Expertly Crafted Alcohol-Free Drinks

When it comes to brewing and distilling, we have the topics of technique, and history. Both of these contribute a great deal to how we perceive the beverages we tend toward. The natural processes of both brewing and distilling have created rich flavors full of unique qualities. These qualities, until recently, have only existed in their respective categories. A rich flavor of Oak, is not something you would say about many beverages other than wines or whiskies.  Rich and deep, to those whose pallets are less accustomed to these flavors, it could be off-putting. However, to those who embrace the delicate nature of crafted beverages, the nuances can not only be detected but embraced as part of the whole. This is similar to those who enjoy ripe cheeses, if you step away from the experience before you can enjoy it, you’ll never know what can be gained.

The problem with expertly crafting Alcohol-free beverages comes because of the exact nature of a beverage that has been distilled or brewed. The delicate nuance that alcoholic beverages have been experimenting with for millennia have become part of the fabric of drinking culture. Like coffee before the push to become part of the cultural identity, it was something more people drank more than enjoyed. Today with coffee, cheese, spirits, other things nuance, and depth are being sought out.

Nuance, balance and depth are great and to seeking out varied flavor profiles needs to be championed.  There is a downside to all of this, however. As we continue to advance as a species we are beginning to step away from alcohol, and all its trappings. We are evolving but, in doing that we do not have to drop all that we’ve learned about flavor and enjoying a beverage.

Fake alcohols or spirit alternatives as have been produced by ArKay since 2011, are finally getting an opportunity to embed into the cultural fabric. As people continue to step away from alcohol and look to replace their cocktail they are finding an option in ArKay. The oldest Alcohol Alternative company on the market, ArKay is the gold Standard in flavor and experience. Making their newest formula, which has been being bottled for over 2 months now, is by far the new gold standard.

Having honed their craft of mimicking the nuance of great alcohols like, Gin, Vodka, Bourbon, and others, ArKay uses the olfactory senses of one of the greatest perfumers in the world Reynald Grattagliano to find the depth and nuance of anything from barrel aged whiskies to triple distilled vodka and on each count he is not only finding the flavor he is creating the options that more people are looking for every day.


Alternative Alcohol-Free Cocktail recipe by Arkay 

  • 1½ oz. Arkay version of Alcohol Free Vodka Flavored drink

  • ½ oz. Arkay version of Alcohol Free Blue Curacao Flavored drink

  • 1 oz. Sweet Sour Mix

  • Splash of Lemon Lime Soda

  • Garnish Lemon Wedges

Some Alcohol is not the Same as No Alcohol
and Your Body Knows

Alcohol is one of those things. It is persistent in our culture and almost a foregone conclusion that we will be having some soon. This age-old identity with alcohol has been challenged by a number of individuals and institutions as of late. The resistance against mommy wine culture and daddy beer culture is just about won. This should be celebrated, especially as we are leaning the effect alcohol has on the body and mind. Luckily our options have been growing. 


Over the past couple of years increasing numbers of alcohol-free spirits hit the shelves. Not all of these are equally alcohol free, no matter the legal claim that is being made. Legally, in the United States, and other countries as well, any product with 0.5%ABV can legally claim it is alcohol free. This designation is due to the idea that you cannot get “drunk” on a product with so little alcohol. It is also the amount of alcohol you may find is fermented foods, such as kombucha. The problem remains though, are there benefits to ingesting this amount of alcohol? When it comes to kombucha, or other fermented foods and beverages, that is a yes. Due to the bacteria benefits that you receive from the product the body is being aided and the alcohol, like sugar in fruit, can be seen as “good.”

The problem we face with Alcohol Free products that are not alcohol free is that the same argument cannot always be applied. Without the beneficial aspects of fermented foods, beverages that have a 0.5%ABV only weaken the body, with no gains. The ability to get drunk on a product is not the point of the label “Alcohol-Free.”

