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I don’t drink cocktails before 6pm, this is not a hard and fast rule, weekends are sometimes exceptions, but most of the time I don’t confuse myself American Until evening comes. That idiosyncrasy, to me, is what makes cocktails so delightful—it’s drinks of a time and place, like eggnog (December 1-25 not a day later) or date shake (I-10 between Cabazon and Indio, CA).
So when I am Take a break from drinking It’s almost six, what I don’t want is another can of non-commercial carbonated water that I’ve been drinking all day at work. I want something special, festive, a cocktail to help me transition from day to night. Now, that’s something Le Spritz Ghia, a sparkling canned drink with all the bitter complications of an aperitif but none of the booze.
Le Spritz – which, according to my French high school, means “spritz” – is the single-serve ready-to-drink Ghia, a flawless, brand-name non-alcoholic aperitif that has a very bitter bite. I tend to cut the width of the original Ghia with a tonic or Spindrift, but with Le Spritz, all I have to do is take out an 8 oz. can grab my Favorite rock glass. The liquid is an unfiltered dark rose color, the bubbles are there but they are nice. Like any previous good drink, Le Spritz stimulates your appetite. There is sweetness from Riesling grape juice and fig concentrate. citrus and herbal notes thanks to yuzu, lemon balm, and rosemary; Bitter wolfberry from the root of gentian, a flowering alpine plant displayed in an aperitif as suz and salers. It is so complex that it sounds like a completely adult drink, although it can’t be described.
Nobody likes feeling deprived – which is why gluten-free croissants exist, however ill-wise – so when I’m not drinking, I set myself up for success. Sure, I could stick with sparkling water, but why deny myself when Ghia’s Le Spritz fills that cocktail-shaped hole in my heart?