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What Are Digestifs and How Do They Differ from Aperitifs?

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There is such a huge variety of drinks out there. From different varieties of wine and cocktail drinks to many types of alcohol. We have covered all of these topics here, on our blog page. However, we haven’t talked much about aperitifs and digestifs. Especially about what are digestifs.

This is an interesting topic to cover and would be helpful to both consumers and bar and restaurant owners to know more. Knowledge is power and can help any business grow and profit if they know how to use the information.

Restaurant marketing is a crucial part of the business nowadays. That’s why you need to constantly expand your knowledge and invest time and effort into your marketing campaigns. The beverage menu of your restaurant is not to be underestimated. It can help you greatly in earning new customers and keeping them coming back.

Now, let’s answer the question of what are digestifs together. We will give you all the information you may need. 

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What Are Aperitifs?

We can’t answer the question “what are digestifs” without talking about aperitifs first. So what are aperitifs actually? 

Aperitifs are alcoholic drinks that consumers have before their meal. They typically have dry and bitter taste, which are designed to stimulate your appetite. Classic aperitif options you can serve are white wine, vermouth, as well as gin and ouzo. 

Aperitif drinks are usually served with cheese and crackers, for example. They are great to having while waiting for the main meal. Starting the evening with an aperitif can create a fine dining experience. 

Key Takeaway: What are digestifs and aperitifs are important questions to ask. They are the drinks that will help not only the digestive system of your customers, but are also an incredible way to offer and sell more drinks. Don’t forget to suggest to guests appropriate drinks before and after their meal to improve their experience.

What Are Digestifs?

Digestifs are alcoholic drinks that are served after a meal. Their purpose is to settle a person’s stomach and commence the digestion process. The digestifs tend to have higher ABV than aperitifs. They are also typically consumed neat. 

Aperitifs and digestifs are staples in the European dinning culture. The digestif is a way to finish a delicious meal on a high note. There is a difference between the aperitifs and digestifs although they are both typically alcoholic drinks that aim to aid digestion. 

Difference between Aperitif and Digestif

Now that we have answer the questions of what are digestifs and aperitifs, is time to look into their differences. Although both types of drinks are supposed to help digestion, they are not that similar. 

History of Aperitifs and Digestifs

Consuming aperitifs and digestifs dates back to 1500 year ago. The aperitif became more common in Italy during the 1800s. In France, this same practice gained popularity in the mid-19th century. The apertifits back then tend to be made of a handful of spices and herbs blended together. 

Around the same time, digestifs were used for medical purposes. These strong beverages were prescribed for sickness. In fact, they were given for anything possible - from stomach pains to ailments. In the 1700s, the digestifs became what they are known for today. They were used to aid digestion after a long meal. 

Times of Consumption

The main difference between the digestifs and aperitifs is the time when they are consumed. They sweetness level differse, too. Aperitifs are served before a meal and are typically drier. Digestifs are served after a meal and they tend to be sweeter and stronger. They are usually more bitter, too. 

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The Specifics of Aperitifs and Digestifs

Now that we all know what are digestifs and aperitifs, it’s time to look into some examples. Popular aperitif choices include: 

  • Dry sherry
  • Vermouth
  • Pastis
  • Champagne
  • Dry and acidic white wines

In France, the aperifits would differ based on the region. Pastis, for example, is commonly sipped before dinner in the south. Calvados is more popular in other regions. Kir is another aperitif pick in other locations of the country. 

If you want to know more specifically what are digestifs, you should read this list: 

  • Fortified wines - sweet sherry, port wine, madeira
  • Different types of brandy
  • Bitter liqueurs
  • Ouzo and mezcal

All of these drinks are ones that would be great to have after a nice meal. They aid the digestive system and will increase the customer satisfaction for sure. 

How Are Digestifs and Aperitifs Served

When you want to know what are digestifs and aperitifs, you should also learn how they are served. Not only in terms of timing. It’s important to know what to pair them with. 

Aperitifs go well with: 

  • Savory snacks like chips and nuts. Briny olives are also a great option. 
  • Baguette and artisanal cheese go well with heartier aperitifs. 
  • Charcuterie boards are also a great option. 

Digestifs are much easier to served. They typically don’t require food to be enjoyed. Just offer them after the meal of your customers. You can always offer or serve as a compliments a cookie or another small dessert.

Offering Digestifs and Aperitifs to Restaurant Guests

Wanted to know what are digestifs and aperitifs and were wondering if you should have your serves suggest them to customers? If you run a restaurant business, have your waiters suggest to guests appropriate aperitifs and digestifs. 

Offering a variety of drinks to your customers won’t only make their experience better (and even help you earn a Michelin Star) but it will also help you maximize profits. That’s why you should curate well your beverage menu and make sure that you have everything a customer would want. 

To keep track of all the bottles and always have your beverage inventory in check, you should turn to BinWise. With our software you will save time and streamline the management of your restaurant’s beverage inventory. To learn more, book a demo with us now!

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Frequently Asked Questions about Digestifs

What are digestifs? What are aperitifs? We answered these questions already, but you may still be looking for information. Below, we have answered some more frequently asked questions about digestifs. Check them out!

What Distinguishes a Digestif From Other Alcoholic Beverages?

A digestif is specifically designed to aid digestion. It often has herbal, aromatic, or bitter qualities. Unlike aperitifs, digestifs are meant to be enjoyed after eating. Digestifs can also be non-alcoholic and can be enjoyed by a larger group of people than the majority of popular alcoholic drinks. 

What Are Common Types of Digestifs?

Common types of digestifs include herbal liqueurs, as well as amaros, and brandies. Fortified wines and certain types of spirits are can also be found under the “What are digestifs” category. Examples include Fernet-Branca and Chartreuse. Also Cognac and Grappa.

Do Non-Alcoholic Options Exist for Digestifs?

While traditional digestifs are often alcoholic, certain herbal teas or non-alcoholic herbal elixirs may be consumed after a meal to achieve a similar soothing effect. 

Matcha tea, for example, can improve digestion and can be used as a digestif. Coffee is also a popular non-alcoholic drink that works great after a meal and you can always offer to guests. 

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