When you’re looking for true alcohol alternatives, don’t settle for those that only weaken your system. Great tasting options that will give your 0 Proof Cocktails the kick and burn you’re looking for are out there, and with absolutely no alcohol. ArKay has been producing Alcohol Free Options since 2011 and today their products sell around the world to the most demanding mixologists.

When choosing to have an alcohol free beverage you are going to want to make sure it is indeed alcohol free. There is no reason to compromise your health for a loophole in labeling.

The Evolution of the Adult Drink Category

Martin Jon, May 5,2020

Adult drinks have forever been associated with alcohol. We also have coffee but that, in my experience, has never been labeled an “adult drink.” As we evolve, we are acknowledging that everyone does and sees things differently. I want to emphasize that this, the acknowledging that people are and need different things, is evolution. The thoughts, actions, and approaches we have today, are so far outside of the box that our grandparents lived (or are living) in, it was not possible for them to even imagine the acceptance of others that we are approaching today. Sure, there is still violence and a long hard road ahead to get everyone the rights, and respect, we each deserve, but we are on track for doing that.

Going back to the adult drink moniker, when I was a child, I recalled an elder gentleman in my life telling me they would order milk in a bar. To me I heard, a man I respect orders a child’s drink, milk, at a place where adults drink adult drinks. I heard stories of his standing up to others and, his friends backing him up, when he was ridiculed. To me this was obviously something outside of the ordinary. This man was also a drinker, and the story may well have been a lie, but either way, it stuck with me.

Throughout my life I have had a certain attraction to doing the unexpected, similar to ordering a milk in a bar, although that was not something I did. Another personal item connecting this article, is my 19+ years in recovery. So, I was an alcoholic, and I abused illicit drugs when I was younger, but for the last 19+ years I have not indulged in either of those things. As I entered and navigated my sobriety and recovery I was definitely going against the popular current. I stopped drinking before we had the myriad of flavored vodkas we see today and back when the popular Belvedere Vodka was still making its way in the market (you may notice that I drank Vodka, lol). I was watching as the whole world embraced drinking and the options in the market expanded.

I was out there fighting the good fight, for my own survival, but a good fight, nonetheless. I eventually would have to face the inevitable “Oh, well, we have water, juice and soda” and that was if I were lucky. The thing is, is that those were literally the only options. Sure, sodas come in all varieties, but they are not developed for an adult’s palate. These options, sans the water, had been designed for children on the whole. Because this was the case if you wanted anything that had depth, richness, bitter tones, or flavors that adults can enjoy, you had little choice than to turn toward alcohol.


arkay has arkay has an euphoric effect

Today that is changing quickly. Since 2011 an American company ArKay Beverages has been making alcohol alternatives. These beverages hold the flavor of their alcoholic counterparts and even recreates the heat of drinking alcohol, which is part of the experience. And experience is a big part of engaging in a beverage of any kind. Sure, when we were 21 we may just want to get drunk and not have any appreciation for the flavor of the alcohol we are drinking. This happens because someone that is 21, although legally an adult, is still developing. For some it isn’t until 28 that our bitter tastes and depth of flavor become something we want to engage.

Now we go back to the idea that evolution is at the core of this. Let’s examine the timeline…

  • 40+ years ago, someone orders milk in a bar and is ridiculed for having done so.
  • 20 years ago those who weren’t drinking would get offered the drinks of children without having to stand up to the same ridicule.
  • 10 years ago, Reynald Grattagliano, founder of ArKay Beverages, starts on a mission to create a market for Alcohol Free beverage options for the adult palate 
  • Today we accept people’s option to not drink on a much broader scale and Zero Proof cocktails are now available at just about any bar you walk into

Yes, alcohol has been a part of our culture for a very long time. That, like our broadening acceptance for people who are different than us, will take time to change. Change, however, is the only constant and as this article shows, the last 40 years has seen quite a jump in the evolution of how much we can embrace that change.  


