A digestivo is a post-dinner drink that is taken after eating a large meal. These drinks are not normally mixed with any other drink and are to be taken straight.
As many people know, Italians love their food and can spend hours around the table socializing with their family and friends whilst eating their meal. Many Italians tend to have a digestivo to help aid the break-down of their large meal which will help to stop the bloated feeling of eating too much.
Some popular digestivo drinks are;
Grappa – produced from pomace which is the leftovers of pressed grapes. Normally clear in colour although it can be flavoured with various fruits such as blueberries, apples and pears etc. The colour of grappa will be determined on the fruit added to it. Grappa has a high alcohol content and leaves a fiery taste, similar to that of whisky.
Amaro – this is an Italian liqueur infused with herbs, again a syrupy consistency and a bitter sweet taste.
Limoncello – this liqueur is made from adding lemon zest to pure alcohol. It is bright yellow in colour with a slightly syrupy consistency and is said to have originated from Southern Italy. Best served chilled.
Nocino – a dark brown almost black liqueur made from crushing green walnuts and their husks together and then adding them to pure alcohol along with the added ingredients of cloves, cinnamon and sugar. Best served chille
Sambuca – this liqueur is made from infusing elderberries or licorice roots in pure alcohol, sweetened with sugar and the addition of some spices gives it the anise taste. The result is a clear coloured liquid and is drunk straight. Some Italians have a dash of this added to their after dinner espresso.
Vin Santo : this is a very sweet Italian desert wine (similar to that of a port or sherry) and is a traditional drink in Tuscany. It is made from white grapes that have been harvested and then left to dry out on straw mats in a well ventilated but warm area of the house. Typically consumed as an after dinner sweet drink, with the “dunking” of crisp almond biscuits. This wine is best consumed in cool winter months.