You know the scene. Your plates have been cleared, empty wine glasses have been removed, and now you’re staring at an intimidating menu listing all manner of after-dinner drinks, most of which you haven’t even heard of!
On the evenings when you don’t want just coffee or tea with your dessert, you don’t have to resort to ordering a repeat of the dry white you enjoyed with your first two savory courses. That Sauvignon Blanc might have tasted fine with the seafood linguini, but will it pair half as well with the cheesecake?
We admit that trying to figure out a port from a moscato from a grappa makes us want to demand the check and hightail it home. Navigating–and understanding–the world of digestifs is certainly not as simple as ordering a vodka tonic, but it is one worth exploring.
First off, remember that a classic digestif is meant to aid in digestion. Most of the beverages suggested for after dinner consumption are served straight or neat (a couple of ounces that pack quite the alcoholic punch), though often an ice-cube or two (with a drink that isn’t wine) is acceptable, and even preferred in some cases. But the truth is, tasting something on its own–in its clean, unmuddled form–is an excellent way to really grasp the flavors and nuances.