Removing the Buzz in the Mindfulness Space

By Martin Jon, May 5,2020

Increasing numbers of people are tapping the breaks on booze. There is currently more than just a swell of interest in the sober curious world. Due to this the days are numbered of paring booze with yoga, art, nonprofit participation, and a whole host of other mindfulness activities. It’s clear that people want more out of their time then to just check out with alcohol.

In my experience, as an artist and someone who has worked with many non-profits, that alcohol is openly discussed as a way to get patrons to spend more money. The reason, although nobody would say it outright was that they would be drunk. This states that there is a belief that people make decisions they wouldn’t normally without alcohol. This could be easily dismissed as “lifted inhibition” but if this is the strategy of a those at center of our cultural lives, is it in line with our integrity?

I have heard many people dismiss the integrity question because profits are so important. To that point I ask, as was asked in the Tao, which is more important Profit of Integrity?” The assumption “people won’t come if there isn’t alcohol” is one that has been made a lot as well, but that is changing.

As we trudge through this pandemic, we can already begin to see that life is not going to be the same as it was moving forward. There will still be a lot of resistance, but the market has already begun to adjust. Through insight and inspiration, Reynald Grattagliano, founder of ArKay beverages the man behind fake booze, has foreseen the desire to have alcohol free options in our culture since 2011. On the market for nearly 10 years while humming along in the background weathering ridicule and resistance, ArKay and other alcohol alternatives are filling a much needed option. Today alcohol alternatives are being looked to by art galleries, non-profits and many other mindful locations beginning to question their relationship with alcohol.

As the quarantines begin to lift, and we start to learn how we can socialize again, you’re going to notice more alcohol-free options. It is not that alcohol is going away, although it very well may for the yoga studios and other locations that are truly supporting mindfulness, but it is going to have to provide room for its alternative. And when it comes to alternatives, when we look at ArKay, not only does it have no alcohol, it also has no sugar or calories, unlike some of the other alcohol-free options on the market today.


ArKay gallery sponsorship

arkay supports artists
Garner Narrative Contemporary Fine Art

When it comes to high culture, we have to be grateful for the opportunity to engage in it. And within the high culture of mindfulness, as it exists today, we want to stop resounding the message “you are so great so let’s get our buzz on.” Contrary to that the true message of the mindfulness space is that within us all things reside and to touch that is to be in touch with ourselves. When we are drinking we are far from being in touch with ourselves and so to have great beverage options that are also alcohol free is a first giant step in the right direction.

Removing the Buzz in the Mindfulness Space

By Martin Jon 2020, May 6

Anxiety is one of those things that pops up in our lives and, for some of us we just can’t seem to shake it. Some people are finding a singular binding factor to their anxiety and it is alcohol. Within our culture it is so common to find someone in a stressful situation and immediately think “they can use a drink.” That, in a nutshell, has been the problem.

As I wrote in an earlier article, we have been on a very steady path of evolution as of late. As we evolve, we, and our ideas of alcohol and its use, are careening further from each other all the time. Today we cannot deny the science that although in the short term we experience a sense of comfort, what happens over the long term is exponentially worse.

Initially alcohol, a sedative, can take our minds off issues we are having due to living our life. It actually acts like an antianxiety medication; this is why we often hear of people “Self-Medicating” because that is what we are doing. Self-medicating with alcohol, through anxieties we have, will artificially change our brain chemistry. Unlike antianxiety medication there is no regulating it, and its effect on our individual brains. After our serotonin levels get altered artificially, with substances such as alcohol, we will have to naturally balance our levels again. This process will take a lot more time than it did to alter them. The older we get, and the more we practice emotional avoidance, the bigger hole dig. That hole is what we will eventually have to climb out of one day.

Now this may not be common knowledge, but just like cigarettes, eventually people are going to look back and say, “You had to of known you were damaging your body.” And they will be right, because we do know that, we just choose to not look at it, as we did with cigarettes.

Due to people finally looking at the cause of increase anxiety in our culture people are finally kicking alcohol. Now, to be fair, social anxiety, and other types of anxiety exist without alcohol. However, many people use alcohol to navigate those situations. It should be obvious that this is more than a bad idea. This becomes a vicious cycle of feeling social anxious and then drinking. Eventually felling anxious because of the drinking, we then turn to our one cure for anxiety, alcohol. Welcome to addiction.

