Digestif

A Digestif is an alcoholic beverage served after a meal, to aid digestion. For me this typically is a pomace liquor. The most famous of them all is of course the Italian Grappa which happens to be my favorite. However, for the travelers; here is a useful list and a necessary part of your travel kit: In the Balcan it’s called Komovica; Cyprus Zivania; France Marc; Georgia Chacha; Germany Tresterbrand; Greece Tsipouro; Hungary Törköly; Bulgaria Grozdova; Portugal Aguardente; Romania Rachiu de tescovina; Macedonia Rakija; Spain Orujo, especially in the North and North west of Spain, but I’ve successfully asked for Aguardiente as well, which is a more generic term though; Slovenia has its Tropinovec; and Albania Raki (distinct from Turkish Raki which is an anis liquor); in Peru and Chile it’s all Pisco (and while you’re there, don’t miss the Pisco Sour by the way).
If you ask for Aguardente in Brazil you’ll get Cachaca, but that is made from sugar cane, not really the right stuff. Definitely best for Caipirinhas.

These are all made from fermenting the left overs from the wine making and then destilling them. But there are others worth testing out. If in Germany try Apfelkorn, in Switzerland Kirsch and Poire William. Same applies for France. On the Balcan the famous Slivovitz or Slivovitsa made from plums rules. In Hungary my favorite is Vilmos (pronounced Vilmosh) made from pears.

Then we have the French Calvados which also works fine with cheese from the area, as does single malt Scotch whisky, but in my opinion these are more for cocktails, as is cognac.

And if you happen to visit my home country you should try an aquavita or akevitt as we call it locally.

Digestif is not something you sit lingering with the whole evening. Down with it in one shot. After the meal. And remember: ONE is enough!

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