Mischievous Cousins and Well-Heeled Lords

Plus Tropical Beer and An All Time Favorite

Wotcha! A warm welcome this week to John Eggleton from N/Ation and the excellent U.S. of N/A: Non-Alcoholic Beer podcast who gives us the lowdown on one of his favorite NA beers.

In this week’s edition: 

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

  • 🍹 COCKTAIL: Little Saints - Old Fashioned Sparkling Cocktail

  • 🍺 BEER: Go Brewing - Sunshine State Tropical IPA

  • 🍹 COCKTAIL: St. Agrestis - Amaro Falso

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Read time: 6 mins 24 sec

NAN

Nonalcoholic News my Nan would approve of!

  • 🍹 COCKTAILS: For the Margarita-lovers, Parch have announced the release of their new Desert Margarita. (link)

  • 🍷 WINE: Collaborating with Joshua James, founder of Ocean Beach Cafe, Austria’s ZERONIMO have launched two wines in the U.S. (link)

  • 🍺 BEER: Permanent NAN residents, Uncool Brewing have a new Galaxy IPA out this week. (link)

  • 🍹 COCKTAILS: Meanwhile over at Curious Elixirs, Curious No. 9 was announced this week. (link)

  • 🍹 MIXER: Just came across this tasty-looking range of mixers from Dappled Tonic Waters, released last month. (link)

  • 🍹 COCKTAILS: The Sidecar MIMOSA and the Southside MOJITO are two new variations on previous drinks from Blind Tiger Spirits are starting to hit the shelves. (link,link)

  • 🥃 SPIRITS: Connecticut’s Seir Hill have announced a limited 200-bottle run of a signature edition of their award-wiining Biscane rum featuring mixologist, Christine Wayne. (link)

ON THE BAR

NA Drnks

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 Cocktail

LITTLE SAINTS - OLD FASHIONED SPARKLING COCKTAIL

  • Miami, FL

  • Calories: 5

  • Sugar: 0g

  • Serving: 8 fl.oz.

  • ABV: 0%

  • Buy: littlesaints.comstore locator • this only came out this week, so expect it to be available through other online outlets soon

  • Price: $29.00 (4 × 8 fl.oz. cans)

The ModSub thoughts: For many months now, Little Saints has been bobbing around at the top of my lengthy “drinks-still-to-try” list. So, it was with no small degree of excitement last week that I found myself pouring a can of their brand new Old Fashioned Sparkling Cocktail into a tumbler and wondering what to expect.

Megan Klein started Little Saints in Detroit, creating a line of plant-based cocktails that combine non-intoxicating mushrooms, botanicals, and terpenes (aromatic compounds). Her team includes a food scientist with a Master’s degree in adaptogens and a sacred plant medicine shaman, both essential to crafting these innovative beverages.

For those seeking a traditional Old Fashioned experience—Zane, I’m looking at you—this sparkling cocktail is unlikely to scratch that itch. While it has bourbon undertones, it doesn’t capture the full whiskey depth of the classic drink.

But it was never meant to. This is the sparkling cocktail version of an Old Fashioned: the fun, somewhat mischievous cousin that comes to stay for the summer, as opposed to the well-heeled but cranky lord of the manor. Think Downton Abbey, if I’ve lost you there.

The cocktail delivers a warm blend of cherry, vanilla, and caramel with a touch of orange. As the bubbles dissipate, the flavors intensify and linger, growing stronger with each mouthful.

It flips the Old Fashioned on its head. Where the maraschino cherry is the garnish in the bourbon version, in this one, the rest of the flavors are built around the cherry.

I’d even go so far as to call this cocktail refreshing, a description I’d never use for the original. It’s not a drink to guzzle on a hot summer day, but neither does it fit the sipping category. Dare I say, this is the perfect “summer’s evening” Old Fashioned?

Regardless, enjoy this limited edition Old Fashioned Sparkling Cocktail while it lasts, because, like that charming cousin, it won’t be around for long.

How does Little Saints describe their Old Fashioned: It's the linger we long for. The music as soft as their eyes, the lights as dim as your worries and a chair barely big enough for two. Little Saints old fashioned mixes notes of cherry and orange peel with a flavor reminiscent of a sweet bourbon (while still being 0.0% alcohol), fueled with reishi mushroom and damiana. It drops us deep into our bodies, cues feelings of intimacy and amps the intrigue for the sort of late-night flow we'll willingly linger a little longer for.

