The Best NA Old-Fashioned I’ve Had Yet

Plus a Dutch Brothers IPA and How To Get Your St. Patrick's Day Greens

Wotcha! Listen, if you don’t have breakfast plans tomorrow morning, this might be something to consider. Have a great St Patrick’s Day and a fab week.

In this week’s edition: 

  • 📰 NAN - NonAlcoholic News my Nan would approve of!

  • 🍹 SPIRITS: Ritual Zero Proof - Rum Alternative

  • 🍺 BEER: Vandestreek - Grapefruit Non Alcoholic IPA

  • 🍹 COCKTAIL: Irish I Were Lucky

P.S. I had the privilege of contributing an article on non-alc spirits this week for Dry Atlas.

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Read time: 6 mins 49 secs


Nonalcoholic News my Nan would approve of!

  • 🍷 COCKTAIL: Exciting news for aperitivo fans (me for instance), Italy’s Mionetto have just announced the launch of Mionetto Aperitvo. (link)

  • 🍹SPIRITS: If you are heading over to England this year, look out for KAHOL’s new line of six spirits. (link)

  • 🍺 BEER: Ontario’s Sleeman Brewery has introduced Zero+ lager with coconut water. (link)

  • 🍷 WINE: New from Starla Wines is Starla Sips, a mini format version of their line of wines. Yea for that! (link)

  • 🍺 BEER: Another new flavor flav from the Uncool Beverage Co. This time it’s a Mango Chili Lime. (link)


NA Drinks

In each edition of The Modern Substitute, ON THE BAR focuses on three drinks you should be on the look out for. We’ll give you a quick rundown of our thoughts on the drink, who makes it, where to buy it or, in the case of mocktails, how to make it.

Please note: due to popularity or limited runs, some drinks may be out of stock - please check with the beverage companies for updates.

NA Spirits


  • Chicago, IL

  • Calories: 5

  • Sugar: 2g

  • Serving: 25.4 fl.oz. (1.5 fl.oz. per individual serving)

  • ABV: 0%

  • Buy: • store locator • widely available online

  • Price: $30-$32

The ModSub thoughts: Rum is suddenly very much on my radar and I’m loving it. A couple of months back I was at my mate Matt’s house and he was serving up the most fabulous Mai Tai. A week later, I found myself standing in front of the Ritual Zero Proof booth at the Mindful Drinking Fest. I tasted all kinds of Rum Alternative deliciousness and thought to myself—I’m missing out here, I need to get into Rum.

Ritual Zero Proof creates their spirits using natural botanicals and extracts to mimic the flavors and aromas of traditional alcoholic spirits. They offer a variety of non-alcoholic spirits, including alternatives to gin, whiskey, tequila, and rum among others and each recipe took over 500 iterations to perfect. 

Their plan was not to reinvent the wheel of what the consumer expects out of a spirit. There was no need to change the cocktail, just one ingredient—alcohol. Their vision caught the attention of Diageo, a CPG powerhouse, who invested in the company even before they launched their first bottle. Five years later and Ritual has become the largest selling nonalcoholic brand in the country. Their growth has been so big you can pretty much find Ritual spirits anywhere. Good news for non-alcoholic enthusiasts like us, Ritual spirits can also be found in over 1000 restaurants across the country, with this number increasing daily.

Here are two recipes I suggest you check out. 

1. Maple Rum Old Fashioned - for those of you that have been looking for a good NA Old Fashioned, I strongly urge you to try this one. A lovely viscous mouthfeel the like of which I have yet to find in any NA cocktail I have tried. Vanilla and banana from the rum and an earthy bitterness and warm spice from the bitters. The depth of flavor is remarkable. Wow. 

My Mate Matt’s Magic Mai Tai

2. My Mate Matt’s Magic Mai Tai -this is his take on the classic tiki cocktail and it will have you dreaming of a sandy white beach and warm weather in no time. A deep rum flavor emboldened by the Tiki Spices Tropical Syrup and a burst of pineapple and orange. If this doesn’t put a smile on your face I’m not sure what will. 

• 1.5 fl.oz. of Ritual Zero Proof - Rum Alternative

• 1.5 fl.oz. of Pineapple Juice

• 1.5 fl.oz. of Orange Juice

Garnish with a pineapple wedge and a cherry. 

How does Ritual Zero Proof describe Rum Alternative: Enjoy the lush, rich taste of Ritual Zero Proof Rum Alternative. Crafted with high-quality ingredients and natural botanicals, this award-winning rum substitute has the same velvety decadence of dark rum without the alcohol or calories. The sweet vanilla flavor is complemented by ripe banana and burnt orange, making this a versatile spirit that can be savored year-round. From summertime mojitos to holiday season eggnog, mark the occasion with Ritual Rum Alternative!

