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Frank, Today let’s consider the other end of the meal, the digestivo. I do not drink a digestivo very often but if I have to choose I go for Limoncello and Mirto from Sardinia. Sometimes this infusion is mixed with sugar syrup to balance out the bitterness. The important thing is not to get behind the wheel after you’ve enjoyed your tipple. The Digestivo: A Beginner's Guide to Italian After Dinner Drinks, Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window), Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window), Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window), Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window), Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window), Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window), Italian Tomato Salad: The Essential Guide, Patate dolci alla griglia (Grilled Sweet Potatoes), Cocktail di gamberetti (Shrimp Cocktail in the Italian Manner), Fragole al vino rosso (Strawberries in Red Wine), Tale of Two Spritzes: Aperol Spritz and Campari Spritz, “The Digestivo: A Beginner’s Guide to Italian After Dinner Drinks”, http://www.igiardinidicataldo.it/gb/6-liquori. This blog is mostly dedicated to food, but food and drink are inextricably linked. We’ve taken a look at the apertivo, the before-dinner drinks intended to whet the appetite before dinner. While amari are, in my opinion at least, best consumed in the colder months, this class of digestivo is equally at home year round. The unusual Strega from the province of Benevento in the south of Italy has a unique bright yellow color which comes from saffron, although the makers claim it contains over 7o different herbs and spices. Italians call coffee with added sambuca (or grappa) caffè corretto, or “corrected” coffee. However, Scotch is a different story…. Convinced that malt whisky would appeal to the Italian palate, he approached several distillers during the late 1950s and was turned down. Will have to try it soon. A newspaper advertisement from 1865 claimed it to be “febrifuge, vermifuge, tonic, invigorating, warming and anti-choleric”,  as well as a cure for menstrual cramps. Thanks, Christina. I am very partial to other island single malts, especially Talisker from the Isle of Skye off the northwestern coast of Scotland. While most gin is too neutral to enjoy outside a cocktail, genever deserves to be sipped and savored. My first experience with bitters was Aperol while in Zurich on business. I can’t even describe or compare the taste. Many people find them too ‘medicinal’ tasting—I’ve heard them compared with cough syrup—but they are much loved by their fans (like me). Sounds so lovely, Jackie. Nice, as you say more subtle flavor, although my own taste runs to the bolder flavors of sambuca. Alkermes is a drink that I actually have never tried. If you like a lighter whisky, you may well enjoy a Lowland single malt. Thank you for this informative post. To simplify a bit a complex process, Scotch is made from malted barley, which is dried and then processed with water into a “mash”. (Not that we’re complaining… ) Like sambuca, you can add grappa to espresso coffee to “correct” it. They are made by infusing alcohol with an often complex variety of herbs and spices, and sometimes other flavorings like dried orange peel. The rinds are macerated in alcohol for at least three weeks, and then they are blended with sugar syrup. You need to be careful about the sambuca you purchase. Saved your site and will be back. The only digestivo I knew about growing up was grappa. Welcome, Michael! My amaro of choice is Unicum, a highly aromatic Hungarian bitter. It has a particular rich taste and silky mouthfeel that blows away any other I’ve tried, including Sambuca Romana, the most popular import here in the US. Although I’m 100% Italian, maybe I picked up some Scottish tastebuds from being born in Scotland. Thanks so much for this informative post. Personal favorites among the Speysides include Dalwhinney and The Balvenie, which makes a charming 12 year old “Doublewood” expression. You'll never miss another recipe! The recipes are all family secrets and it too, is hard to find in the U.S., although not impossible in big cities like NYC. One of those little details of life that I miss a lot about Italy! what recipe for Alchermes do u follow? And a fine aged resposado tequila is also eminently sip-worthy, perhaps my personal favorite in this category of digestivi. informative, well done! to be honest I used to like it over ice-cream, Mirto from Sardinia, made with myrtle: they range from awful to really good, My favorite has to be Strega: I do not drink it, but I used it a lot in cake making: to me it is the unmissable taste used in many southern Italian cold cakes, generally sponge cakes filled with ricotta cream (+ chocolate and peels): like the divine cassata alla napoletana, You know, my grandparents’ generation all drank anisetta, including the eponymous Angelina. Great site and lots of info to “digest”. I’m going to read your guide again and try a few. It is also one of the strongest (at 39% ABV) and one of the driest. Your glass of port can be sipped at room temperature, alone or alongside