Ghia is a deliciously bitter non-alcoholic aperitif, and it has been taste-tested in several mocktails, including some excellent brand recommended drinks.
Though made with a base of white riesling grape juice and yuzu juice, it tastes quite bitter and smells a lot like orange and grapefruit peel supercharged with herbs and botanicals.
There are several interesting botanicals blended in to achieve the perfect aperitif. (See dropdown menu below for more information on ingredients, nutrition and storage.)
Whether or not you drink alcohol, you will want to keep a bottle around. The bottle is well designed and the branding cool. They claim it “tastes like summer on the rocks,” and it’s true.
The founder spent summers near the Mediterranean growing up, where aperitivo culture is king. For anyone who has experienced this culture, Ghia has found a way to bottle it – without alcohol.
All the mocktails tested were delicious. Try it on its own, try with tonic and a slice of orange for a refreshing spritz, or test out one of their brand recommended drinks. You really can’t go wrong.
Ghia is a great way to cut out the extra alcohol when you want an aperitif but don’t want the extra spirits before drinking wine at dinner. This is just one of the ways I have found it easy to cut back on alcohol consumption without losing the ritual. Because it’s so good, Ghia makes it easy.
Best enjoyed in: She Bites
In order to thoughtfully review a product, it must be tested. Here’s the method used for taste testing all non-alcoholic drinks:
What Does Ghia Taste Like…
- On ice
- On ice with tonic or appropriate single mixer
- Brand recommended mocktails
- Get creative
Ghia is very bitter sipped neat. It tastes and smells a lot like orange and grapefruit peel loaded with botanicals. This gives it a lightness. Ghia is very rich, but refreshing at the same time. I like it neat, but prefer to enjoy it this way in a small dose.
#2 On Ice
After adding some ice, Ghia lightens up a bit in texture and is very refreshing. It’s still bitter but delicious.
#3 On Ice with Sparkling Water and Tonic Water
First, I tried splashing some sparkling water in Ghia over ice. Ghia calls this “A Night at the Spritz.” Verdict: Cute name, good aperitif. This would be nice on a hot day, but it left me wanting to try it with a little more sweetness.
So, I mixed Ghia with with Fever Tree Refreshingly Light Tonic Water over ice and garnished with a slice of orange peel. Verdict: The slight sweetness and quinine offered by the tonic water makes this a very tasty beverage. This is a delicious non alcoholic spritz! If you want to drink it with less sugar, just dilute the tonic water with sparkling water and find your perfect mix! I would not call it a non alcoholic Aperol Spritz, because the flavor isn’t the same, but it’s in the spirit of an Italian spritz, and delicious.
#4 Brand Recommended Ghia Mocktail Recipes
When taste-testing a product, brand recommended drinks are a great place to start. After all, mocktails that the brand recommends should be delicious, right? Unfortunately, it’s not always the case, but it definitely helps me understand how best to use it in beverages.
So, here are a few Ghia mocktail recipes featured on their website and let’s see which Ghia drink tastes best:
- 1.5 oz Ghia
- 3 oz ginger beer
- 1 lime wedge
- Grated lime zest
Pour 1.5 oz Ghia and mix with 3 oz ginger beer. Stir gently. Serve in highball glass on the rocks and garnish with a fresh squeezed lime wedge. Finish with dusting of grated lime zest.
Verdict: Wow – this is very tasty. Almost too good! I used Refreshingly Light Ginger Beer to cut back on the sugar. It would be easy to drink several of these. She Bites is not only a clever name but a unique drink. The bitterness of the aperitif helps to dampen the sweetness of the ginger beer, so you experience a little more spice.
If you like ginger beer and mules, you should check out this list of mule mocktails. The botanicals in several non-alcoholic spirits play well with ginger beer, but Ghia is the first non-alcoholic aperitif to be tested with the mixer. “She Bites” has been added to that list of favorites.
