The whole truth about digestives: experts say
Digestif contributes to the speedy digestion of food, for this reason it is recommended to use it at the end of a meal. Once, in the summer of 2018, I was in Calvados, the homeland of the brandy of the same name, where in five days I developed the habit of drinking this drink after eating. And I tell you, even after the most hearty dinner I felt great.
In addition, a digestif is an unspoken signal to stop dinner. Therefore, in case you want to escort guests, have a bottle in stock. And which one, our experts will tell.
Caution: there will be even more reasons to drink after reading the text.
Oksana Dovzhuk, Ladoga Brand Director, Pere Magloire Brand Ambassador
Calvados is one of France’s three great brandies, made from apples and pears in the Calvados region of Normandy. And by the way, one of the most beloved spirits of the French. They enjoy using it as both a classic digestif and an aperitif, making excellent cocktails based on the drink: calvados with tonic, RM – a mix of calvados and pink grapefruit and tonic syrup and others. To create cocktails-aperitifs and those that can accompany the feast, most often use calvados under the age of four years. Normans, who understand a lot about the beneficial effects of beloved brandy on digestion, strongly recommend that they fill in the pauses between dishes. This mode of consumption is called the “Norman Hole.” Noble aged calvados level XO, 12 years and above, as a rule, are served as a digestif.
For tulips, special tulip-shaped glasses are ideal, which are only a third filled with a precious drink (if glasses of this type are not available to you, the use of ordinary cognac snifters is allowed). The glass should be warmed for several minutes in the palms, while inhaling the unique aroma of the nectar of Norman gardens. And only after that you can start a leisurely tasting, savoring every drop of the delicious dream drink sung by Erich Maria Remarque in the Arc de Triomphe. Aged calvados go great with cigars.
Vitaliy Glotov, chef-bartender of La Fabbrica restaurant (Rostov-on-Don)
In every wine-making country there is a certain distillate, which is customary to complete a meal. For example, in France – cognac or Armagnac. In Italy – grappa. Grappa is a grape strong alcoholic drink. Its strength varies from 36 to 55%. Grappa belongs to the category of digestives, therefore it is better not to combine and use it with anything separately. But if you feel the need for a snack, then you should choose sweet dessert dishes with a dense texture, for example, panna cottu or tiramisu. Typically, grappa is drunk in portions of the directive glasses, which are also called tasting glasses.
Igor Yasakov, bartender of Chelsea gastropub
Grappa is a very common Italian digestif. Often this drink is called grape vodka, but in essence grappa is a kind of brandy. Grappa serves coffee, dark chocolate, fruits (lemon, orange or grapefruit, bananas are also good).
Limoncello is another Italian digestif. This is a strong lemon liquor that should be drunk exclusively chilled and preferably from special high glasses. Limoncello snack sweet pastries or chocolate desserts. Here is a simple and very original dessert recipe with limoncello: creamy ice cream, sprinkled with lemon liquor – an unforgettable pleasure! In addition, limoncello shows itself perfectly in mixed digestive drinks.
Port wine is perhaps the best among Portuguese digestives. Our map contains such a porto variety as Vintage – an elite port wine made from grapes of the most successful years. The aromas of wild berries, red fruits and dark chocolate go well with strong coffee, sweet pastries, cheeses and, of course, chocolate fondants.
Amaro is Italian for bitter. The basis of this digestif is an infusion of herbs, roots, bark, flowers and citrus fruits. Usually drink bitter in its pure form, sometimes add a slice of citrus or ice. The drink serves olives, olives and salted cheeses. And best of all, Amaro has healing and beneficial properties, normalizes digestion and soothes the nervous system.
And finally, whiskey as a digestif. More than 100 varieties of this drink are presented in the Chelsea gastropub wine list, each one is unique and self-sufficient. As a digestif, we consider island varieties of whiskey. They have special taste and aromatic characteristics. Among the many shades and flavors clearly stands out a certain saltiness, the “marine” component of the drink. This is due to air filled with salt, and quite salty soil, and peat, which is saturated with sea water. Peaty notes are another prerequisite for island whiskey. The malt for cooking scotch on the islands is dried on local peat, which gives a pronounced smoky flavor.