A Love Letter to the LA Fruit Stands

Plus the Functional Beverage Pioneer and the Green Tea Makeover

Wotcha! Back from a quick trip to LA with an armful of drinks to tell you about over the next few weeks.

This week we have our first guest post from Laura Silverman creator of Zero Proof Nation, an NA resource you should all have bookemarked.

In this week’s edition: 

  • 📰 NAN: Nonalcoholic news my Nan would approve of!

  • 🍺 BEER: Golden Road - Non-Alcoholic Mango Cart

  • 🍹 COCKTAIL: Kin Euphorics - Kin Bloom

  • 🍵 ICED TEA: Holy Cow Vegan - Iced Cardamom Green Tea

First time reading this? (Join here).

P.S. A quick follow-up on the poll about adding new drink launches from outside of the U.S. and Canada to the NAN section; by a narrow margin the rest-of-the-worlders won by 1.5%. I have an idea how to separate the two and keep everyone happy.

Read time: 6 mins 15 secs


Nonalcoholic News my Nan would approve of!

  • 🍋 COCKTAIL: Phony Limone Negroni is a new “extremely” limited release from St. Agrestis. Form an orderly line behind me please. (link)

  • 🍺 BEER: A new one from Uncool Brewing - Lavender Lemonade Wit - gives their classic Belgian White a new twist. (link)

  • 🍺 HOP WATER: Portland, Maine’s Allagash Brewing have dipped their toes in the non-alc market with their new Alagash Hop Water. (link)

  • 🍷 WINE: Sonoma County’s Head High Wines has announced the release of their 2023 Non-Alcoholic Skin Contact White Wine. (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 Beer


  • Los Angeles

  • Calories: Unknown

  • Sugar: Unknown

  • Serving: 12 fl.oz.

  • ABV: 0.5%

  • Buy: Store locator • widely available online

  • Price: $10.99-$12.99

Laura Silverman’s thoughts: I finally got my hands on Golden Road’s Non-Alc Mango Cart, the Los Angeles-based mango brew with a cult following. You have no idea how long I’ve waited to crack open a cold one and let me tell you, it does not disappoint.

It’s not an IPA. It’s not just a wheat brew. It’s not a sour.* And yet it combines elements of all the above. There’s a not-too-bitter hoppiness (hops used: bravo), a heft that comes from the wheat / malt (malts used: 2row, wheat), and a fruitiness that doesn’t overpower the brew. On the nose, I get a waft of mango that’s got a sharpness to it, but also a subtlety (fun fact: there’s real mango puree used in the brewing process). The fruity aroma is tempered by the weight of the hops and malt. It’s honestly a magical combination. It’s like I’m at a fruit stand, ordering a bag of sliced mango that’s not too ripe, and not too green. 

But let’s not get too precious here. This is a crushable beer on a hot summer’s day (I literally just got back from an hour at the pool). It also pairs nicely with burgers (meat or veggie), a ballgame, or your friendly neighborhood inclusive backyard shindig. 

This brew is a love letter to LA. A love letter to those fruit stands Golden Road co-founder Meg Gill (cheers to one of the few female founders in craft brewing!) would visit. Mango Cart is Golden Road’s only non-alcoholic brew, which sits among a portfolio of several traditional beers and hard seltzers. If this is the only one they make with less than 0.5% ABV, I’m not complaining, because you’re left with something totally satisfying. Next time, I’m rimming my glass with Tajín.

*BTW, if you want a sour malt beverage, get your hands on one of my other new faves, General Admission (think Spindrift meets your fave NA malt bev).

Laura Silverman is a two-time judge at the World Alcohol Free Awards and creator of Zero Proof Nation, a hub for all things non-alcoholic including a global map of NA bottle shops and booze-free bars. She is also the co-host of NA Dossier on YouTube.

How does Golden Road describe their Non-Alc Mango Cart: Non-Alc Mango Cart Wheat Ale. All of the flavor, none of the guilt. Made with real mango but with less than 0.5% ABV.

