Can a Low-Calorie, Low-Sugar Alcohol Taste Good? Here’s Why Le Moné Deserves a Spot on Your Bar Cart

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le moné aperitif review: four bottles of le moné side by side
Courtesy of Le Moné
  • Value: 19/20
  • Functionality: 19/20
  • Quality: 19/20
  • Aesthetics: 18/20
  • Taste: 20/20
  • TOTAL: 95/100

We’ve both sung the merits of the Aperol spritz (refreshing and light!) and derided it (tastes like a Capri Sun). We’re hip to the merits of bitter Campari. You could say the aperitif is old hat.

But we’re also more keenly aware of what we’re pouring into our glass, not to mention how it makes us feel the next day. Aperitifs make an obvious choice for their low alcohol content, but with many options leaning too sweet, they’re not necessarily a one-way ticket to a hangover-free party. What’s an imbiber do (short of watering their cocktail down with seltzer)?

Enter Le Moné, a new agave-based aperitif that tastes like sunshine in a bottle (and also happens to be low in sugar and calories). We recently served it to our editors at a PureWow dinner, and it was a hit (and not just because it was free booze). Here’s everything you should know about the new bev before you make it a regular in your bar cart rotation.

le moné aperitif review: person pouring le moné into a glass with ice
Katherine Gillen

What Is Le Moné?

Le Moné is an American aperitif flavored with Meyer lemon. It starts with a wine base: a bright, acidic white hailing from a family-run farm in the Finger Lakes region of New York. The wine is fortified with brandy, flavored with citrus peel and sweetened with organic agave. Since that agave is sweeter than sugar, it allows the spirit to be made with less sweetener overall—one ounce clocks in at 29.5 calories. At the same time, it doesn’t scream “lite” or have any of the unpleasant aftertastes left by alternative sweeteners.

Aside from the original Meyer lemon, there are four additional flavors that build on the base with fruit and botanical flavors: Lemon Orange Lime, Lemon Raspberry & Lavender, Lemon Blackberry and the newest addition, Lemon Almond Vanilla.

What Does Le Moné Taste Like?

We don’t like to play favorites, but the O.G. Le Moné is our ideal sipper: It’s all at once light, citrus-y, complex and balanced. It’s tart but not too mouth-puckering, sweet without being cloying and just bitter enough to keep you coming back for another sip. It’s also smoother going down than a can of spiked seltzer. When we tried Le Moné, we were worried that the lemony profile would seem out of place at a November dinner—it sounds more fitting for a summer patio soirée—but unlike a heavily spiced winter cocktail, it was pleasantly bright and refreshing.

Once you’ve tasted the original, branch out with another flavor. The raspberry-laced bottle is lightly floral, and the blackberry is jammy and tart, like the best fruit preserves you’ve ever tasted.

le moné aperitif review: four different cocktails made with le moné
Courtesy of Le Moné

How Should You Serve Le Moné?

The beauty of an aperitif is that it’s light enough in alcohol to be combined with other liquors and mixers. Le Moné’s citrus flavor profile takes its versatility a step further. It’s zingy enough to enhance a complex cocktail and, thanks to that agave, plays particularly nicely with tequila. But it’s also balanced enough to be perfectly sippable with a simple splash of soda water or on its own—at PureWow’s team dinner, we drank it on the rocks.

The Verdict

If you enjoy sipping on liquid sunshine and appreciate versatility in your bar cart selection, we think Le Moné has your name all over it. That it’s low in calories and sugar is really just gilding the lily—we’d drink it for the taste alone.

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The PureWow100 is a scale our editors use to vet new products and services, so you know what’s worth the spend—and what’s total hype. Learn more about our process here.

Katherine Gillen is PureWow’s senior food editor. She’s a writer, recipe developer and food stylist with a degree in culinary arts and professional experience in New York City restaurants. She used to sling sugary desserts in a pastry kitchen, but now she’s an avid home cook and fanatic baker.


Senior Food Editor

Katherine Gillen is PureWow’s senior food editor. She’s a writer, recipe developer and food stylist with a degree in culinary arts and professional experience in New York City...