Mélanie Masarin, NYC

GHIA X LIFE HOUSE GUAVA SPRITZ: INSPIRED BY THE CUBAN LOCALE

GHIA X LIFE HOUSE GUAVA SPRITZ: INSPIRED BY THE CUBAN LOCALE

Ghia is a nonalcoholic aperitif made with botanical extracts, and has been a staple on all our House cocktail menus since 2020. We spoke to Ghia's founder about the roots of the mood-improving spirit, her devotion to sustainability, and the inspiration for the Ghia x Life House Guava Spritz recipe at our Little Havana House.

Mélanie Masarin is the Founder and CEO of Ghia, a non-alcoholic apéritif made with natural extracts that work together to kick up energy and calm down the mind. Life House Little Havana's rooftop bar & restaurant, Terras, features Ghia elixirs blended with locally sourced Latin fruits and herbs from the rooftop gardens. To celebrate the reopening of Terras, we talked with Melanie about her journey to build Ghia and the inspiration for our collaboration.

The Setting: Is there a place or life experience that sparked your idea for Ghia?

Ghia was inspired by the summers I spent in the South of France near the Mediterranean with my family. Many of those moments were spent entertaining friends, cooking together, and having conversations that lasted until dawn, fueled by my grandmother’s homemade limoncello made with fresh-picked lemons. With those memories in mind, Ghia is meant to connect over shared experiences and create a moment to remember.

The Plot: What effects do natural nervines (your magic ingredient) have on the body and mind?

Natural nervines are mood-improving herbs that help the mind and body feel calm and connected. We believe that when you use real ingredients, there are real benefits. While we didn’t want Ghia to directly alter mood, the use of our lemon balm (our natural nervine) can help alleviate stress and anxiety people are feeling in today’s world and society.

The Characters: Are there any entrepreneurs or artists that inspire you right now?

There are too many to list, but if I had to pick one, it would be my friend, Nicolas Jammet. He’s one of the founders of Sweetgreen, a company that has managed to stay true to its mission over the years, which is making healthy food more accessible. Additionally, Sweetgreen recently announced they have committed to becoming Carbon Neutral by 2027, which is something I greatly admire.

The Conflict: What initiatives are you incorporating to work against sustainability issues with product packaging?

Sustainability is very, very important to Ghia. Our company doesn’t use any plastic except for the tamper seal on the bottle, which is mandatory but we are trying to find an alternative. The rest of our packaging uses either biodegradable or recycled materials. Our glass bottles can be upcycled or recycled and we’re trying to make our cans as sustainable as possible. Most cans are covered with a thin printed plastic film, which is not recyclable and often prevents the can from being sorted properly in the recycling process. We designed our cans to intentionally expose the aluminum so that it passes through the sorting process and is properly grouped with the rest of the aluminum products. Additionally, our labels are made of paper stickers that burn off in the recycling process. We have a long way to go but this is a top priority for us and we are always looking for ways to lessen our carbon footprint.

The Theme: How did you come up with the creative look and feel of the Ghia brand?

For the design of Ghia, we worked with my friends at Perron-Roettinger, an LA-based creative studio. Together we developed a visual identity inspired by hospitality signage and European aperitif brands. We wanted to create something that was friendly, timeless, and that nodded to the irreverence of postmodern design, but with a modern mentality. We had such a great experience collaborating with Perron-Roettinger and still work with them very closely today.

Point of View: Both Life House and Ghia aim to bring people together through genuine, mindful connection. With this sentiment, what would your ideal Ghia x Life House cocktail be?

Knowing that Life House focuses on curating meaningful, genuine experiences that honor the local culture of each hotel, and that Ghia similarly focuses on finding ingredients from the source of origin, we chose to create a cocktail built upon locally-celebrated ingredients. We sourced tropical Cuban fruits like guava & mango - which we learned were the inspiration for the property's punchy guava pink exterior - to craft the Ghia x Life House Guava Spritz cocktail."

Ghia x Life House Guava Spritz:

Local Guava,

Ghia,

Fresh Mint,

Sparkling Water

Try the Ghia x Life House Guava Spritz at Terras Rooftop, opening November 5th.

See Mélanie on Instagram at @melaniemasarin@drinkghia.

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