Comfortably Numb

Plus Brooklyn Golden and Lavender Love

Wotcha! I need your opinion. I’m struggling with whether to include new NA drink launches from other parts of the world in the news section each week. Sometimes I think I should because not everyone who reads this is from the States and people traveling may want to look out for options. However this is a U.S.-based newsletter where I’m trying to guide people to drinks they can get a hold of here in U.S. Can you let me know which you would prefer? Thanks.

Would you be interested in me including new drinks from other parts of the world in the Nonalcoholic News (NAN) section each week??

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In this week’s edition: 

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

  • 🥃 SPIRIT: Kava Haven

  • 🍺 BEER: Momentum Brewery - Golden

  • 🍹 COCKTAIL: Greenbar Distillery - Lavender Bitters + Soda

First time reading this? (Join here).

P.S. Here’s yours truly as a guest on The Non-Alcoholic Officianado’s YouTube show. We had a lovely chinwag while enjoying a handful of NA beers from Deschutes Brewery, Untitled Art and Athletic Brewing. It has become very apparent I need to work on my “um” habit.

Read time: 6 mins 37 sec


Nonalcoholic News my Nan would approve of!

  • 🍺 BEER: Guess who just released another beer? Yep, Uncool Brewing. This time it’s Rocket Pop. Get it, before it’s gone. (link)

  • 💧HOP WATER: Iowa-based Founders Brewing Co. have launched Hoppy Mood. (link)

  • 🍹 COCKTAIL: Here’s a new NA margarita from Devil’s Foot Beverage Co. and their friends over at Edmund’s Oast. (link)


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 Spirit

The Kavaloma


  • Northfield, IL

  • Calories: 30

  • Sugar: 0g

  • Serving: 25.4 fl.oz. • 17 servings

  • ABV: 0%

  • Buy: • some online stores • stocked in over 30 dedicated nonalocholic bottle shops in 20 states

  • Price: $53.00

The ModSub thoughts: As I dig deeper into nonalcoholic spirits, I’m becoming more fascinated by the nontraditional spirits coming to market. One of them is Kava Haven, launched in the U.S. at the beginning of April this year. Until a few months ago, I had never heard of Kava root, despite half my country’s Royal Family being photographed guzzling the stuff. So I was pretty much a blank slate as I opened the bottle, took my first sip, and started my research. I have to say, I'm fee-ling pretty excited about this discovery.

So what is Kava? Part of South Pacific culture for over 3,000 years, Kava is a traditional beverage made from the roots of the Piper Methysticum plant. Its continued appeal through the centuries has been its ability to promote calmness, relaxation, reduce anxiety and benefit sleep. As word has gotten out about Kava, it is also becoming a popular alternative to alcohol.

The founders of Kava Haven learned of the drink after successfully completing a 75-day cleanse. With no desire to go back to alcohol, it quickly became apparent they needed an alternative for dealing with everyday stress and a lubricant for relaxing in social settings. As they searched for options, a friend from Fiji introduced them to his country’s traditional drink, and not long after, the idea for a new spirit was born.

NA Spirit

Of all the drinks I have tasted on this nonalcoholic journey, Kava Haven perhaps takes the prize for the “like nothing I have ever tasted before” award. Sipped neat, it’s vaguely reminiscent of a lemon liqueur in the vein of limoncello. However, any dreams of sitting at a Ligurian bar overlooking the Mediterranean swiftly dissipate as a healthy dose of throat-tickling ginger juice kicks in and your tastebuds are thrown into a heavenly confused state. If this weren’t enough to be cheering about, the milky liquid then tingles your mouth and tongue to a point of mild numbness. Think local anesthetic wearing off after a dentist visit, and you get the picture.

In a cocktail, this spirit shines just as brightly. From the company’s recipe collection, I tried the Kavaloma (Paloma), and using freshly squeezed grapefruit juice, the cocktail was on par with any of the best alcoholic and noalcoholic cocktails I have ever tasted. Accuse me of exaggerating, and it will be pistols at dawn.

The price is unquestionably going to be a hurdle for some, but Kava Haven has a rightful place on the top shelf, and those heady heights usually don’t come cheap. If you do the math on price per serving per bottle, it isn’t as painful as it may seem.

The million-dollar question, though: Did it really give me a sense of calmness and relaxation, and reduce my stress? You bet your top dollar it did.

There has been some discussion that overuse of Kava and poor-quality ingredients can lead to liver issues for some. Please do your own research on this matter.

