Learn / The Best Drinks To Make for the Perfect Nightcap

The Best Drinks To Make for the Perfect Nightcap

Aplós, September 1st, 2023

Under the starlit embrace of a quiet night, many reach for a glass of something smooth and aged, believing that a traditional alcoholic beverage will cradle them into slumber. The common myth of the traditional nightcap whispers that alcohol eases the transition from the conscious world into the soothing arms of sleep.

And yet, the reality of alcohol’s late-night effects is not as serene as it may at first seem. While at first, the smooth flow of liquor may appear to bring about a sense of sleepiness as alluring as the gentle waves of the sea, its true impact on sleep patterns proves to be a mirage that dissipates, leaving behind a troubled rest.

Does this mean that no version of a nightcap can lull us to sleep without harm? Not so. In this exploration, we'll unveil an alternative path, where functional spirits offer a lullaby for the senses, providing a true night's caress.

What Is a Nightcap?

Alcohol has long been hailed as a sleep aid, a warm companion to the late-night reader or the stargazer seeking slumber. From candlelit chambers and moonlit parlors to apartment kitchens and fire escapes, the belief lingers that a shot of bourbon or a glass of wine can wrap the mind in tranquility has prevailed — despite the evidence suggesting otherwise.

While it’s understandable that alcohol’s sedative effects could appeal to those searching for better sleep, the complex way alcohol works within and impacts the body causes a different effect on sleep, one that steers the night's traveler away from the restful harbor they seek.

How Can Alcohol Affect Sleep?

While the image of a soothing nightcap may first appeal to the senses, it soon yields a harsher truth, much like a sudden storm disrupting a calm sea. The reality reveals a complex interplay where alcohol may initially guide you toward slumber's gates but refuse entrance into the deep and nurturing rest.

Alcohol and the Sleep Cycles

Alcohol can change the structure and proportion of sleep stages, particularly reducing REM sleep. REM sleep, or rapid eye movement sleep, a critical phase of slumber where dreams blossom and the mind rejuvenates, mending the worn threads of the waking day, is crucial for memory, learning, and mood regulation. Without sufficient REM sleep, one may wake up feeling groggy and mentally foggy.

Alcohol as a Diuretic

As a diuretic, alcohol can lead to dehydration and interrupt sleep with calls to the night, fragmenting the precious cycles and pushing away the restorative embrace of REM sleep.

This denial of the body's need for full immersion in the healing waters of sleep leaves one adrift in restless shadows, awakening to dawn marred by fatigue and a soul unrefreshed. Sure enough, the morning following an alcoholic nightcap brings not the refreshing dew of dawn but a hangover's dry lament.

Suppression of Melatonin Production

In the quiet alchemy of the body's night, melatonin weaves the fabric of our restful dreams. But alcohol, with its subtle disruptions, casts a shadow on this gentle process. By intruding upon the production of melatonin, that tender hormone that guides our sleep-wake cycle, alcohol can unravel the rhythms of slumber.

In doing so, it scatters our internal clock, leading us astray from the path to rejuvenating rest, and instead leaves us fumbling in wakefulness when we seek the solace of dreams.

Impacted Temperature Regulation

Alcohol's meddling extends to the warmth of our very being. Within the body's delicate ballet of temperature control, it introduces discord, altering the harmonious regulation of heat during our nocturnal rest.

This disruption can manifest in restless sweats and sudden flashes of warmth. These disturbances hinder our descent into the profound, nourishing depths of sleep, holding us captive in the shallows, forever distant from the restorative cradle we seek.

The Dreaded Hangover

The body's inner rhythms, so akin to the soothing tide, become jumbled and chaotic after a night of drinking, resulting in a troubled wakefulness marred by grogginess, physical discomfort, affected cognitive function, and a dampened mood — a far cry from the rejuvenated dawn we crave when seeking methods to support our slumber.

This alcohol-induced imbalance affects not just a single night but can echo throughout subsequent nights, leaving a trail of fatigue and discontent.

What Are Functional Spirits?

Contrary to the stormy consequences of alcohol, a new horizon appears, bathed in the calm serenity of the moon and stars.

Functional spirits are crafted with the elegance of botanicals, designed to elevate sensory experiences without the turmoil of restless nights. At Aplós, our functional spirits, Calme and Arise, invite you into the wonders of a clear-headed and wellness-supporting drinking experience.

Aplós Calme enchants with its bright blend of citrus, herbs, and hemp, offering a gentle caress for the senses that encourages serenity. And Arise, with its bold fusion of adaptogenic herbs and botanicals, inspires an awakening energy ideal for lively gatherings and toasts of celebration.

Breaking Down the Magic of Hemp Extract in Functional Spirits

Within Aplós Calme lies the natural wonders of hemp extract. This beneficial plant contains naturally occurring bioactive compounds — namely the soothing cannabinoid CBD — to provide an essence that mirrors the calming serenity of the moon on a still lake.