- 1.5 oz Ghia
- 2 oz fresh grapefruit juice
- .25 honey syrup (optional)
- 1 thick 1/4 lemon wheel
- A sprinkle of Maldon salt
Pour 1/5 oz Ghia and 2 oz fresh grapefruit juice. If you’re feeling sweet, add a small spoonful of honey syrup. Serve in lowball glass on the rocks. Garnish with a thick 1/4 lemon wheel and a sprinkle of Maldon sea salt.
Verdict: This is really refreshing! The richness of Ghia brings some balance to the tartness of the grapefruit. The lemon slice is the perfect complement. This is one of the best simple mocktails I’ve tasted.
Note: I even tried adding honey syrup with a second round and don’t prefer it. If you like it sweeter, I’d probably suggest simple syrup, made with sugar. Something about the richness of the honey changes the balance of this beverage.
Whether or not you choose to add sweetener may depend on how sour your grapefruit is. I used a red grapefruit from Florida and it was quite sweet (for a grapefruit), so it didn’t need to be sweetened. I would try the drink first, then add simple syrup, as needed, ¼ tsp at a time.
- 2 oz Ghia
- .5oz date syrup
- 3 sprigs of thyme
- 3 dashes orange bitters
- Small sprig of thyme
- A sprinkle of orange zest
Pour 2 oz Ghia into a shaker. Add .5 date syrup, 3 sprigs of thyme, 3 dashes orange bitters. Shake and strain into lowball glass with a large ice cube. Garnish with a small sprig of fresh thyme and even a dusting of orange zest for that extra kick of citrus.
Verdict: This is a nice aperitivo. Bitter and sweet. It has an interesting spice flavor that shines with the date syrup, and would be a great non alcoholic holiday cocktail.
Ghia references the Negroni as an inspiration for this drink. While it tastes nothing like a Negroni, I feel the inspiration. I wouldn’t go so far as call it a non alcoholic negroni, but it’s bitter enough to play the role of bitter aperitivo when you are looking to skip the alcohol. Overall, a fun Ghia drink.
#5 Get Creative with Ghia
Agrodolce was delicious, but I’m going to try another take on a non-alcoholic Negroni with Monday Zero Alcohol Gin and Ghia.
I slightly altered the Agrodolce recipe: I used 1oz Monday gin, 1oz Ghia, .5oz date syrup, and 3 dashes of orange bitters. I shook these ingredients over ice with a couple sprigs of thyme, and strained into an Old Fashioned Glass with ice.
Verdict: This was less rich than the Agrodolce. It was nice and drinkable, but I can’t say the Monday gin added a lot of value to this drink. I would happily enjoy this mocktail, but probably would not buy a bottle of Monday just for this drink.
By the way, Monday gin is a great gin substitute in classic cocktails. The full review has all the details.
After testing Ghia in all these drinks, I can confidently recommend it as a non-alcoholic aperitif. It’s really nice on it’s own (in small amounts) and delicious in mocktails. Of all the drinks tested, She Bites was my favorite, with Ghia Greyhound being a close second.
You can pick up a bottle on Ghia’s website or check their list of shops that stock it near you.
Ingredients: Water, Reisling White Grape Juice Concentrate, Gentian Root Extract, Yuzu Juice, Lemon Balm Extract, Fig Concentrate, Elderflower Extract, Acacia, Orange Peel Extract, Rosemary Extract, Ginger Extract, Fruit and Vegetable Juice for Color, Potassium Sorbate (preservative, to preserve freshness, less than 0.1%)
VEGAN, NO ADDED SUGARS, NO ARTIFICIAL FLAVORS
Nutrition: Serving size 1.5 fl oz | 20 calories, Fat 0g, Sodium 10mg, Carbohydrates 4g, Total Sugars 3g, Protein 0g*
*Nutrition information was found on the bottle and might be subject to change.
Storage: After opening, store in the fridge and drink within three weeks. Unopened, Ghia can be stored in a cool, dry place for up to 6 months from the date on the bottle.