Aperitif / Ghia NA / 0.0%
Ghia is a non-alcoholic apéritif packed with only pure, natural extracts. Potent plants. Heady herbals. Blithe botanicals. Everything inside our bottle was picked because of its completely natural ability to soothe and to stimulate.
When my bottle of Ghia Aperitif arrived, I was feeling a bit under the weather. With two young kids, it seems to be a common occurance that at least one person in the household is dealing with the bug of the day. I thought to myself as I opened the package that enjoying this beverage was not at odds with me being a bit off. Now had I started a full octane, high alcohol review website, that would be quite a different story — I definitely shouldn’t be partaking as I try to get healthier. Yet another joy of non alcoholic products that continue to delight in various ways.
As I opened the package and spied the retro bottle and the aperitif in its dark red glory, I felt that I had to write this review, even if I wasn’t at 100% (for those wondering, my sense of taste and smell were not impacted). Now don’t get me wrong, I am not stating that NA beverages are a magic elixir that can cure your ailments, but what I am saying is that they can be enjoyed responsibly while you have such ailments. In fact, allowing yourself to enjoy an NA cocktail might just be the thing that puts your mind in a peaceful state as you work to mend yourself.
I am honored to be able to try so many NA products that I seek out on store shelves and online. I feel that I have more experience with them most and I’ve seen it all from the truly remarkable to the “what did I just drink??”. One aspect I like about this space is that founders tend to take a blank canvas when it comes to designing their brands, their packaging and of course their drinks.
With that being said, I believe that Ghia is a trailblazer in many ways. They branding is super-unique and retro; it will stand out against anything else you see, NA or otherwise. They nailed their taglines like “Over the Influence”, “We’re a Drink to Remember” and “Clear Eyed and High Minded” so much so that they need to get a TM symbol behind them before other companies come and steal their thunder.
Ghia Aperitif Review
When you open the Ghia box, you see the witty taglines as well as a keyhole cutout, which invites you into the whimsical world they have created. The bottle itself invites you to see the beverage and uses sparse branding on the front label. I even got a fancy pour spout, which fit perfectly on the neck of the bottle and allowed for a perfect flow into a glass of my choosing. Without the simple triangle logo gracing the front, the bottle itself is relatively uninteresting and wouldn’t necessarily stand out on a shelf. I would also add that sediment does naturally occur in the bottle and it’s especially noticeable if the bottle is kept on its side — the bottle states that as a natural product it will settle and it’s recommended to shake well before pouring.
Is Ghia Aperitif Good?
I decided to mix my Ghia Aperitif with soda water and ice so I could capture the flavors as cleanly as possible. The ingredients list on Ghia reads like an advanced novel with ingredients like yuzu juice, gentian root extract and fig concentrate. Unlike many other NA spirits I’ve come across, there are no added sugars in this drink and any sense of sweetness (you won’t find much) would come from the juices or concentrates themselves.
I poured the 1.5oz serving size into a clear glass with a wide mouth so I could try to assess the nose on the drink. I was able to pick up the yuzu juice immediately which I would liken to a cross between lemon and grapefruit. It’s likely supported by the lemon balm extract, which is also an ingredient in the beverage. The color is akin to V8 or a bloody mary mix and this is likely due to the vegetable juice added specifically for color.
The taste is definitely bitter, as an aperitif should be, and it presents itself like a citrus rind mixed raw ginger. The finish stays with you long after you drink it and coats the throat in a similar fashion to a syrup. Pairing with more or less of a mixer definitely changes the length of time the finish stays with you. I found that I enjoyed the long finish and poured my second taste with less soda water to compliment that apsect of the beverage.
Ghia Aperitif Rating
I appreciate the uniqueness of Ghia Aperitif. While Melanie, the creator, says that the product is inspired by the aperitivo culture of the Mediterranean, I couldn’t help but believe she’s created something quite unique in its own regard. I don’t think it’s for everyone — most palates tend to gravitate towards sweetness and sweet this is not. It’s bitter and sticks with you long after a pull on the glass.
I do gravitate towards NA spirits that can be served neat, on the rocks or lightly mixed with plain soda water. Ghia checked that box for me; it makes enjoying it less complicated and it leaves less to be hidden by mixers. That’s my personal preference, and while I think Ghia rightfully will have a front-row spot on my own NA spirits cabinet, it’s not the first NA beverage I’d bring to a party or break out for others to get them into the scene. I believe it to be too polarizing for basic palates.
I am rating Ghia Aperitif a really solid 4/5. The thought that was put into branding, creating a beverage that is truly unique and thinking about consumption as an experience are all really commendable qualities of Ghia. I will definitely be reaching for it again soon as I unwind from a stressful day or try to get over the next illness that strikes my household!