I do not want to say that those of us who have social anxiety should just suck it up, but we are each going to have to feel some discomfort somewhere. And although alcohol has a very good short term solution we have found that we are only investing in a long term problem.

These days there are so many ways to step away from alcohol and with social media and the multitude of programs that exist in the world today it is only a matter of time until you can find one that is right for you.


She Recovers

SMART Recovery

Alcoholics Anonymous

Secular Organization for Sobriety

Moderation Management

This is not an exhaustive list by any stretch but it is a few place you might want to start looking into your anxiety.

New Parents are Taking Alcohol Off The Menu

Wine moms and beer dads, these labels rallied as the alcohol companies sorted everyone into their perspective groups. Today, with all the studies, writing, and speaking about how trauma and anxiety are connected to alcohol use, this message is burning out. The cuteness of “I’m the reason my mom drinks wine” onesies no longer can be seen with such innocence. And I for one am grateful. The peer pressure wrapped around mindfulness, parenting and drinking is both obvious and scary.

Today, parents and other adults in their late 20s 30s are making the choice to put down the alcohol. It may be as a backlash to the cultural memes that we’ve all be inundated with or, and I hope this to be the case, people are honestly wanting to live conscience lives. Either way, this is a first. Alcohol has been a part of the fabric of society in almost every culture since recorded history.

That is not something that can be done if there is not adequate support however. If there were no options as to what to drink, meaning if these parents were left with only soda and juice, they may think twice about letting go of alcohol. Fortunately, almost a decade ago a product hit the market which opened the doors for that to change. ArKay started selling alcohol alternatives and was greeted with both ridicule and resistance.

arkay-family-alcohol free

Back in 2011 they started to lay the groundwork for the movement we are currently experiencing. This was well before the wine mom culture and those mindful yoga/wine evenings. The vision to see that alcohol was damaging and was turning into a substance we want to distance ourselves from, was what Reynald Grattagliano offered the world. His ability to push through the hard times is now paying dividends, not just for ArKay but our entire culture.

Parents, and others turning from alcohol, are no longer left to just soda and juice isles. ArKay allows these teetotalers sophistication and enjoyment with their beverages. “It is not about getting drunk anymore” say father of 2 Matt Marlborough of Pensacola FL “I have responsibilities and I want to live up to them. Now especially during this pandemic I see that digging a hole I have to climb out of tomorrow is no longer what I want.” His wife Sara responded to that saying “yeah, I am noticing, and maybe it’s because I am getting older, that I can’t bounce back like I did a few years ago.” With 2 kids Sarah and Matt noticed that the anxiety they experienced in the beginning of the pandemic was high and they noticed their drinking increase because of this.


We, had to do something” said Sarah “I just didn’t want to keep on losing my nights.” After being quarantined for a few weeks Sarah came across a meme that said “This is the third time this week I have to order a month supply of alcohol.” She stared at it and couldn’t get over the reality of that statement “I was drinking more than a bottle of wine a day and my anxiety and stress was only under control after I started, so I knew something had to happen.” Sarah mentioned.


For me buying ArKay was a way I could support Sarah” Matt said “I didn’t realize how dependent I was on my drinking until I took this pause. I think I could have ended up with a big problem had I not taken this break.

When asked about the children now that neither of them have had a drink in over 2 months they Laughed and said “We have so much more patience and are able to listen to them” Matt added “I am waking up earlier and enjoying the mornings while not long ago I tried to institute a no playing in the mornings rule because I was hungover. My children shouldn’t have to be punished because I’m hungover.

Inclusive Entertaining:
The Inclusion of Those That Don’t Drink

Being inclusive is one thing that those who are not grasping onto the past are spreading throughout all that they do. The growth of our culture depends upon including others. As we become increasingly global, and COVID-19 is proof of that if you had any doubt, we must challenge old idea more every day.