How does Kava Haven describe their spirit: Our consciously crafted kava-infused non-alcoholic spirit is designed to provide a refreshing alternative to traditional spirits, offering you a moment of relaxation and social stimulation.

With a delightful combination of the purest kava extract, zesty lemon juice, and white grape juice, Kava Haven delivers a smooth flavor reminiscent of a lemon drop shot with a ginger kick.

Learn more about Kava Haven at

NA Beer


  • Brooklyn, NY

  • Calories: 71

  • Sugar: Unknown

  • Serving: 12 fl.oz.

  • ABV: 0.5%

  • Buy: • Amazon • online stores and bottle shops

  • Price: $17.99-$18.99 (6-pack)

The ModSub thoughts: From an idea that most in the beverage industry initially dismissed to releasing two great nonalcoholic beers, it has been a seven-year journey for Lars Dalhaus to open Momentum Brewery. His extensive background in both the alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverage industries is impressive. Not least of which is launching Proof No More in 2021, an online retailer for all categories of nonalcoholic drinks and a regional distributor to local bars and restaurants.

Teaming up with longtime friend and beverage colleague Wolfgang Menzel to create Momentum, the two industry veterans quickly acquired the talents of Alexander Himberg, a world-renowned German brewmaster, to help them formulate the beers for their new venture. The trio then formed a partnership with Great South Bay Brewery in New Jersey, where the beer is being brewed.

Rather than de-alcoholizing the beer, Momentum utilizes an innovative brewing process that stops the alcohol from being created at the front end. The process takes two weeks—one in the tank and one for maturation—and the alcohol level never surpasses 0.4% ABV.

Lars describes the Golden as a pale ale that verges on an IPA, with a nod to the original West Coast IPAs. It’s a well-balanced citrus brew, a combination of Mosaic, Simco and Amarillo hops, rewarding you with a perfect amount of mild bitterness leaving you thoroughly refreshed. Another lovely beer you should be adding to your list as the days get longer and hotter.

How does Momentum Brewery describe their Golden: Our NA GOLDEN "Pale Ale" Style NA-Beer is your perfect rewarding sip after a work out or other recreational activity. Brewed to quench your thirst for a beer without giving you a buzz. All the flavors of a Pale Ale, we brewed MOMENUTM GOLDEN to shine bright, smell hoppy and drink crispy smooth.

Learn more about Momentum Brewery at

NA Cocktail


  • Los Angeles, CA

  • Calories: 13

  • Sugar: 1g

  • Serving: 12 fl.oz.

  • ABV: 0%

  • Buy: This one is a little more tricky to find. Available through Amazon, WholeFoods plus online and bricks and mortar bottle shops.

  • Price: $12.99 (4-pack)

The ModSub thoughts: My appreciation for all things lavender came late in life. As a youngster, the smell of lavender equated to drawers full of old clothes, and the color was something to wince at with unmasked disdain. However, an afternoon excursion to the lavender fields of Provence about eight years ago set me straight. The beauty of the rows and rows of pale purple set against a backdrop of southern French skies and a ridiculously stunning farmhouse is quite the breathtaking experience.

It wasn’t until even later, last December in fact, while making a Lavender Bee’s Knees, that I realized lavender is a pretty darn good addition to drinks too! So when I saw that Greenbar Distillery had a ready-to-drink Lavender Bitters + Soda in a can, I knew I had to track one down. I’m so glad I did.

Much like the UnRum + Cola I wrote about last year, the Lavender Bitters + Soda’s depth of flavor is similarly reserved. That’s not to say it’s lacking in any way. Lavender is a pretty potent herb, and overdoing the strength would frankly overwhelm the drink. Instead, this well-balanced soda is a flourish of botanicals and spices in a light carbonated tea, a herbaceous floral band with the lavender up front and moody on vocals.

If herbal iced teas speak to you and you fancy a little bitter, then Lavender Bitters + Soda will likely have the same appeal. It may not quite transport you to Provence, but it’s certainly une bonne boisson.

How does Greenbar describe their Lavender Bitters + Soda: Like a stroll through a spring garden, this bitters + soda bursts with the tastes and smells of nature in full bloom. Floral and relaxing.

Learn more about Greenbar Distillary at

One thing before you go. Here’s a great newsletter on fitness and nutrition that I think you should check out. There’s excellent advice on living a more healthy life in this weekly 5-minute read.

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