By Erik Kennedy Special to OnMilwaukee Published Jul 12, 2018 at 6:01 PM

My name is Erik Kennedy, and I am proud to say that I have been sober for more than three years. It continues to be one of the best life decisions for me.

We all know that Wisconsin has been has been labeled as one of the heaviest-drinking states in the country, so over the last three years and counting, it has been a goal of mine to find bars and restaurants that cater to my lifestyle change. I love being social, active and engaged throughout the community because one of my passions is to help change the narrative of Milwaukee through diversity, inclusion, accessibility and so much more.

Within the last three years, I have noticed that the stigma of being sober at a bar and restaurant, especially in Milwaukee, is beginning to fade away. People are wanting a non-alcoholic drink not just because one is a teetotaler like me, pregnant or the designated driver, but because they are wanting to drink less or be healthier. I love that there is a growing demand for them, especially in the local community.

In my opinion, an awesome mocktail is just like a great cocktail: It should have a proper blend of ingredients to keep from being too sweet, and it should be refreshing for an afternoon/night out, at an event, party, wedding or for a delicious meal. 

But a good mocktail is also not just a seltzer, tonic water, cranberry juice, orange juice, pop, etc. It is a beverage made with craft, thought and passion. Not every Greater Milwaukee bar and restaurant has to cater to non-drinkers, but I am honored to highlight some amazing mocktails that encompass those three components.

Two of the first mocktails that I tried came at Camp Bar back in 2015. Camp Bar continues to be one of my favorite hangouts because the ambiance is awesome, but most importantly, the staff is genuine. Each time you walk in, they want to provide a memorable experience. So, as I began my sober journey, I shared with the bartenders at Camp about what I used to drink and enjoyed – and they came up with two amazing mocktails that blended with two of their signature cocktails.

If you are at Camp Bar, I highly recommend the Moscow Mocktail and Old Fashioned Mocktail because you will not be disappointed. They are known for their Old Fashioneds and Moscow Mules, so I think it was pretty easy for them to create.  

  • Moscow Mule Mocktail: Lime juice, ginger beer, club soda (you can ask for tonic water),  simple syrup (1 part water, 1 part sugar), and a lime (for garnishing) 
  • Old Fashioned Mocktail: Muddled sugar cube, cherry and orange wedge, club soda or tonic water, cherry or cranberry or orange juice, lemon juice, and maraschino cherries & orange peel (for garnishing).

The Moscow Mocktail and Old Fashioned Mocktail are not necessarily on the drink menu. However, each Camp Bar location and its bartenders are more than happy to make them – and each one has their own variation on how they make them, which is pretty cool because there is no refined way to make one. No matter what the season is in Milwaukee, these two mocktails are perfect for any occasion – and they sell for just $3 each.

The next time you go to Camp, order one of these non-alcoholic delights. They are refreshing – and the perfect drink for an outing with loved ones or to cheer on the Bucks, Brewers, Badgers, Packers or Marquette. Or really anything.