These Are the After Dinner Drinks & Digestifs You Should Try

Posted by Helena Hambrecht on

Having a glass of wine with your meal is a great way to create a wonderful experience, and nothing pairs together better like beer with your burger or pizza. But once the meal comes to a close, those drink choices might not be meeting your needs anymore.

Enter digestifs. They’re a genre of drink that’s perfect for that post-meal timespan before it’s time to hit the hay. Too much beer leaves you feeling heavy, and liquor can leave you with a tough hangover, but digestifs are a delicious in-between that can keep your social gathering going after the meal ends.

Let’s talk about the drinks and digestifs you need to break out at your next dinner party. Here are some amazing options that can support your lifestyle in the way you want. You may have just found your new favorite drink.

What Are Digestifs?

Before we tell you what digestifs and post-dinner drinks you need to try, you first need to know what exactly digestifs are and how they can serve you in your social and drinking needs.

Digestifs are a genre of alcoholic drink that is served after the meal. The word is derived from the Italian word for an after-dinner drink, digestivo. Traditionally, they were meant to settle the stomach after a big meal and help your body start digesting all of that delicious food you just ate.

They aren’t dessert drinks. Rather, they come after the food is all gone to help ease your stomach and help you feel good after the meal.

To that end, many digestifs are based on ingredients that help to settle your stomach. Ginger, cardamom, cinnamon, and various botanicals are common digestifs. Also, they tend to be higher in alcohol content than apéritifs, which we’ll talk about in a minute.

The higher alcohol content lends itself better to the digestif cause. Digestifs are also often served straight, without any mix-ins, or in a cocktail. They’re mostly served at room temperature or slightly chilled, and no snacks or desserts are eaten with them.

Our modern understanding of the digestif lends itself to so much more than just a drink to help aid digestion. These alcoholic beverages also play an important role in keeping the party alive, keeping that sweet conversation flowing, and keeping smiles on everyone’s faces.

Digestifs and Apéritifs

On the flip side of digestifs are apéritifs. While digestifs are meant to settle your stomach, apéritifs are drinks meant to whet the appetite and prepare you for the meal of your life.

These two sisters of French drinking culture have largely dwindled in recent years, but they are making a comeback without all the pomp and circumstance. Digestifs, in the modern-day, are meant to be delicious yet accessible.

They are meant to keep the evening alive without letting it deteriorate into chaos. A good digestif or apéritif won’t feel heavy like a beer, and it won’t have such a high alcohol content as a liquor. It will get you where you’re going without making you go too far and without the heaviness of a drink like beer.

Digestifs are the thing we’ve been looking for: fun, delicious, and light. We just needed to look back into history to find the solution.

What Are Some Traditional Digestif Options?

A lot of digestifs have some pretty wild (and sometimes unappetizing) backstories, but today, they’ve been perfected into delicious standalone drinks and cocktail ingredients that you have probably had before.

Here are some digestif choices that have really made a name for themselves in the world of alcoholic beverages.

Liqueurs

A ton of the liqueurs used in cocktails today make for fantastic digestifs served by themselves. That is often what they were meant to do!

The sweetness or richness of certain liquors can be like a dessert that settles you down and leaves you feeling oh so satisfied. Digestif liqueurs can be sweet, bitter, herbal, or anything in between. Here are some popular ones.

  • Limoncello: This popular liqueur from Italy is made from lemon zest, and it is heavenly! It tastes like bright, sweet lemon candies and is used in a variety of great cocktails but can even be taken as a shot.
  • Grand Marnier: It’s a mixture of cognac and orange liqueur essential for the classic cocktail, the mai tai, among others.
  • Chartreuse: Herbal liqueurs like this are great as a digestif. This particular liqueur takes its origins as a homemade remedy made by French monks.
  • Amaro: Amaro (plural Amari) is a bitter liqueur with a subtly sweet taste, and it’s a key ingredient in a Negroni.
  • Amaretto: This almond-flavored liqueur is actually made using apricot pits, and it’s used in a bunch of your favorite cocktails.
  • Campari: You can sip this liqueur as a nice apéritif or use it as a bitter in a digestif cocktail
  • Sambuca: Sambuca is an Italian liqueur that carries the flavor of anise. If you’re not the biggest fan of licorice, we recommend that you avoid this one.