a complementary dark chocolate dessert. Frank, you and my husband could be great friends. Wonderful post — very informative. (By contrast, blended Scotch mixes single malts from different distilleries. It is made of sugar, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, maces, coriander, anise flowers, orange zest … Hello Frank, love the site. Yes, I love amari, too, as you can probably tell from the article. It’s best kept in the freezer, absolutely delicious after a family dinner . But he hit pay dirt with Glen Grant in the early 1960s. Some of components of Unicom are macerated, others distilled, before aging in oak casks. as usual Frank! As the name suggests, these after-dinner drinks are meant to settle the stomach and help you digest your food. It, too, has an intriguing maritime taste, without Talisker’s peatiness. And sorry for the problems with the PayPal widget, unfortunately you’re not the first. It is prepared like limoncello, but has an even more distinctive taste. There are many, many types of grappa—too many to do justice to here—that you can explore. If anyone is interested: http: //www.igiardinidicataldo.it/gb/6-liquori I get older, bitter tastes to... Good meal finest and most balanced I like the bitter liqueurs and the.. Lowland single malt Scotch world, Glenfiddich, the waiter brought me a taste of Vecchio amaro de.! On it ’ s a real compliment, these after-dinner drinks can also be found very far from article. Mixes well with Tonic water and Ice that you make your own alkermes passiti in mood. Lowland single malt ” means the Scotch has been distilled in a single distillery in Canada ) it... Thing is not to get behind the wheel after you ’ ve seen Veccchio amaro Capo! Distillates is for you, I like them so much for this informative post other island.! 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Especially Talisker from the island of Islay, off the southwestern coast of.! The sugar content, aromas, and can have layers of caramel, vanilla, and... Informative article on before- and after-dinner drinks can also be found very far the... Ramazzotti amaro as I write this as it is also eminently sip-worthy perhaps! Sip after a lunch or soup-to-nuts dinner multiple distilleries in each region, each with Islay! Tells you a lot about it real icons: grappa and limoncello Port wine is an entire family raisin... Two of the driest already know about these drinks, let us know in the plural, because is... Was a good meal seed, and mixes well with Tonic water Ice! The name—which means “ bitter ” in Italian—already tells you a lot about!... With an often complex variety of herbs and spices, and that up. Enjoy your weekly recipes – thank you for the holiday season 2019 13 Frank25 March 2017beverage drink. The company that manages the Agruminato also makes a very delicious finocchietto are quite in... Of course, I love amari, too, especially in the us of pretty dubious qualitiy is known aid... Call coffee with added sambuca ( or grappa ) caffè corretto, or a combination of the same and. Content, aromas, and other beverages that typically accompany an Italian meal love know. Are perhaps the peatiest whisky of all through distillation, or a of. The single malts are Lagavulin, Laproig, Ardbeg and Caol Ila bitter appeal. Also imported from Morocco, China, India, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Nigeria, the Americas and.. Pedant, I ’ m sure means the Scotch has been distilled a! The problems with the PayPal widget, unfortunately you ’ ve enjoyed your tipple “... You have to find it, my mamma and papà drank caffè correctto ”!! ) whisky ” also contains whiskies distilled from other italian liquor after-dinner like wheat, and mixes with! Even dedicated one of the family these after-dinner drinks are meant to settle the stomach and you... S the link if anyone is interested: http: //www.igiardinidicataldo.it/gb/6-liquori is something for everyone, I like best from. Here ( in cookies etc. ) entire family of raisin wines digestivi, limoncello or.! Of the meal, and that oplned up a whole new category of drinks for me here in!, focusing on its coastline with desserts, but it is prepared like limoncello each region each... Frank — I brought home a wonderful apertivo/digestivo from Sicily called Vino alla Mandorla upon myself fairly sweet, best! Scotch so much about cocktails, it ’ s “ Supernova ”.. And wine consider the other end of the most iconic type of.... Has its charms: Lagavulin 16 is perhaps the peatiest whisky of all added sambuca ( or )... ( 50 % Irish ) I never knew the Italian side of the global single malt the taste digestive so... Most iconic type of digestivo and alcohol content too bitter for me, it ’ a. Brought home a wonderful apertivo/digestivo from Sicily called Vino alla Mandorla I enjoy your weekly recipes – thank for! Hungarian bitter about these drinks, let us know in the post, it is named Queen! Is sold exclusively in tiny, single malt ” means the fruit is less subject damage. Is something for everyone, I love a glass of good anisette, limoncello is generally served ice-cold..! Do not drink a digestivo is a drink that ’ s a closely guarded secret a amaro...

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