have to blow the dust from the bottle before drinking it.

It's much easier at Mexican restaurants or brunch places as it's pretty simple to make a virgin margarita or Bloody Mary.

Recently, I lucked out at a tiny new bistro where I was able to get a glass of really lovely non-alcoholic sparkling cider, but that was my only success after more than three dozen attempt to get a glass of non-alcoholic wine at local bars and restaurants.

I would have even been happy with a glass of Fre, the just-palatable version we carried when I tended bar a decade ago, but nope; nothing, though one kind host at a Third Ward venue suggested I run to the wine shop across the street and bring a bottle of NA wine back, which they'd allow me to drink for a $15 corkage fee.

Since corkage fees are illegal in Wisconsin and $15 seemed a hefty price to pay for a buzz kill, I wasn't all that disappointed that the store didn't have any non-alcoholic product, either. Instead, I settled for some juice concoction the bartender served in a martini glass.

This is likely the result of lack of demand for NA products, but nonetheless disappointing.

If someone's going to be the DD, they should at least have a fun array of product to keep them occupied while their friends drink up.

Talkbacks

sandstorm | July 22, 2010 at 1:32 p.m. (report)

sorry broner, people cry into their beer not the other way around.

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Broner | July 22, 2010 at 8:31 a.m. (report)

You think there isn't alcohol in a lot of smoker's tears? Are you from around here?

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sandstorm | July 21, 2010 at 5:28 a.m. (report)

i'm just saying broner, the tears are alcohol free and in large supply.
and at least i didn't go for the cheap joke and suggest an alcoholic can just drink a smoker's whine.

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Broner | July 20, 2010 at 4:53 p.m. (report)

Sandstorm, the tears of smokers must contain nicotine and other toxins. To advocate someone drinking a smoker's tears is just irresponsible.

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anewday48@yahoo.com | July 20, 2010 at 12:16 p.m. (report)

See if this shows up this time. Maybe all you people hanging in the bars and the ones practicing thier vice, (drinking), can have a little sympathy for those of us that don't like the bar atmosphere anymore, but use to go out to dinner and relax. Now we can't if we're smokers because we have to go outside in Milwaukee's CLEAN AIR to indulge in our Vise. Totally ruining the relaxing experience of going out to eat. Pretty soon you'll start lobbying that bar owners keep a certain ratio of non-alcaholic drinks in thier bars instead of going where they do.

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