Among our New Year’s Resolutions is to ditch the hangover and give up alcohol for one month, and our friends at Opus are helping. Founded by Vancouverite and internationally award-winning mixologist Christos Kalaitzis, Opus alcohol-free is available in two delicious flavours and have zero calories, zero sugar, zero carbs and zero gluten. We chatted with Christos to find out more. —Noa Nichol
Hi Christos! Please tell us a bit about yourself to start.
I am the founder and CEO of Opus Expertly Handcrafted Cocktails. Our mission is to create a safe and sustainable environment for everyone to be able to have the exact same cocktail experience with or without alcohol! One of the most important things for me as an entrepreneur is to do our part and support our community as much as possible. One of our initiatives is planting a tree for every box sold, as well as participating in local events and supporting local non-profit organizations. This New Year, Opus is participating in the DryFeb campaign for the Canadian Cancer Society by forming a DryFeb team to raise money in support of cancer research.
When and why did you launch Opus? What niche were/are you aiming to fill?
Opus launched in July 2021; I was inspired to create an alcohol-free cocktail after I noticed a movement of patrons asking for non-alcoholic drinks disguised as an alcoholic one to avoid unwanted comments from friends. I wanted to show the world that alcohol-free cocktails can be as flavourful and fun as an alcoholic one! After 16 years of working behind the bar all over the world, and researching and developing beverages for global brands, I decided to do this for myself and start Opus.
What products do you currently offer, and what makes them unique (and better than a simple soda water and lime)?
Opus is 100 per cent handcrafted and made with real spices and herbs! It has zero sugar and zero calories, and is also gluten free and keto friendly. Our packaging is also super sustainable as our boxes are made out of 100 per cent recyclable paper and the main reason for that is wanting to stay away from the plastic rings that you frequently see in the market. Currently we have the Gin and Tonic and Aperitivo Spritz in both alcohol and non-alcoholic varieties. And there are some exciting new cocktails coming out soon …
Dry January is nearly upon us; any tips for making it 31 days alcohol free?
It is not about the number of days! It might be one, 15, 31, 365. The number is just a number. It is all about what your gut is telling you to do and being happy with the decision you make as long as you know that you have a healthy relationship with alcohol.
Win! A $140 Opus Gift Basket!
Congrats Giannina P. of Vancouver, BC, who will receive a $140 Opus gift basket, including Cocktail Glasses, Opus products (both non-alcohol and alcoholic beverages) and an Opus T-shirt (must be 19 years or older; proof of DOB required to claim prize)! Please note: if you are the winner, you will receive a DM (direct message) in Instagram directly from @vitadaily.ca. Please be wary of fake accounts, which often use similar handles with an extra or missing letter, number or symbol. We will never ask for a payment or for your credit card number, and we will never ask you to click through a link. If you are unsure whether you have been contacted, via Instagram, by us or a fake account, email us before responding.