Learn more about Ritual Zero Proof at

NA Beer


  • Utrecht, Netherlands

  • Calories: 80

  • Sugar: 8g

  • Serving: 11.2 fl.oz.

  • ABV: <0.5%

  • Buy: Amazon • Walmart • Local bottle shops • Online

  • Price: $49.99 (12-pack)

The ModSub thoughts: Hot on the heels of last week’s Force Majeure recommendation from Belgium, I whipped out my imaginary EuroRail pass and popped up to the Netherlands for a quick visit to Utrecht and the Vandestreek Brewery to try their Grapefruit Non-Alcoholic IPA.

Brothers and brewery founders, Sander and Ronald van de Streek, began homebrewing in 2010. Starting with just a frying pan and a stove, they dedicated themselves to perfecting the brewing process, meeting once a month to refine their recipes. By 2013, they had transitioned to producing beer at commercial production facilities, and their beers quickly gained a rabid following. This success led them to open their brewery facility in 2017.

What started out as a brewery for regular ABV beer soon became one known more for its non-alcoholic creations. Collaborating with a German brewer, they developed a non-alcoholic version of a hoppy West Coast IPA, a rarity in Europe at the time. 

The result was Playground IPA, and the beer was so successful that early production runs would sell out within a week. This success propelled the brewery onto the global stage, and they have since become leaders in the non-alcoholic beer market, distributing their brews to 17 countries, including the U.S.

So, to the Grapefruit Non-Alcoholic IPA. Right from the pour, you know you are in for a treat with both a nice froth to the head and a cloudy golden color. As you would expect, the hops are dominant, with a combination of Mosaic, Citra, Cascade, and Columbus providing a hefty amount of bitterness. The grapefruit brings the tang and citrus to the table, and together with the hops, it creates a wonderfully refreshing, full-flavored fruity IPA. It’s pretty fantastic.

Chances are you’ll find a can of one of Vandestreek's beers somewhere in the States before you’ll need to travel all the way to Utrecht to try it. That said, I wouldn’t say no to a well spent evening at their brewery tasting all their non-alcoholic beers. Sign me up!

How does Vandestreek describe their Grapefruit IPA: There are many similarities in the taste of grapefruit with that of hops and that is one of our favorite seasonings. This beer has a nice bitter base to which the grapefruit flavor connects wonderfully. Just like the citrus fruit itself, the beer has very fresh, fruity properties and also a bitter kick. All in all, the Grapefruit Non Alcoholic IPA is a great thirst quencher, giving you a full beer experience without a hangover.

Learn more about Vandestreek at

NA Cocktail


  • Monday Recipe Collection

  • Calories: 0 from Monday gin, 30 from Green Juice

  • Sugar: 0g from Monday gin, 23g from Green Juice

  • Serving: 6 fl.oz.

  • ABV: 0%

The ModSub thoughts: I had thought that I was going to do a St. Patrick’s Day themed edition this week, but time has been in short supply over the last few weeks, and ideas for what to include suffered as a result. Guinness 0.0 would have been an obvious choice, but I covered it over the holidays. I mentioned last week that Go Brewing had released their Bad Arse Irish Red, but that sold out before you could say Sláinte. That’s where I sort of ran dry until I remembered, in the course of writing about Monday Gin last month, I had come across Irish I Were Lucky in their recipe section. Bingo!

So here are the boxes this recipe checks: it’s simple, it’s definitely on the healthier side, and it’s green, the latter seemingly being the only credential you truly need to coral a drink into the Paddy’s Day catch-all. Yes, I do see the irony of that last statement. Guilty as charged, your honor. However, it is just gin and green juice. Not a marriage I would have seen coming. 

It works, though. Primarily because I cheated a little. Instead of going for hardcore cold-pressed green juice, I went for a vegetable and fruit juice blend. The addition of fruit tones down the bitterness, adding a sweeter balance to the cocktail. With juniper, citrus, and a peppery finish from the gin, you've got yourself a vibrant, refreshing drink.

You're unlikely to find this on many Irish pub menus come Sunday, or indeed anywhere in Ireland, short of perhaps, a remote health spa in County Donegal. However, if you reframe it as a brunch drink akin to a Virgin Mary – bursting with vegetable and fruit flavors, adorned with pretty garnishes – you'll find something to be genuinely excited about.

Would I rush out to buy a bottle of Monday Gin for this particular cocktail? No, and you know I’m a big fan of this gin. But if I have a bottle lying around, it's a delightful way to kick off a sunny spring morning brunch, and for that, this recipe is worth keeping in your back pocket. Enjoy your St. Patrick’s Day. 

Find the Irish I Were Lucky recipe here.

If you enjoyed this edition of The Modern Substitute then please forward it to a friend who might be interested in NA drinks.

Cheers! See you next week!

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