By Erik Kennedy Special to OnMilwaukee Published Dec 04, 2019 at 5:26 PM

Do you have a go-to Milwaukeean, someone that you defer to when it comes to restaurant recommendations or bar tips? If not, I introduce you to Shary Tran. Her insight is invaluable – and not only because she recently recommended that I check out Ash at Iron Horse Hotel for its invigorating mocktails.

Shary’s recommendation of Ash truly enhanced my drink and food palate. Plus, Ash was the perfect spot to break bread and catch up with Matt Cordio and Tobias Kaemmerer, who helped with this week’s mocktail review. We were captivated by the ambiance of Ash, the wonderful service, tasty food and stimulating mocktails as we embraced the mentality of keep it hearty, eat with company and drink with spirit.        

"You can go anywhere to get a juice, but coming to Ash is a unique experience with a comforting environment," said Adam Loeffel, director of food and beverage at The Iron Horse Hotel. "Our mocktails were inspired and created just like our robust cocktails: with thought and intentionality."

Those carefully crafted and stimulating mocktails are another reason why Ash and the Iron Horse Hotel are wonderful destinations for our community – and plus Ash’s mocktails each sell for under $8.  

The Buck Lite was refreshingly citrus-y with complex crisp flavors. It’s one of Ash’s most popular mocktails, and the versatility of the drink is clearly a reason why. I think the inclusion of Demerara, a toffee-esque type of cane sugar, is the reason why it is sought after. This drink pairs well with Ash’s prawns. 

The Cocono was creamy and frosty with a satisfying texture. The balance of sweetness and herbaceousness helped set the mood for the drink.  This number is the perfect match for a gloomy day because it will immediately revive one’s mood. Plus it pairs well with the Ash’s pork collar. 

The Raspberry 75 tastes like a sunrise, waking up your mouth with bold flavors. It's already one of Ash’s most popular mocktails, and it has the power to transform you to a warm sunny day in Milwaukee – no matter the actual forecast outside – due to the combination of fresh and vibrant flavors. It pairs well with Ash’s cucumber salad.

The Rosemary Blueberry Bash was gently deceptive. The zest flavors brought a simple but welcome touch of smokiness to the drink, while the scent of rosemary helped it not overpower the palate. Plus the hint of honey was a wonderful bonus to the flavor mix. It pairs well with the Ash’s Bavette. 

  • Buck Lite: Pressed ginger, lime, Demerara and club soda 

  • Cocono: Coconut, orange and mint

  • Raspberry 75: Sparkling apple cider, lemon and raspberry shrub

  • Rosemary Blueberry Bash: Blueberries, honey, lemon and rosemary

So fire up your taste buds at Ash at Iron Horse Hotel because, no matter if you order food or drink, you won’t ever want to leave.