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  • Hartley


Updated: May 5

Text that reads "Alcohol free nightcap of the month: Ghia review", with red Ghia bottle on a starry background
via Sidney Bensimon

As Christmas trees collect on the corner and we begrudgingly set alarms for 6am hot yoga—January already feels kinda “dry”... so going sober for the month can be that extra thing. Just another joy we must deny ourselves as we resolve to get our sh*t together in 2024.

For those who are new here: I’m an insomniac and my sleep specialist is breathing down my neck about lifestyle changes, which includes cutting out alcohol in the evening.

Until I did the research, I didn’t know just how bad booze was for our health: even one drink decreases sleep quality by 24% for women. 

Since my doctor’s scolding, I’ve been sampling, savoring (and sometimes pouring down the drain) what feels like the entire alcohol-free market.

So what better time than dry January to kick off this series: Better Snooze Without the Booze? 

This won’t be a “buzz” kill: I promise you the most convincing alcohol-free swaps that are anything but boring. So let’s get into it…

Ghia: the aperitivo that transports you to the mediterranean

I first heard about Ghia, a non-alcoholic apéritif, on Shark Tank. While the brand’s creator got a little mauled by the sharks–I, for one, was TOTALLY onboard with her vision.

Mocktails have always felt rather “one note” to me (and WAY too sweet). But not Ghia: it’s complex, sweet on the intake with a savory finish.

Described as “summer on the rocks,” it is my top recommendation for negroni lovers. Picture an Italian amaro, like Campari, with less ‘body’ but all the signature plant extracts and herbs.

Ever heard of Japanes yuzu? Neither had I. It’s a relative of mandarin and the fragrant basis of the formula. Combined with lemon balm, elderflower and rosemary, Ghia presents as both botanical and fresh.

And here’s what I love most about it: Ghia’s ingredients are clean! This is a deal-breaker for me in the AF-space…most formulations are packed with artificial flavours, colours and sugar. Ghia is natural and has only 20 calories per serving.

And does it hurt that the bottle is to DIE for? With its sculptural wood cork, ribbed glass and 70’s font, you can repurpose it as a chic vessel for olive oil, table water and even mouthwash. 

Call me a stan.

My favourite way to prepare it

I have tasted the entire range so I say this with some authority: the original is my go-to, with an honourable mention to the Chilli & Sumac flavour in their line of spritzes (for those who like a spicy kick).

Ghia provides a ton of sophisticated cocktail recipes—calling for things like orgeat, apricot preserves and wildflower honey—but it’s totally delicious with just soda water.

I keep it simple with 1oz Ghia, 2 oz club soda, a squeeze of orange, ice and thyme for garnish (for negroni-lovers, check out their take on the classic with the “Agrodolce” recipe).

A word of advice: always treat mocktails with the same love you would their alcoholic counterparts. We’re taking away booze, not the experience of a cocktail. 

So express that orange peel! Infuse those simple syrups! Garnish and muddle your heart out! You get the picture. It should feel like a well-earned treat at the end of a long day.

Where to buy Ghia?

For $52 USD a bottle, you can buy Ghia directly from their website in the States, or Canadians can find it exclusively online at The Sobr Market.

So fill me in: what are some of your favourite mocktail brands (or recipes)? I would love love love some inspiration.

Psst. What's the worst alcohol for your sleep? Find out here.


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