Aged Liquors

There are also a few liquors that have been used as digestifs. They tend to have a lower ABV than most other liquors, so they’re great for this purpose.

  • Brandy: It’s one of the more well-known of these liqueurs. Whether it’s a cognac or an Armagnac, it’s an incredibly delicious choice. It’s made from distilling white wine, and it offers a fruity taste with a subtle sweetness.
  • Calvados: This particular variety of brandy comes from Normandy, and it has flavors of fruits and herbs.

Fortified Wines

Fortified wines are richer, sweeter, and make for a nice stomach settler after the meal. Here are a few types of fortified wines.

  • Port Wine: Specifically, the tawny ports and their dark richness make for a great digestif.
  • Sherry: Sweet sherries are better as digestifs than dry sherry. They sit more comfortably and calm the stomach.
  • Grappa: This unique drink is made by distilling every part of the grape, making for an aromatic, sweet drink with a higher ABV than regular wine. Mix it with some espresso for an Italian dessert cocktail called caffé corretto. It’s usually served in a small glass, like a snifter.
  • Vermouth: This fortified wine has a flavor enhanced by botanicals, making for an aromatic, delicious experience. You can’t have a martini without it.

A Newer, Better Option

Most of the digestifs mentioned above have been around for centuries, and while they are delicious and have their place on our shelves and cocktail bars, it’s time that the world of alcohol evolves.

Many of these drinks have an incredibly high ABV. It doesn’t take very many before you’ve had enough to give you a devastating hangover the following morning. Not to mention, lots of them have excessive amounts of sugar that you just don’t need in your life.

A Drink To Serve Your Needs

At Haus, we’re bringing something new to the world of alcohol. We specialize in making apéritifs and digestifs that fit your lifestyle. The modern drinker needs quality ingredients, simplicity, and a drink that brings people together.

Your drinks should be made from quality, organic ingredients. Artificial ingredients and refined sugars are the culprits behind your worst hangovers. Knowing the nutritional information on your drinks is something that should be common practice but is pretty elusive in actuality.

Your post-dinner beverages should also be simple. After you’ve put a lot of effort into cooking a delicious meal, sometimes the last thing you want to do is go through more effort to make a dessert cocktail. Your digestifs should be simple to make, such as alcohol to mix well with simple tonics and club sodas.

Drinks should bring people together. Wine can make you drowsy and kill the party. And with liquors like tequila, your night could end in uncertainty and insanity. Your drinks should invite meaningful conversation, bring life to the room, and help everybody to comfortably relax and connect.

That’s what we strive for at Haus. We wanted a drink that could replace the whiskey, wine, and beer for something that feels good and is easy to drink.

Haus Options

At Haus, we distill our digestifs and apéritifs from incredible, organic ingredients to make a delicious beverage that isn’t too sweet but is still incredibly delicious. It’s got less ABV than liquor and never uses artificial sweeteners, so it’s way better on your body than other drink choices out there.

Try Pomegranate Rosemary or maybe Citrus Flower, or, if you want an adventurous flavor profile, go for Grapefruit Jalepeño. We recommend serving with club soda, champagne, or tonic for a super simple, delicious mixed drink.

The Final Word on Digestifs

As drinking culture is adapting and changing with the times, traditions like digestifs are becoming more and more popular, and your drink choices should reflect that. So pick up some apéritifs and digestifs from Haus, and let your conversations and connections flow with delicious ease.

Sources

​Aperitif & Digestif: The Bookends to Your Meal | Tales of the Cocktail Foundation

Leftover Liquor Finds New Life As Liqueur | WBUR

LIQUEUR | Cambridge English Dictionary