It all started with limoncello. Growing up, Melanie Masarin spent her summers at her family’s house in the South of France, where her grandmother kept homemade bottles of the stuff made from fresh-picked lemons. Inspired by how it featured at the table and brought people together, she took that philosophy and applied it to her own brand: Ghia, a nonalcoholic aperitif, officially launched on June 16. It’s packed with natural ingredients and has a bright citrus kick—not unlike her grandma’s original recipe.
In a serendipitous turn of events, the product release is perfectly timed to upcoming Fourth of July festivities. Though as social distancing continues, this year’s celebrations will look a bit different. For her part, Masarin will be having a couple friends over for a dry-ish fete to make the most of the holiday safely, hosting an aperitivo-turned-dinner. If you’re planning to spend the long weekend with your neighbors or close family in the backyard, take a page from Masarin’s entertaining playbook.
Create a Signature Spike-able Cocktail
If someone in your party of three (or two) is interested in imbibing, let them DIY it. Masarin’s go-to is something she’s calling the Ghia Spritz: a splash of tonic or soda water with a twist of orange peel. “It can be spiked with champagne for a low-ABV option,” she says.
Don’t Give Up the Bar Cart
“I like to make a little station with the main spritz and low-ball glasses, so the drinks remain fresh and everyone can feel like they’re a mixologist,” says Masarin. Hers will include buckets of ice (she’s freezing lemon water and hibiscus iced tea with a few mint leaves instead of plain water), a few different juices, and stylish glassware. It’s all the fun of bartending—minus the hangover.
Hand Out Party Favors
In addition to featuring shiso, rosemary, and mint garnishes on her entertaining stand, Masarin will be sending her guests home with usable souvenirs. She’s making little bundles for everyone to take away in empty Ghia bottles. “My balcony overlooks my garden, and I have more herbs than I can ever use,” she explains. Everyone will have something fresh to cook with for the rest of the long weekend—plus you might save them a trip to the supermarket.
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