Happy hour is the best hour. If you’re looking for a social setting and sweet sips without the hangover, these spots for mocktails in Iowa are the solution.
The Green House
For a multi-sensory mocktail experience, enter the whimsical world of The Green House, an oasis of greenery with an ever-expanding museum of plants and spirit-free sips. Upon entering, guests will be greeted by two outdoor patios, an edible garden, an Area 51-inspired gathering space with an astro-turfed floor, and even an Instagrammable preserved moss wall with vibrant orchids. At the bar, brilliant bar-tanists rely on local tinctures, herbs and bitters to concoct specialty cocktails with a botanical twist. All of the stunning sips are aesthetically pleasing and just as pleasurable on the palate. The mocktail menu includes delicious drinks like Wild Culture kombucha with watermelon sea salt and smoked spice pear and Meyer lemon-lavender shrubs. While in the gorgeous garden, you also have to try a garden soda, especially with tempting flavors like rose, lavender, elderflower and hibiscus that taste like the floral fragrance of a flower. For more information, visit thegreenhouseic.com.
Groovy gets a tropical twist at Bellhop, a neighborhood tiki bar with a retro flair. This destination for mocktails will have you feeling like you’re on vacation, relaxing on a beach, even if there’s snow on the ground! The tiki bar serves up plenty of spirit-free sips in signature sea-inspired mugs. From the Beachbreeze, brimming with pineapple, passionfruit, coconut, lime and cherry, to the Cinnastir, an addicting combination of cold brew, coconut and cinnamon, Bellhop makes some devilishly good drinks. To make your beach party even better, be sure to look into Sunday brunch, with tropical-infused dishes like Korean fluffy egg sandwiches and kimchi tots to accompany your non-alcoholic Bloody Mary. Or, for an evening out, stop by Bellhop for drinks and dinner of creamy crab rangoons, crispy chicken wings and heavenly Hawaiian bread pudding before exploring Downtown Des Moines. For more information, visit bellhoptikidsm.com.
Unimpaired Dry Bar
For fun times that aren’t foggy, look no further than Unimpaired Dry Bar for a menu brimming with mocktails based on the creatively non-alcoholic classics that you would find at any traditional bar. Guests can stop in to play some darts, shoot some pool and, of course, check out the dry bar. Some of the house favorites include the Mermaid Margarita and the Cosmic Lemonade. But don’t miss out on the Campfire, like the name suggests, this mocktail is made using house cold brew, Lyre’s coffee spirit, cream, chocolate and roasted marshmallow. You also can’t miss out on the chance to sip a non-alcoholic martini, especially with fun flavors from mint to cotton candy. But that’s not all; Unimpaired Dry Bar makes more than just mocktails. Guests can also split some shareables and a specialty pizza while enjoying their drinks. For more information, visit unimpaireddrybar.com.
The Bartender’s Handshake
Visit Downtown Des Moines for some of the most stunning and innovative mocktails in Iowa. The Bartender’s Handshake is a modern yet retro-inspired space with a speakeasy atmosphere and a bar menu loaded with spirit-free specialties. Choose Vacation Email, an orange-spiced tonic tea combined with grapefruit, lime, cinnamon and coconut, or Karate Kid, a ginger beer-based mule made with carrot juice, ginger, lime, ancho chili and mint, for a sipping experience with exhilarating flavors without the booze. Plus, your mocktail can be paired with sweet-and-spicy cream cheese-filled pepper poppers and a s’more truffle trio to top off the table. For more information, visit thebartendershandshake.com.
The Ridge Social Drinkery
Sometimes it can be difficult to find a happy medium between a busy bar scene and a social hour atmosphere. At The Ridge Social Drinkery in Downtown Davenport, guests can get the best of both worlds. This happening hotspot hosts a social environment where people can meet and mingle while sipping on something sweet. From the bar, guests can indulge in spirit-free sips, like the Drivers Punch, a tropical drink with twists of pineapple, orange and mango, or the Blackberry Fizz, a bubbly brew of blackberries, mint and a lemon-lime fizz. With an inviting ambience and plenty of outdoor firepits and indoor areas for unwinding or socializing, The Ridge Social Drinkery is the perfect place for mocktails in Iowa. For more information, visit theridgeqc.com.