The notion of aperitifs and digestives

When drawing up the menu of the festive table, much attention should be paid to the correct serving of alcoholic beverages, so that they fit well with food, complementing its taste. This is impossible without understanding what is an aperitif and digestive. It is about these concepts that I will discuss further.

Aperitif (from the lat. aperīre – «open») – is a group of alcoholic beverages served before meals. They excite appetite and promote digestion. Aperitifs can be non-alcoholic drinks – simple, mineral, soda water or sour juices (orange, lemon, tomato, birch).

Alcoholic drinks served as aperitifs:

  • absinthe;
  • champagne;
  • vermouth;
  • vodka;
  • beer;
  • sherry;
  • port wine;
  • whiskey;
  • cognac (armagnac);
  • gin;
  • strong (30-40%) alcoholic cocktails.
  • All aperitifs are divided into three groups:

  • single – consist of only one drink;
  • combined – several drinks served at the same time;
  • mixed – specially prepared mixtures (cocktails).
  • When choosing an aperitif, I recommend to remember the following subtleties:

  • do not serve hot, warm and sweet drinks;
  • The amount of alcohol should awaken guests appetite, and not cause a strong intoxication;
  • to choose the right snack, for example, before hot soup you should not serve cold beer.
  • Digestiv (from the lat. digestivus – promoting digestion) – it’s alcoholic drinks that help digest food. They put on the table at the end of the meal. Dizhestivy should be stronger than aperitifs. This is due to the fact that after a dense dinner, the taste of light drinks will not normally be perceived. Non-alcoholic drinks include tea and coffee after meals, but many experts distinguish them in a separate group.

    Digestiv can be:

  • liqueurs and balms;
  • fortified and dessert wines;
  • grappa;
  • calvados;
  • brandy;
  • whiskey;
  • cognac.
  • As you can see, the same alcoholic drinks are suitable both before and after meals, but they can not be duplicated during one feast. Therefore, when choosing an aperitif and digestiva should be guided by two simple rules:

  • light drinks are served as an aperitif, dark ones as a digestive;
  • digestives should be more robust than aperitifs.
  • After completing these tips, you can easily choose the right alcohol. There is no single standard, guided by taste and imagination.