Apéritif vs digéstif: Vive la difference!

What exactly is the difference between the two? 

“Apéritif” comes from the Latin “to open” and that is what it is meant to do, to open your appetite before you start a fine meal, to whet the appetite and increase your enjoyment.

A digéstif is meant to do just the opposite; to help you digest that fine meal and soothe the stomach. Is there a difference in the content of these two befores and afters? Yes, indeed. 

An apéritif is usually dry since sugar limits the appetite and the alcohol level is lower since too high an alcohol content can get you sloshed and you don’t want that before a well prepared meal. That would be rude and would make you an insufferable bore at the table. It also dulls the taste buds which you want in high gear as you appreciate what is served.  Apéritifs are often wine based (vino amaro) to which herbs and spices have been infused, so they can have a hint of bitterness.  Think of vermouth or come into Palate and be introduced to our new line of fine French and Italian aperitifs.

Digéstifs, on the other hand, are for sipping while relaxing after that holiday or special occasion meal.  At this point in the evening, you want something a bit sweeter with a higher alcohol content. Digestifs can offer a wonderful, complex blends of herbs found in the Alps. They are often aged in oak barrels. This is the time in the evening to raise a glass of port or sherry or one of our newly arrived elixirs, ie. Genepy des Alpes, which is a cousin of absinthe or Chartreuse, or our Italian Cardamaro, which is distilled with cardoons.

 Let us introduce you to these drinks that will offer something exciting to your holiday table.  Both apéritifs and digéstifs should be sipped well chilled though not with ice. Remember they are for sipping and not guzzling.

Stay tuned for a soon to come specific introduction to our line of both of the above which will distinguish the differences in these wonderful beverages.  Take note also of the gorgeous labels on the bottles.  And of course don’t forgetour ever growing line of fine wines for the coming holidays. A bientôt,