Mushrooms, Magic, and Mocktails in Miami: Inside the Story of Little Saints

9 mins read

In the bustling world of Miami nightlife and mixology, where cocktails often take center stage, Little Saints emerges as a unique player, blending innovation, sustainability, and a heavy touch of plant magic. Founded by the remarkable Megan Klein, a former environmental lawyer turned hydroponic farmer turned plant-based food innovator, Little Saints is making waves with its exceptional line of non-alcoholic, plant-powered mocktails.

Megan Klein’s journey into the world of plant-based innovation is nothing short of fascinating. Trained as an attorney, she initially pursued environmental law with the noble goal of protecting nature, but soon realized that her passion for nature needed an even more inspiring outlet. Klein eventually transitioned into hydroponic farming, where she focused on vertical farming – a concept that had long captivated her. After working with a hydroponic basil and microgreens farm in Chicago, which later transformed into the successful brand Field and Farmer, Megan’s journey took yet one more turn, bringing us here today.

Enter Little Saints: A Symphony of Nature, Plants & Inspiration

Little Saints, a venture that embodies Klein’s profound connection with nature, carries a special sort of whimsical charm inspired by the notion of mushrooms as “little helpers.” As Klein puts it, “Humans have been enjoying drinks since the beginning of time. We use mushrooms as our fuel to make you feel sparkly and uplifted. The idea here is that we all need some sort of something, a little saint.” True, indeed.

Little Saints isn’t just about crafting delicious, plant-based beverages; it’s a movement towards a healthier, more conscious way of imbibing. The brand incorporates powerful mushrooms like Reishi and Lion’s Mane, known for their mood-altering and cognitive benefits, along with uplifting terpenes derived from lemon rind, hops, and lavender, imbuing Little Saints with both flavor and functional benefits.

Beyond Conventional Beverages: A Spiritual Perspective

Klein’s personal encounter with Ayahuasca in 2015 laid the foundation for infusing intention and prayer into the drinks. “We believe that when we put intention into the actual liquid that it’s really going to help bring the benefits to people who are drinking them,” Klein reveals. “I studied a lot about the emotional properties of plants and how interacting with them spiritually and emotionally, the benefits kind of multiply,” adding that out of respect for the plant ingredients, each tank is blessed as it is getting made.

Little Saints is more than a beverage; it’s Klein’s vision for a world where feeling good, taking care of yourself, and having fun go hand in hand. She states, “I want to end this paradigm we all have that having fun and feeling good are often at odds with each other.”

Lion’s Mane and Palo Santo: Blending Flavor and Ethical Practices

Mushrooms, Magic, and Mocktails in Miami: Inside the Story of Little Saints - Little Saints - June 2024

Delving into the sensory experience, Klein unveils the distinct characteristics of Little Saints’ offerings. The Reishi-infused cans offer a citrusy experience, providing a calming effect. On the other hand, the Lion’s Mane, a key player in the spirit variant, introduces a spicy and smoky profile, enhanced by the infusion of palo santo.

Klein ensures that sustainability is at the core of Little Saints’ ethos and all ingredients are responsibly sourced. The mushrooms are sourced from a USDA organic facility in San Diego, ensuring a local and sustainable supply. Unlike traditional practices of mushroom extractions—using solvents or alcohol—Little Saints’ mushroom extractions are achieved using ultrasound technology that targets beta glucans, the most potent part of the mushroom. This results in a substance 700x more potent than a regular mushroom powder. As for the Palo Santo, a key ingredient in one of their beverages, it is meticulously sourced from a sustainably managed forest in Northern Peru, where it is harvested from only dead and fallen trees and turned into raw oil, which Klein’s team makes into an edible extract.

Setting a New Standard: Potency, Sugar-Free and Aromatic Appeal

What else sets Little Saints apart in an ever more crowded market? According to Klein, the answer lies with the brand’s unapologetic focus on highly potent mushrooms and monk fruit sweetening for a sugar-free experience. Another intriguing aspect is the emphasis on smell and the incorporation of terpenes. “One of the reasons people reach for a drink is because we associate the smell with a positive experience we had before. None of these non-alcoholic beverages really have smell. And that’s why our brand has terpenes. So, every Little Saints, you’ll smell it,” she enthuses.

Miami: A Vibrant Canvas for Little Saints

Choosing Miami as the headquarters for Little Saints is a strategic move for Klein. In a city that seamlessly fuses partying and wellness, she sees an untapped market for non-alcoholic beverages. “We’re 100% committed to being the #1 non-alcoholic beverage in Miami,” she states with conviction. The city’s enthusiastic reception to Little Saints affirms that the time is ripe for a paradigm shift when it comes to imbibing.

So far, several of Miami’s hottest bars and restaurants have adopted Little Saints themselves, including Better Days, Joia Beach, Soho Beach House, The Standard Hotel, Villa Azur, and more. Four Planta locations currently carry Little Saints, featuring alcohol-free cocktail options on their menus like the “Not-A-Rita,” made with Little Saints st. mezcal, cranberry, lion’s mane, ginger, lime, and agave.

Crafting a Healthier Future: Klein’s Vision for Little Saints

As we conclude our conversation, Klein reiterates her hopes for Little Saints – to transcend the notion that having fun and feeling good are mutually exclusive. “Socializing is the key to our happiness… it should not be the case that we need to stop going out to stay healthy,” says Klein, expressing a desire to redefine the narrative around drinking. “And it’s not like you have to drink all Little Saints either,” she adds, “sometimes people have a cocktail to start, and then have three Little Saints rather than having four cocktails.”

Whether you’ve opted to eschew alcohol altogether or are simply cutting back on how much of it you consume, Little Saints is poised to be a welcome addition to any beverage menu you may be perusing. So, in honor of that, let’s raise our (non-alcoholic and proverbial) glasses to this plant-powered elixir as we usher in a new era of fun, flavor, and function. Cheers to Little Saints!

Ana Heretoiu

Ana Heretoiu is a freelance writer/brand copywriter based in Miami. Over the last 8 years she has covered hospitality, fashion, art & wellness in both editorial and advertorial capacity. Her former stints include being an editor for Eater Miami and contributor for several print and digital publications, including Ocean Drive Magazine, Modern Luxury, Think Magazine, Racked & Dining Out. Aside from writing, Ana enjoys teaching Yoga, getting in and out of the twistiest of shapes, and inventing new words, like “twistiest.”

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