After dinner drinks.

You have just had a leisurely four-hour dinner with friends, and while the conversation and food have been fantastic, you find yourself terribly full. But you have had such a good time and don’t want to go home just yet. Cue the digestif.

This drink is best enjoyed away from the dining table. Find a comfortable seat and bring out your finest bottle of cognac (or something else), perhaps a cigar if everyone approves, sit back and let the boozy elixir course through your body like a welcome hug.

The digestif was created for precisely what it sounds like, to help the digestion. One key difference between aperitifs and digestifs is that while dry and bitter helps create an appetite, a little bit of sweetness helps end the meal.

Calvados,named after part of the Lower Normandy region of France, this apple brandy tastes every bit of distilled cider and is a perfect digestif for a cold evening.

Cognac and Armagnac,these are go-to after dinner drinks and fine French restaurants usually have a trolley filled with brandies ready for the moment the meal ends. Cognac is a grape-based brandy that comes from the Cognac region of France. It follows an evening of wine quite well and is a great traditional digestif: a luxurious spirit with relatively high levels of acidity. Treat yourself and start with a VSOP. Armagnac and Bas-Armagnac are France’s oldest spirits, having been around for over 700 years. It is also a grape based brandy and comes from the Armagnac region, comprising up to 10 different grape varietals and usually made in alembic stills.

You can always look to the Italians to follow a good eating or drinking ritual, Sambuca is anise and elderberry flavored, tastes excellent with coffee after dinner and is actually often served with coffee beans. Anyone who has ever dined with an Italian family may recall being given a glass of homemade grappa, which is an eau de vie made from fermented grape juice and pulp.

An eau de vie is basically a fruit brandy. Other than grappa, there are plenty of hard-hitting ones from around the world. Try out Slivovitz, which is often found in the Balkans, or aquavit from Scandinavia. Naturally, any of the flavors made in France are also sure to do the trick.

Beside all of these, offer to your guests some, Grand Marnier, Cointreau, Chartreuse and why not a Vieux Marc de Bourgogne.


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