Digestif – what is it, examples of drinks

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Aperitifs and digestifs came to us from exquisite France and became a great addition to any meal. Alcohol is the basis of any aperitif and digestif. Thanks to the aperitif, you can relax, join an unfamiliar company, and improve your appetite before a dinner or dinner. The word “digestif” is not yet so popular, although many people use a digestif without suspecting it.

What is a digestif

Many are not averse to drinking a fragrant drink after eating. Digestiv can help you with this. From Latin, the word “digestif” is translated as “a digestive aid.” That is, its main goal is to improve the digestive process, as well as rid you of the taste of food. By serving a digestif after a banquet or buffet, you let guests know that the meal is finished. This means that it remains to enjoy drinks and a pleasant conversation..

Aperitif and digestif

For your dinner party to succeed, you need to understand how the first differs from the second. An aperitif is a kind of workout before eating. As a rule, an aperitif is served to mark the beginning of the buffet, prepare for meals, cause appetite. If you are in an unfamiliar company, then an aperitif is simply necessary – it helps to relax, find topics for conversation, and feel at ease. Alcoholic aperitifs are usually served, although many consume plain water or juice..

To drinks that are perfect as an aperitif include:

  • champagne;
  • dry wine;
  • sherry (fortified wine);
  • vermouth;
  • absinthe;
  • whiskey;
  • cognac;
  • gin;
  • vodka;
  • tinctures with anise extract;
  • becherovka (liquor made on the basis of herbs);
  • Campari (a bitter liquor made from herbs and fruits);
  • beer;
  • soft drinks – non-carbonated, mineral water, juice, non-alcoholic cocktails, syrups.

Wine in glasses

All of the above drinks are classified as a single aperitif, i.e. they consist of one type of drink. In addition to a single, there are also combined and mixed aperitifs:

  • The combined aperitif contains from two or more drinks. For example, you can serve a glass of champagne with a glass of water or a glass of vodka with juice. The combination of drinks is at the discretion of the guest, and you need to serve them at the same time, on one tray.
  • Mixed aperitif is a variety of cocktails, mixes. You can mix your favorite drinks, but most importantly, do not overdo it.

So that the aperitif does not become a cause of ill health, do not serve it in large quantities – one, two glasses is enough to play an appetite. It is worth knowing that an aperitif should not be too sweet, because sweets tend to reduce appetite. Often snacks are attached to the aperitif – canapes, olives, small sandwiches, fruits. But this is not necessary, everything is at the discretion of the party owner.

Digestif is an alcoholic (but not always) drink that completes the feast, cleans taste buds, and helps facilitate digestion. In Russia, it has already become a tradition to drink hot non-alcoholic drinks after tea – tea, strong coffee. But spirits that have a rich taste are considered a real digestif. They should be darker in color and stronger than aperitifs, so that after eating the taste is perceived correctly. Like aperitifs, digestives can be served as cocktails..

Digestives include:

  • fortified, dessert wine;
  • cognac;
  • Calvados;
  • whiskey;
  • brandy;
  • grappa (grape drink with a strength of up to 55%);
  • Armagnac;
  • herbal balm;
  • port wine;
  • liquor.


According to French customs, aperitifs and digestives are classified by the amount of alcohol they contain:

  • 40% alcohol or slightly lower, higher: vodka, whiskey, bourbon, brandy, gin, certain types of liquors, absinthe, grappa, cognac, sherry, becherovka, various tinctures.
  • 16% alcohol or slightly lower: wine, malaga (dessert wine), vermouth, anise tincture, punch, port.

Digestif Cocktails

You can mix digestives to your taste, but there are some basics with which you can select the ingredients for your future cocktail:

  • Sour – in translation from English “sour”. The main ingredient of the Sauer cocktail is the addition of citrus juice, which is why it has such a name. To “Sower” did not turn out too acidic, sweet syrup is added there. From alcohol add wine, gin, liquor. The cocktail is mixed with a shaker and served in a glass.
  • Frozen – from the English. “frozen”. Frozen is mixed in an ice blender. The cocktail glass must be pre-cooled by placing it in the freezer for 30 minutes.
  • Smash – from the English. “heavy”. Smash cocktail always consists only of strong drinks, peppermint and ice. For decoration, use a slice of orange, cherry. Served in a wide, large glass or glass..
  • Flip – from the English. “Click”, “somersault”. As a rule, “Flips” are low-alcohol drinks, sometimes non-alcoholic at all. They are made on the basis of hot beer, a raw egg, spices, syrup, a little hard drink are added. The cocktail is prepared in a shaker, and served in a glass toggle switch..
  • Frapper (from the English “beat”), mist (“frost”) – similar drinks that are served with crushed ice. To properly prepare such cocktails, mix coffee, ice cream to your taste, milk, syrup. From alcohol, sweet drinks are added to the Frappe cocktail – liquor, tinctures, and liquors. “Mist” should consist of bitter alcohol – brandy, brandy, whiskey or vodka.
  • Cordial – A cocktail made from liquor and a stronger drink (such as wine). Cordial is prepared using a shaker, and served in a glass decorated with fruits or berries..
  • Creamy cocktails. These are soft cocktails with the addition of alcohol, cream with a fat content of 35%, syrup. You can add honey, coffee. Served cocktail in a champagne glass with a straw..
  • Layered cocktails are prepared not for taste but for beauty. Here, drinks are selected by color, so that they lay in a glass on top of each other in layers. One serving is drunk in one gulp.

Cocktail in a glass with ice

Digest styles

If you want to immerse yourself in French and English traditions, then serve digestives in their style:

  • The Euro-French style is characterized by a combination of benefits, aroma and taste. A drink after a meal in French should help digestion, have a pleasant aroma. Drink it slowly, savoring. An excellent choice would be a balm on herbs, Armagnac, sherry or cognac.
  • The Anglo-American style is suitable after a light dinner – here the digestive properties are not in the first place. The main thing is taste. You can mix smoothies using strong drinks, sugary liquors, cream, honey, syrups, eggs or juices..

Submission Rules

Having decided to arrange a dinner party and treat guests with digestives, you need to familiarize yourself with the rules for serving them – the mood of the whole event depends on it:

  • Digestif should be combined with previously consumed food. Use the above styles as a hint. For example, if the dinner was easy, without fatty dishes, then sugary drinks such as liquors, cocktails, tinctures are suitable as a digestif. Here you can safely experiment with the composition of cocktails. If dinner consisted of three dishes, then a sweet digestif would become too much. Better use strong alcohol – cognac, whiskey, Armagnac, etc..
  • So that you and your guests can enjoy a digestif, you must not forget about the combination with previously served drinks. Always try to serve a stronger drink as a digestif than you drank before. For example, if during a meal you drank beer, then after a meal the taste of whiskey will be well perceived. And if you drank a glass of red wine for lunch, then cognac is suitable as a digestif.
  • The color of the digestif should always be darker than the aperitif.
  • A good digestif should not exceed a temperature of 20 degrees.
  • No more than one digestif can be served per person.
  • Digestives served without snacks.

Glasses of whiskey on a tray


For the culprit of the event, whether it is a dinner party or a birthday celebration, the venue and the estimated cost that you have to pay are important. If you decide to spend the holiday right at home, then to buy drinks is most convenient and most profitable will be in the supermarket. If you decide to walk in a restaurant, bar or cafe, then be prepared for high prices. The table below shows the average prices for digestifs in bars and supermarkets in Moscow.



At the bar / restaurant

50 ml / rubles

In the shop

bottle 0.5 l / rubles

























Dessert wine

350-600 (glass of 150 ml)



300-1000 (100, 200, 300 ml)

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