Learn more about Golden Road Brewing at goldenroad.la

NA Cocktail


The ModSub thoughts: In the rapidly growing realm of adult non-alcoholic drinks, a unique category has emerged that blends botanicals, adaptogens, and nootropics to create beverages designed to alter our moods. These drinks aim to energize our mornings, enhance our focus during the day, alleviate daily stress, and promote restful sleep at night. A number of non-alcoholic beverage companies are exploring this concept with varying degrees of success, a handful of which I've covered in this newsletter. 

If you were to search for the early pioneers of the functional beverage movement, you wouldn’t have to look much further than Kin Euphorics. While so many non-alc beverage companies were launching their first products just as rumblings of the pandemic were starting to get broadcast around the world, Jen Batchelor, the original founder, had already been working in her business for three years. 

The first launch was Kin High Rhode at the end of 2018 and her new brand of “euphoric” was met with high praise in some quarters and a healthy dose of skepticism in others. Not a surprising response for an innovator. Revisiting articles from that time reveals just how groundbreaking her vision was, paving the way for numerous beverage companies in this space today.

In 2021, Bella Hadid joined the company as a co-founder, bringing the brand to a broader audience and contributing to its continued growth. Today, their lineup includes two spirits and four RTD cans, offering a drink for any time of day.

As I sit here sipping on a Kin Bloom from a Collins glass, I'm typing away to get this ready for you by tomorrow morning. It’s a Friday afternoon, the sun is shining, and my dog is peacefully napping in the corner. I feel incredibly relaxed.

Maybe it’s the lightly carbonated cocktail, with its strawberry-forward flavor complemented by hints of vanilla, grapefruit, oak, and rosemary. Perhaps the drink is truly working its magic, melting away the week’s stress and bringing a sense of calm. Maybe it’s not. Maybe it’s all in my head.

Whatever the reason, here’s to Kin Euphorics for opening doors and leading the way in functional beverages. If Kin Bloom is anything to go by, I can’t wait to try the rest of their line.

How does Kin Euphorics describe their Kin Bloom: Bloom into your most authentic self. Non-alcoholic Kin Bloom is infused with adaptogens, nootropics, and botanics like Schisandra, Damiana, and L-Theanine to awaken passion, conjure a calmer mind, and unlock heart-opening joy any time of day.

Learn more about Kin Euphorics at kineuphorics.com


  • Holy Cow Vegan

  • Calories: 30

  • Sugar: Unknown

  • Serving: Makes 6 cups

  • ABV: 0%

  • Ingredients: Green tea bags, cardamom pods, maple syrup and lemons

  • Recipe: Iced Cardamom Green Tea

The ModSub thoughts: The abundant benefits of drinking green tea are well-documented. It's rich in antioxidants, reduces inflammation, and aids heart health, brain function and weight management. But let’s be honest, it tastes like week-old lawn clippings, and I won’t be convinced otherwise.

So, when I saw an email newsletter pop up from Vaishali of Holy Cow Vegan for an Iced Cardamom Green Tea, it piqued my interest. She too is not a fan of green tea, so I figured it was worth exploring.

If you haven’t checked out Vaishali’s blog, I highly recommend it. I’m not vegan but lean heavily toward vegetable dishes and Indian food, and she has come up with some smashing dishes.

One of the Indian spices I can’t get enough of is cardamom. It's such a complex mix of aroma and flavors; woody yet floral, citrusy yet menthol. While many spices play an important role in Indian cuisine, for me, this spice is the one that can take a dish to another level.

Which is exactly what it has achieved with this green tea. With the addition of maple syrup’s caramel sweetness, the grassy bitterness of the original tea is gone, leaving an impressive summer iced tea delightfully awash with citrus and spice.

Move over hibiscus, there’s a new iced tea in town.

How does Holy Cow Vegan describe her Iced Cardamom Green Tea: Part of the allure of this iced cardamom green tea is that it is also a very healthy drink, with the goodness of green tea, the delicate aroma of green cardamom and a hint of sweetness from maple syrup. Lemon adds vitamins and a dash of tang to balance out the slight bitterness of the tea.

Learn more about Holy Cow Vegan at holycowvegan.net

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.

Did You Miss The Last Week’s Newsletter?


or to participate.