We’re now over a decade deep into the apéritif renaissance — the days when Campari may have seemed exotic are thankfully far behind us. But now that everyone and their mother knows how to build a quality spritz, it’s worth considering whether the apéritif category has evolved along with its audience.

After all, the average drinker is likely more conscious than ever about what they’re consuming, and how it may affect them the day after. And it’s no secret that the apéritif category can lean pretty heavily into the “sweet” side of “bittersweet.” Aside from the effect of sugar on your waistline, all that sucrose plays a major role in building a hangover the next day.

That’s why we’re quite taken with the introduction of Le Moné, an all-natural Meyer lemon apéritif that’s low in sugar, low in calories, and low-ABV, yet brimming with a fresh citrus flavor that shines in cocktails.

To explain what sets Le Moné apart from other apéritifs, we’ll start at the very beginning. Le Moné was created by an NYC-based team that discovered a farm wine in New York’s Finger Lakes region that would be perfect for making a Meyer Lemon-based apéritif. To create this unique new spirit, Le Moné’s makers fortified the wine with brandy from California before infusing it with Meyer lemon peels as well as Persian lime and bergamot for complexity. Lastly, it features 100 percent  organic blue agave — not sugar.

This choice was a deliberate one. Since agave is naturally sweeter than sugar, less is needed to impart the refined sweetness of Le Moné. Thanks to this ingredient, Le Moné has only 29.5 calories in a single ounce and contains five times less sugar than other popular apéritifs.

Le Moné

In keeping with classical apéritif tradition, Le Moné remains lighter than most alcoholic beverages, with an ABV of just 16 percent (compare that to the 40 percent ABV from your average tequila). Thanks to this mild and mindful strength, you can count on enjoying Le Moné as an afternoon ritual, a pre-dinner apéritif, or during pretty much any other time of the day.

But there’s one place where Le Moné is decidedly not mild — and that is in flavor. Thanks to the quality of its ingredients, Le Moné benefits from a rich complexity of bright and vibrant flavors from its proprietary citrus blend that serves as the perfect counterweight to its light body. While it’s easily enjoyed on its own over ice, with a splash of soda water and a slice of lemon, or combined with sparkling wine as a traditional spritz, it can hold its own against more alcoholic spirits in two- or three-ingredient cocktails.

For example, try pairing three parts of Le Moné to one part of your favorite tequila. The apéritif’s bright lemon acidity and round agave sweetness will interact with tequila to produce a multi-layered cocktail that you’d likely pay $15 for at a bar — if you weren’t making it at home from just two ingredients.

Due to its agave sweetener, Le Moné proves a natural partner to tequila and can be used in place of citrus and added sugars to create a lighter take on the Margarita. It’s also the star of the Le Moné Spritz, which sees three parts Le Moné matched to one part tequila with soda water to top: Think of it as a fresh new take on the Ranch Water cocktail, creating the perfect tequila spritz. However, its versatility isn’t limited to agave-based spirits.

Consider matching three parts Le Moné to a single part bourbon for a fresh Gold Rush variant that drinks like a bourbon-spiked lemonade with much less sugar. Or mix three parts Le Moné to one part gin (if you’re detecting a pattern here, you’re correct) for a less sweet spin on the Tom Collins. As a matter of fact, you can also employ that same ratio of Le Moné to Cognac to build a Sidecar sans its typical serving of sugar.

Le Moné

While delivering on flavor remains Le Moné’s first mission, the ability to do so with less alcohol and less sugar is one of its defining features. Which seems perfectly in line with what an apéritif is meant to accomplish in the first place. For instance, when you’re just looking to sate your appetite before a pasta course or take the bite out of peak-afternoon heat, you want something that leaves you feeling refreshed and invigorated rather than lightheaded or nap-bound.

The benefits of its lighter ABV and lack of sugar will be felt the next day, too. Rather than canceling your early morning workout or approaching the workday in a boozy brain fog, you’re more likely to face the following day feeling well rested, refreshed, and, if you choose to do so, ready to embrace the next opportunity to enjoy an apéritif.

As of now, Le Moné is available to order online and for delivery in 16 states plus Washington, D.C., with plans to expand its reach to more than 25 states. In addition to the flagship Meyer Lemon, Le Moné comes in several flavors that build on the Meyer Lemon and agave foundation with other citrus, fruits, and botanicals.

Predicting the future is always tricky, but chances are that you’ll soon be craving a refreshing spritz or simply looking to build a complex cocktail at home. Whatever the scenario, Le Moné will have you covered and leave you feeling fresh enough for an early wake-up the next day or ready for another round before dinner.

This article is sponsored by Le Moné.