Ghia is a non-alcoholic apéritif inspired by the Mediterranean tradition of blending botanical extracts from orange peel and elderflower, and yuzu for an Asian touch, with nervines, medicinal plants that have been used for centuries to decrease stress and increase energy. Nervines include plants such as lemon balm, rosemary, ginger and gentian root. Together, they create a flavor that is distinctly bright and bitter. Ghia has no artificial flavors, added sugars or caffeine, and it is vegan and kosher. to drink on its own, on the rocks, with seltzer, or as a mixer in cocktails.
Melanie Masarin was back in Italy and remembering her childhood summers near the Mediterranean. Her mother and grandmother made giant jugs of limoncello using freshly picked lemons, and family and friends gathered to relax and laugh and listen to beautiful music long into the balmy nights. At lunch with a friend, Melanie noted wistfully the lack of a non-alcoholic drink to raise a glass in celebration or congratulations—one that was chic, trendy and delicious. Melanie decided right then and there to fill that gap in the beverage market. She would become the founder and CEO of Ghia.
Melanie had graduated from Brown University with an A.B. in Economics and went on to be
Director of Strategy at American Eagle Outfitters; Creative Director of Dig Inn, a chain of locally farm sourced restaurants; and head of experiential strategy at Glossier, a beauty company that was rebranding from online to brick and mortar.
After researching and seeking out myriad botanicals and producing possibly hundreds of combinations, Melanie and her team came up with the exactly right blend of ingredients. Then, about as much care went into the packaging. Melanie’s vision was of a postmodern Italian design with a modern vibe. The bottle is crystal clear, as transparent as everything is about the Ghia company, with a sculptural chocolate-colored ball topping off the cork. The label is punchy and persuasive with the juxtaposition of auburn and sky blue and the stroke of gold foil distinguished by a slightly retro typeface.
All packaging materials are biodegradable or recyclable and made with 100% paper and biodegradable inks. Melanie hopes the bottles are upcycled.
Ghia was ready to launch in June 2020. Melanie wanted to launch it in person, inviting people to try it in person, but restaurants were closed and there was no place for any gathering. So she launched on line and personalized the experience by sending handwritten notes to the first 1200 customers. The customers wrote back about the events they celebrated with Ghia and how perfect it was to send family and friends to keep in touch while isolated.
In less than a year, Ghia was being sold in more than 350 retailers and had already become a bar-cart staple in households around the country.
Ghia Le Spritz
In April 2021, Melanie expanded the line with Ghia Le Spritz, a ready-to-drink, single-serve can that features Ghia’s signature formula balanced with a splash of sparkling water and an array of botanicals. Just pop the 8-ounce can and pour the bubbling contents over rocks.
- Ghia Ginger is both refreshing and warm, made from the original Ghia formula with fresh ginger juice, wildflower honey, a hint of black pepper, and a splash of sparkling water.
- Ghia Lime & Salt is as crisp and salty as a dip in the Mediterranean Sea. Ghia is spritzed with fresh lime and a dash of sea salt.
- Ghia Soda starts with a base of water, Riesling white grape juice and yuzu juice. From there, natural extracts are added: lemon balm, elderflower, gentian root, acacia, orange, rosemary and ginger.
Cheers to Ghia!
Ghia has been featured in The New York Times and Vogue and selected for Bon Appetit’s “Highly Recommended” column.
Ghia was the first non-alcoholic brand to win Esquire’s “Drink of the Year” in 2020.
In 2022, it was named as one of Fast Company’s “Top 10 Most Innovative Consumer Goods Companies.”