Only over the past few years has the conversation of sobriety really risen to the surface of our cultural consciousness. Today books and groups as well as popular leaders in the field are gaining ground and raising above the din that surrounds us. As these resources surface the conversation is becoming easier to have, so much so that the market is responding. With more alcohol substitutes on the market the conversation around not drinking is increasingly comfortable to have.


Because we are now being given market proof. There are memes out in the world that say “Alcohol is the only drug I have to explain not using” although it’s still true it’s slowly going away. That is because of Market Proof. In our minds if there is no product on the market, like Alcohol Free Vodka, then no one needs it. However, having a number of different products that fit this category, readily available on the market, presents no more need for the question “What aren’t you drinking?” but raises the question “Why is an option not available?” You see, once I can give you an option it is my job as a host to do just that.

alcohol is a drug

Alcohol is the only drug I have to explain not using

ArKay has been offering Fake Alcohol since 2011 and is becoming increasingly popular as the go to option for those who are choosing to not drink. When COVID-19 gives way to public gathering you are going to find that ArKay, and the inclusion of those who are choosing to abstain, for a day or a lifetime, is going to be a part of the new normal. There are no barriers we cannot shatter and the barrier of the question “Why aren’t you drinking” is one no one should be presented with.

3 Tips for Taking a Break from Alcohol

Martin Jon – May 22,2020

Let’s face it since we were teens Alcohol has been a part of our lives. If not because we were drinking it, but because of the taboo surrounding it. Alcohol may have a part of the fabric of our culture for the entire history of the United States, but it is seeming like those days are at an end. Sure it doesn’t quite look that way at first but change is never like turning on a light switch.

As we tumble further into 2020 the message that living sober is a good idea is becoming louder every day. And that is a challenge for those who have, for one reason or another, made alcohol a part of their identity. All addictive substances do this in one way or another. I have over 19 years clean and sober and I am going to spell out 3 great exercises you can incorporate into your life to help aid stepping away from alcohol.

Find a replacement

 That’s right it is simple, find something you like to do that will take up a little time. Preferable this is something that you cannot drink while doing or becomes counterproductive. Addiction is often the result of the need to seek novelty, so finding something novel can step you out of your drinking loop fairly easily. Some ideas are…

    1. Crafting: Painting, sewing, stitching, sketching, writing, sculpting etc.
    2. Exercising: Running, Sports, Swimming
    3. Tool: Gardening, Working on Cars/Computers

Explore Nonalcoholic options

From beers to booze every alcohol has an alternative in place. And if you are a firm believer that you enjoy a great adult beverage those are more than available for you to explore. Some option are

    1. Heineken 0.0 it totally alcohol free but there are many extremely low alcohols on the market as well
    2. Alcohol Free wines can be found almost anywhere you by regular wine so you might not even have to change where you are shopping
    3. The alcohol free liquor movement only started 9 years ago with ArKay and they are still leading the pack as more companies are seeing the viability of having alcohol free Vodka, Whisky, Rum, and many more.

Tell Someone

Look, let’s be honest, no one cares if you drink or not. Your not drinking, is not a judgment on someone else’s. Don’t hide your choice because you are afraid of the question “Why Not?” Alcohol is the only drug we are expected to explain not using and if we continue to explain it, then we are inadvertently saying it is okay to ask. If you need help in this category here are a few responses to the unavoidable question “Why aren’t you drinking?”

    1. I just feel better when I don’t.
    2. I’ve decided to see what life is like without it for a while.
    3. Because I don’t have to.

These are in no way meant to get you over any finish line. If you have a problem and want to quit alcohol for good you already know what to do. It is no secret, and there are resources everywhere to do just that. So if you are interested in recovery pick one that works for you and go do it. In the meantime, for those of you looking to curtail your use, or just gain a bit more balance in your life, try some of the above techniques and see where they take you.

