Cocktail & Other Recipes By Spirit Other Cocktails

Night at the Spritz

A tall, tapered flute glass holds a reddish sparkling drink, a few cubes of ice, a lemon peel and a sprig of rosemary. The background of the image is solid pink.
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Nacho Alegre

Spritzes and high balls are generally great choices for lower proof drinks, especially ones like the classic afternoon tipple of Campari & Soda. But for some that’s still too much; whether you’re cutting out alcohol for good, replacing some drinks in an evening with something non-alcoholic, or simply taking a break for a day or two or more, there are plenty of great reasons to opt for something zero proof.

However, one of the difficulties in replacing alcoholic drinks with booze-free alternatives is the challenge of replicating the taste. A Campari & Soda, for instance, is particular—it’s nearly impossible to replicate the flavors of a fermented or distilled beverage, especially a deep botanical one like Campari. And just making a bitters & soda or even a non-alcoholic shrub doesn’t always scratch that particular itch or satisfy the craving for a bitter, botanical spritz.

Luckily, recent years have seen brands and distillers who have stepped forward to create non-alcoholic takes on a variety of spirits and liqueurs. The Night at the Spritz—a nonalcoholic cocktail created by bartender Alison St. Pierre of King in New York City—uses one such product to replicate the Mediterranean culture of aperitivi and digestivi and its traditional low-alcohol midday refreshers like said Campari & Soda. In it, St. Pierre replaces the iconic Italian liqueur with Ghia, a nonalcoholic faux-liqueur flavored with yuzu, orange and ginger. Ghia was the creation of Melanie Masarin, who grew up spending summers on the Mediterranean, and wanted to capture that cultural obsession with aperitivi while providing the opportunity to enjoy the drinks without alcohol consumption.

Ghia does most of the heavy lifting in the Night at the Spritz, with soda adding effervescence and helping to open up and express Ghia’s aromatics and botanicals. For those who want it sweeter or with more kick can try another kind of soda; grapefruit sodas, for instance, work rather well with the flavors of the Ghia. An orange twist and a sprig of rosemary supply extra aromatics, and the result is a foolproof mocktail suitable for brunch, apertivo hours, and after-dinner imbibing without the risk of a headache the next day.

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces Ghia
  • 2 ounces sparkling water
  • Garnish: rosemary sprig
  • Garnish: orange twist

Steps

  1. Add the Ghia and sparkling water into a wine or rocks glass over ice and stir briefly to combine.

  2. Garnish with a fresh rosemary sprig and orange twist.