This is the article to tell you the difference between Digestif and Aperitif. Below, we’ll discuss both types to highlight the inherent ways in which they’re different and the ways in which they work together as bookends to a meal.
Before: The Aperitif
An aperitif is a drink to consume before dinner, with the idea to increase the appetite. It is a famous European tradition to begin an evening. It’s blended with a moment of unwinding and a slowdown of the daily pace. While being a drink, it is also a state of mind in various ways.
Although there are no accepted rules, an aperitif is usually a bit alcoholic, and at times slightly sweet, drink often served over ice. It’s generally paired with a portion of fruit — both for looks and for a pre-dining nibble.
An aperitif could be a dry sherry or gin in a martini at an elementary level, or it could also be champagne or vermouth. Martini, Cinzano, Campari and Aperol, are famous Italian brands of aperitifs that are also used as ingredients for pre-dinner cocktails.
There are other compound versions of aperitifs as well, including the Brandy Crusta, or the Turmeric Suze Sour, which blends the unsweetened taste of Suze with two or three slices of turmeric and then settles things out with a spoonful of simple syrup.
After: The Digestif
Just as the aperitif is presented before a meal, Digestifs — also known as amaro in Italy — help wind diners down after all that food has been joyously consumed.
An aperitif is meant to lure the palate and increase the appetite, while digestives help the stomach calm and aid digestion after a wholesome meal.
Digestives that are herbaceous and bitter are the best and are neatly served. Popular Italian digestifs are the limoncello, fernet branca, passito, grappa, amaro and amaretto, centerba, strega, genepi and sambuca.
Though cognac, port, Armagnac, Tokaji Aszú, dessert wine, and all types of eau de vie, fruit brandy, pálinka and grappa are popular drinks post-dining as well. Few other examples include the Zucca Rabarbaro, a smoky, rhubarb-based amaro that is served both hot or cold determined on a person’s choice, and this soft, coffee-inspired digestif by Doug Petry of RYE in Louisville, Ky.
How and When to serve Digestif and Aperitif
The Aperitif is popularly served when the guests arrive, which is approximately 30 to 60 minutes prior to dinner. The digestive is perfect to serve after the dessert or cheese course.
Generally, both are served in a snifter or concentrate because they are served neat, so it’s salient to serve it in a vessel that goes well with aromatics.
While serving it neat, the aperitif is supposed to be in a long-stemmed glass with a small bowl. Or else, rocks glass goes well if pouring the drink over ice. For digestifs, it all depends on the style of digestif served, which can vary from a shot glass to a brandy glasses to even a wine glass.
In the end, the custom of an aperitif and digestif is more about preparing and relaxing the body. It also helps set a tone of conversation, so that patrons can absolutely indulge in the company of their dining cohorts.