Why Those in Recovery Deserve Better

Martin Jon – May 25,2020

Rock bottom is not a place we all get to hit, but those of us that do are playing with a bit of an advantage. We know where it is. Unbeknownst to most that is a place of awakening. Now don’t get me wrong Rock Bottom doesn’t look that same for everyone. One person’s rock bottom might be passing out and waking up in an open grave. Someone else’s might be having passed out and they woke up too late to bring their child to their dentist appointment. These may look quite different, but one thing remains, the person experiencing it was motivated to change the way they have been living their lives. That is what rock bottom is and those of us who have hit this place due to alcohol deserve better.

Better than…

  • …every first date requiring alcohol.
  • …any job we get having all social gatherings revolve around alcohol
  • …meeting new people and being offered a beer, wine or cocktail
  • …when refusing alcohol being asked surprisingly “why not?”
  • …the assumption that my not drinking equates to my being a bore
  • …juice and soda

So, most of those are cultural hurdles and people are not often willing to change (that is unless they’ve hit rock bottom). One thing we can change though is the beverage options that are available to us. No one wants to drink juice or sugary sodas all night, and the sparkling water varieties that exist are deep but far from a rich beverage experience. Today we are in luck as there are more and more alcohol-free options open to us. Low alcohol beers have been on the market for a while and now we have a great 0.0 option that Heineken is selling in the US. Alcohol free wines are also on the market and, although you may have to order online, they are plentiful. When it comes to cocktails and liquors though these alcohol alternatives are much newer, but maybe not as new as you’d think.

ArKay beverages have been crafting premier fake alcohol for almost 10 years. With 33 different varieties they are leading the new market of alcohol alternative mixers. When Reynald Gattagliano first started selling ArKay he was met with ridicule and resistance with many people asking “Why do I want whisky without alcohol?” But today we are seeing it is a product we can use because it is an option we want.


Event hosts are always looking for the open bar and the growth of this market will invite the question “Does that include ArKay?” For those who have never struggled with alcohol, or better said, those who have never questioned if they struggle with alcohol, this option may seem extraneous. More people are turning from alcohol. This is not because they woke up in an open grave, but because they don’t want to drink any longer. These individuals are choosing differently because they hit their rock bottom. As increasing numbers of people do this your next event will, more than likely, have enough alcohol free people there to warrant a comment or two. If you didn’t plan ahead, and have no ArKay to offer, you will be turning your back on some of your best guests. You’ll also be reiterating that alcohol drinkers deserve more attention than those of us who have turned our back on the easy answer to find our own. We deserve better than that.

Bars Seeing an Opportunity are Stocking up on Alcohol Free Options

Martin Jon – June 1st, 2020

ArKay, the most recognized alcohol-free spirit on the market, has had an explosion of interest as of late. As bars are slated to open back up in the coming weeks, they are learning from a trend they were seeing before the lockdowns. Increasing numbers of people have been walking into bars and asking for classy and delicious alcohol-free drinks. This has been widely documented and the sober curious movement has stepped up considerably over the past year. Today, as states are slated to start slowly opening back up, bars are on top of this trend and stocking ArKay beverages as to not miss the boat because every dollar counts these days. And to simply have alcohol free options at a bar might just help these bars keep their lights on.

Sober customers used to be welcomed but we never had enough for them.” Says Troy Abrams, a mixologist out of Washington state. “We often would feel an opportunity to experiment, but everything was so limited. As we prepare to open up again, I am excited to have ArKay on the shelves.” ArKay has been making alcohol alternatives since 2011 and are a one stop shop for any bar looking to stock and experiment with fake booze. With 33 flavors they cover every one of traditional alcohols you would find in a standard bar in the united states.

As the pandemic of Covid-19 passes, we are heading into a world where drinking alcohol is no longer a foregone conclusion. The doors for us to be sober curious are wide open. Even if we only choose it for one night, or just for the last drink, it could make all the difference in our lives. If you’re choosing to better to yourself, to stay healthy and to appreciate your life, choosing ArKay the next time you are at the bar might bring you one step closer.

arkay zero proof vodka alternative
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