The interaction of hemp extract with the body’s ECS (or endocannabinoid system) is a call for balance. It helps maintain the equilibrium of body and mind, akin to the harmonious alignment of stars in the night sky, and invites tranquility that supports a natural, calming slumber.

Working with the ECS makes hemp's role in the body akin to a gentle lullaby. It helps promote relaxation, maintains healthy stress levels, and encourages normal biological function — all of which support healthy sleep quality.

The experience of sipping Aplós Calme is not one marred by regret or sorrow but filled with the flavor profile of a peaceful night's dreams, offering an elevated experience untouched by alcohol's troubled wake. Infused with broad-spectrum hemp, Calme becomes an ethereal melody, soothing the senses without disturbing our sleep.

How To Craft the Perfect Non-Alcoholic Nightcaps With Aplós

In the gentle embrace of twilight, as the world prepares to close its eyes, a new sensation awaits those in search of tranquility. Non-alcoholic nightcaps are a journey into calm, an echo of the moon's soft glow.

These delights offer a sensory experience that bridges the conscious day with the dream-filled night. Below, we share recipes that weave the serenity of the stars with the calming lull of a good book, transporting you into the world of peaceful slumber.

1. Aplós Ski

Find solace in the last light of a chilled night, the comforting warmth of an Aplós Ski, a soothing blend designed to thaw the cold touch of winter evenings. With Aplós Calme at its heart, the harmonious combination of honey's sweetness and lemon's gentle tang creates a serene, warming sensation.

As the anise garnish hints at the exotic, sip and allow yourself to unwind, guided by a gentle, tranquil touch.


  • Aplós Calme: 2 oz
  • Water: 3 cups
  • Lemon juice: ¼ oz
  • Honey: 3 tsp
  • Anise for garnish

In a teapot or saucepan, bring the water to a simmer. Pour the hot water into a mug. Add Aplós, honey, and lemon juice. Stir until the honey has dissolved, and garnish with anise or cinnamon.

2. Night Garden

The Night Garden cocktail invites you to a place where time drifts and cares dissolve. Melding Aplós Calme with the soothing embrace of chamomile honey syrup and enlivened with a splash of lemon, this creation captures the quiet magic of the night. Savor the moment and allow the serene blend to guide you to restful ease.


  • Aplós Calme: 1.5 oz
  • Lemon juice: 3/4 oz
  • Chamomile honey syrup: 1/2 oz

In an ice-filled shaker, add ingredients and shake. Strain into a champagne coupe glass and garnish with fresh chamomile.

3. Aplós & Cacao Honey

Embark on a sensory journey with Aplós & Cacao Honey. Rich and soul-soothing, this simple union of Aplós Calme with chocolate honey syrup forms a luscious elixir. Each sip is a gentle lullaby, enveloping the senses, soothing the mind, and guiding you to peaceful relaxation.


  • Aplós Calme: 2 oz
  • Chocolate honey syrup: 2 oz

Stir and strain both ingredients into a snifter glass.

To create the cacao and honey syrup, combine 3 oz cacao nibs and 1 oz local honey with 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup water. Stir together over heat until sugar dissolves, then strain.

As you craft these enticing non-alcoholic nightcaps, let them be served not merely in a glass but with the silvery touch of a peaceful evening. Allow the conversation to flow like the gentle sounds from outside the open window, and indulge in introspection as you would in the calming pages of a good book.

Slow down, recalibrate, and savor the soothing allure of these beverages, echoing the Aplós philosophy of embracing life's gentle pace.

Soothe Your Senses With Aplós Functional Spirits

The night's tranquility, the calming serenity of the moon, and the soothing shimmer of stars have guided us toward a way to connect with nature in our search for better sleep. We've dispelled the mythical lull of alcohol, unveiling the shadow it casts upon sleep's delicate shore.

By painting this celestial journey through the night, we invite you to explore the quiet and calm that transcends traditional notions of nightcaps. Leave behind the restless storms and enter a world where the perfect drink is not a fleeting dream but a reality, waiting for you under the gentleness of the moonlit sky.

We've unveiled an elegant path toward slumber through the ethereal touch of functional spirits and the magical whisper of hemp extract. With Aplós Calme, you are beckoned to a night filled with soothing whispers and the soft turning of pages, where sleep is a tranquil voyage into dreams unbroken.


Stimulant and sedative effects of alcohol | PMC

Sleep: What It Is, Why It’s Important, Stages, REM & NREM | Cleveland Clinic

Mechanism of Dehydration Following Alcohol Ingestion | JAMA Internal Medicine

Effects of Adaptogens on the Central Nervous System and the Molecular Mechanisms Associated with Their Stress—Protective Activity | PMC

Review of the neurological benefits of phytocannabinoids | PMC

The endocannabinoid system: Essential and mysterious | Harvard Health

The effects of chamomile extract on sleep quality among elderly people: A clinical trial | PMC

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