The past year or two, I’ve begun to see non-alcoholic versions of popular liquors appear on store shelves and in social media advertisements. There are NA versions of every major base spirit that are made by one or both of the brands in this post, but today we’re going to focus on Ritual and Monday’s Whiskeys.
Whether you bill it as “Zero Proof” (Ritual) or “Zero Alcohol” (Monday), the effect is the same. These are whiskey-flavored whiskey substitutes without a drop of alcohol. There are, of course, several reasons for such a thing, and with the 2020 pandemic increasing many people’s alcohol intake, there may not be a better time to introduce these. They each make for a good cocktail whiskey substitute as well.
Both Ritual and Monday seem to base their flavor profiles on American whiskeys, the bourbons or Tennessee whiskeys we’re familiar with. Scotch drinkers may need to look for other brands to fit their bill.
RITUAL WHISKEY ALTERNATIVE
The lack of alcohol “bite” is something you’ll notice right away with both products, but Ritual seems to replace it with cinnamon, a good choice for those who love Maker’s Mark or Evan Williams. Ritual’s flavor is wood, then cinnamon with a slightly sweet finish. If caloric intake is the reason you pick up a NA whiskey, then Ritual will only set you back 10 calories per shot. Buy Ritual at Amazon.com.
MONDAY ZERO ALCOHOL WHISKEY
I’ve noticed Monday a lot due to a pretty aggressive social media ad campaign, and admittedly, the art deco bottle design is drop-dead gorgeous. Monday is a bit more of a flavor bomb than Ritual, though the flavors are quite different. There are traces of wood in Monday as well, followed by a citrus/sour orange finish. This one seems more appropriate for Jim Beam or Jack Daniels drinkers. A pour of Monday will set you back 0 calories. Buy Monday at drinkmonday.co.
As O’Douls has shown us for decades, there is definitely a place for a non-alcoholic version of a drink. Both Ritual and Monday will deliver alcohol-free sips, decent flavor, and little-to-no calories. I have to give it to you straight: sipped neat or on the rocks, both taste a little like whiskey, without the mouth burn. The experience is quite good. In a cocktail, both of these shine quite well. A Manhattan won’t give you a completely alcohol-free drink (let’s call it alcohol-light), but an Old Fashioned will.
Ritual and Monday are quite affordable ($30-45 each), so if you find yourself in need of a whiskey replacement for any reason, either will fit the bill well.