Learn more about Little Saints at littlesaints.com

NA Beer

GO BREWNG - SUNSHINE STATE TROPICAL IPA

  • Naperville, IL

  • Calories: 102

  • Sugar: 16.7g

  • Serving: 12 fl.oz.

  • ABV: 0.5%

  • Buy: gobrewing.comstore locator • widely available online

  • Price: $13.99 (6-pack)

N/ATION Beer thoughts: A core part of an exploding non-alcoholic beer scene across the upper Midwest, Go Brewing delivers high-quality N/A brews to a growing base of consumers, and Sunshine State is no exception. Tropical IPAs of all stripes have enjoyed a bit of a moment in recent years, with flavors bursting from pineapple, mango, guava, and melon, among other fruits.

This highly-popular IPA offering from Go leans into several of those tropical fruit flavors for a very citrusy, full-flavored beer. For us the mango took lead in the mouthfeel, while a bit of peach closed the deal on the back-end with a superb finish. This is one of those near beers that will have you checking the ABV to make sure you haven’t accidentally picked up a fully-leaded drink. Satisfying hoppy flavor abounds as well, and while this one comes out on the high side in terms of calories (102) and carbs (23g), those have clearly been advantaged to create a fuller-bodied beverage to either be enjoyed solo, or as a food companion.

Jon Eggleton founded N/ATION Beer as a digital content platform to celebrate the people and places elevating non-alcoholic beer culture and taste. N/ATION features N/A beers and industry trends, as well as curated conversations with craft beer leaders and tastemakers through the U.S. of N/A: Non-Alcoholic Beer podcast series.

How does Go Brewing describe Sunshine State Tropical IPA: This critically acclaimed tropical IPA bursts with mango and peach flavor with a backdrop of hops. Perfect for getting into a sunshine state of mind and focusing on all the good in life. With this new brew in hand, discover an epic story that proved a brighter path forward was possible far beyond the morning haze.

Learn more about Go Brewing at gobrewing.com

NA Cocktail

ST AGRESTIS - AMARO FALSO

  • Brooklyn, NY

  • Calories: 39

  • Sugar: Unknown

  • Serving: 6.8 fl.oz.

  • ABV: 0%

  • Buy: stagrestis.com • available online • check your local NA specialty stores

  • Price: Direct from St Agrestis - $59.99 for 12 groovy bottles or 55.99 for 12 cans

The ModSub thoughts: In the beforetimes, a nightcap became a regular epilogue for a ‘good’ night out. The “oh just one more won’t hurt” poor decision-making always led to staying up long after the rest of the house had fallen asleep and more often than not, a nightcap for the nightcap. The next morning, well, was one of “those” next mornings.

The nightcap, the garment for the head, can be traced as far back as the 14th century though it wasn’t until 1827 in an English recipe book, the Oxford Night Caps, was the term associated with the late-night drink. The connection between the two has long been mooted that both lend themselves to keeping your head warm at night. Too true.

Coming home from an evening out a few weeks back, I found myself with that same “night cap” urge. For the first time in nearly two years, I was reliving that “oh just one more won’t hurt” craving. Thankfully, it wasn’t for alcohol though, because I knew exactly what I wanted - an Amaro Falso from St Agrestis.

St Agrestis hail from Brooklyn, New York, and are worthy darlings of the Negroni scene in that part of the world. It wasn’t until the beginning of 2022 though that they turned their attention to creating the non-alcoholic versions of their highly popular w/alc drinks. With the introduction of Phoney Negroni, they created an instant hit, so much so it was regularly sold out.

In January of last year they released Amaro Falso, the non-alcoholic sibling to the St Agrestis Amaro. It’s a fabulous blend of citrus, herbs and botanicals, with a little carbonation and a whole lot of bitterness. So much so that it forces you to sip. Which is exactly what you want from an after-dinner-before-you-sleep nightcap. Cin cin.

How does St Agrestis describe Amaro Falso: Created as the non-alcoholic counterpart to our beloved St. Agrestis Amaro, Amaro Falso is made using the same combination of all-natural citrus, botanical and herbal ingredients found in our spiritous version, sans alcohol.

Driven by nuanced notes of herbal spice, mint and bitter complexity from gentian root. The result is a refreshing beverage that makes it an ideal cocktail that fans of Italian aperitivi and digestivi expect

Learn more about St Agrestis at stagrestis.com

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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