Welcoming Mocktails In Marietta

Welcoming Mocktails In Marietta

Written by Kim Ellet

January doesn’t have to be the only month dedicated to alcohol-free drinking. With the rise of healthier living, or a variety of other reasons, more people are cutting back or cutting out drinking altogether. After reading a blog highlighting mocktails in some Atlanta establishments, I set out to find the best mocktail in Marietta. The research was fun and impressively enlightening!

The most important consideration in choosing a venue was whether a printed mocktail menu was offered. Does the establishment value the non-drinking customer’s preferences, or are they an afterthought? Bonus points if the mocktails are given creative names, making the ordering process more enjoyable. Several places without a menu responded with the bartender saying, “I can mix something up for you.” Definitely not as welcoming! One friend confided she doesn’t like to ask about non-alcoholic choices in front of her partying friends, who tend to chide her into ordering “just one more”. She loves it when she can order right from a printed mocktail menu and call out the drink by name.

Marietta is known for the arts, dining, and history, but we can also find some very creative craft mocktails in our midst. Here are some highlights of my Marietta mocktail mission:

On The Square

Piastra- 45 West Park Square

Piastra hands down had the most wide-range and extensive selection. This family-owned Italian restaurant on the Marietta Square offers over two pages of selections on their printed menus. Choices include non-alcoholic spirits and juice, carbonated waters and ginger beer mocktails. Chef & sommelier-trained co-owner Greg Lipman explained some diners prefer the taste of standard cocktails without the effects of alcohol, so zero-proof spirits are used. I recalled younger days when my sweet-tooth was more pronounced and tried the Amaretto Sour (with non-alcoholic amaretto) whipped up by expert bartender, Jessie. It was delicious and tasted just like I remembered–or maybe even a little better! Chef Lipman shared that others prefer no reminders to the taste of alcohol, so creative concoctions with juices, ginger beers, or sparkling and flavored waters are preferred. Piastra offers something for everyone!

The Third Door- 131 Church Street

This trendy speak-easy on the Square is a hotspot for the drinking crowd. The vibe here is really cool with live music most nights, and the mixologists definitely know their craft!  Even better, they make the non-drinker feel very welcome. Besides the tasty offerings, my favorite feature at The Third Door is the printed zero-proof menu with catchy beverage names that are fun to order. The staff was very knowledgeable, friendly, and able to make recommendations. I went with the Bearcat, which included zero-proof spirits, aloe, lime, cucumber, ginger beer, and came with a garnish of cucumber slices. Refreshing!

Silla Del Torro- 30 South Park Square

Silla Del Torro, another favorite on the Square known for their tapas, wine, and upscale liveliness, also includes a seasonal mocktail on their menu. This season it is the Cranberry Ginger Fizz, which was delicious–not too heavy on the ginger beer, not too sweet with juices. It was garnished with a cranberry and was a pleasant balance with our small plates. An added bonus it is listed on the cocktail menu with the description of ingredients so it doesn’t call attention to the non-drinker–just order by drink name!

Mac’s Chophouse- 19 North Park Square

Mac’s Chophouse’s printed zero-proof menu for this modern revival of the classic American steakhouse is called Mac-tails and offers three inventive mocktails: Marilyn Monroe, Betty Blue, and Billie’s Holiday along with additional non-alcoholic choices. Guests at the sister restaurant next door, Mac’s Raw Bar & Market, can order off the Chophouse Mac-tails menu by request. Be sure to check out the descriptions for these unique blends.

Taqueria Tsunami- 70 South Park Square

This Marietta Square crowd-pleaser has a tasty cocktail menu including a zero-proof section. The bartender’s favorite is the Strawberry Wave, which she mentioned is especially popular in the warmer weather at Taqueria Tsunami. I have also tried the Mango Fizz. The delicious fruit purees really make these two mocktails.

Marietta Proper- 9 West Park Square

The newest addition to Marietta Square, Marietta Proper wine bar and cafe promises a printed mocktail menu by month’s end. Co-owner, chef and sommelier Jordan Traylor enthusiastically shared her vision for well-curated zero-proof offerings and currently offers two dealcoholized wines that have already been a hit. She explained the difference between non-alcoholic wines that are “kind of like grape juice and do not taste good” and dealcoholized wines that are really good bottles of wine with the alcohol removed.

Stockyard Burgers & Bones- 26 Mill Street

Stockyard is another favorite on the Marietta Square. They offer a mocktails section on their signature drinks menu with names like It’s Limey Blimey and What’s up Cran along with a zero-proof beer. Though their staff said they don’t get as many requests for mocktails, it’s nice to see some options for those preferences.

Red Hare The Still On The Square- 29 West Park Square

This local brewery and Cuban restaurant combo distills its own full-proof spirits and they offer a Virgin Mojito and Strawberry Mule for those who prefer non-alcoholic infusions. Red Hare also makes their own signature root beer that is delightful!

Off the Square

Seed Kitchen & Bar- 1311 Johnson Ferry Road, #504

Venturing Off the Square to East Cobb, I found a zero-proof menu and a friendly bartender at Seed.  Their offerings are a mix of juices, flavored syrups, and waters. I tried Kristin’s Fall Cream Soda, which is a blend of Spiced Cherry Shrub and soda prepared by namesake Kristin herself!

Marlow’s Tavern- 960 Shallowford Road

This neighborhood favorite offers a spirit-free and zero-proof section of their menu with several delightful selections. I opted for the Black and Blue Mojito, which came with a blackberry and fresh mint garnish. Honestly, it’s all about the garnish for me–to add that special flare is on par with regular cocktails. The drink was smooth and tasty. Next time I’m at Marlow’s Tavern I will try the Apricot Mule or the Guilt-Free Paloma.

Honorable Mention

Hamp & Harry’s- 168 Roswell Street NE

Currently not offering a printed mocktail menu, Hamp & Harry’s deserves an honorable mention. This recently expanded restaurant and bar on the Square has previously published a list and promised an updated one on the way. Bartender Savannah created a most delicious Mango Mint Mojito mocktail with an impressively large mint sprig garnish that hopefully will be added to the new print menu (and maybe with a more dazzling name!) Another perk of printed recipes: allowing the guest to order a favorite drink on a return trip and perhaps more importantly, making sure any bartender on duty can replicate it!

Forno Vero- 68 North Marietta Parkway NW, Suite 114

Forno Vero bartender, Taylor said she makes an original concoction when guests request a mocktail with wine-braised pear, ginger beer, and pineapple juice garnished with dehydrated lime. I suggested she create a name for it and get it printed on a menu or at least on a drink special sheet! I didn’t sample it this time, but will definitely go back and request it. Sounds delicious!

DIY Mocktails

The Local Exchange- 130 South Park Square NE

A Marietta gem, The Local Exchange gourmet grocery and shop celebrates a notable variety of local gifts, housewares, and locally sourced food and beverage items as well. Their selection of flavored syrups, shrubs (specialty mocktail/ cocktail ingredients) is especially impressive! If you want to experiment at home, be sure to check them out!

Visitors and residents alike seeking creative, delicious, and healthier beverage options will be pleasantly surprised by the extensive choices in and around Marietta. Be sure to check them out in person, as I found inconsistencies with website menus. Maybe you and your date want to try something new for Valentine’s Day. You might find you have more energy to spend with your sweetie after a couple of mocktails! Let us know which ones you try out and share the ones you recommend!