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An Introduction to Aperitivos and Digestivos 03:15

Brynn Smith

Become familiar with the differences between aperitivos and digestivos, and learn how these drinks can enhance the experience of a meal.

An Introduction to Aperitivos and Digestivos 03:15

Brynn Smith

Become familiar with the differences between aperitivos and digestivos, and learn how these drinks can enhance the experience of a meal.

Intermediate
Prep Time Cook Time Total Time Serving Size

The Steps

  1. 1. Aperitivos (or apéritifs) are served at the beginning of a meal. They are light, dry, sweet, and acidic to help awaken the palate. 00:11

  2. 2. Fortified wines such as Cocchi Americano and Cocchi Americano Rosa can be served on the rocks or in a martini. Campari is another popular aperitivo. Aperol is a slightly sweeter form. 00:28

  3. 3. The digestivo Amaro Meletti is a bitter, containing hints of lavender and saffron. Amaro Nonino is also a bitter, infused with herbs and orange. Fernet-Branca is another popular digestivo. 01:19

  4. 4. Digestivos (or digestifs) contain many herbs and spices that help the digestive system. The Italian word “amaro” translates to “bitter” in English and is used to help aid in the digestion of food. 01:43

  5. 5. Other forms of digestivos are the il Merlot di Nonino Grappa and Sambuca. Grappas are made from the leftover seeds, skins, and stems from grapes used to make wine. An Amaro Nonino is similar to a Nonino Grappa, with added herbs and spices. Sambuca is licorice liquor that is very sweet and has a high alcohol content. 02:01

  6. 6. For aperitivos, remember to choose drinks that are light and refreshing and are able to prepare the palate for the food. For the after meal digestivos, choose drinks that contain herbs and spices aid the digestion of food. 02:30

What You'll Need

Ingredients

- Cocchi Americano
- Cocchi Americano Rosa
- Campari
- Aperol
- Amaro Meletti
- Amaro Nonino
- Fernet-Branca
- Il Merlot de Nonino Grappa
- Sambuca

Chef Notes

Apéritifs are often dry and low in sugar and alcohol content, as the two components tend to decrease sensitivity to the flavor of food. If a drink with a high alcohol content is consumed before a meal, then the flavor profile of the meal will have to be heavier to compensate.

A digestif is perfect as a drink for after a meal, as its sweetness and high alcohol content helps round out the flavors of a meal, as well as assist in the digestion process.

To learn more about grappas, visit Brynn’s “An Introduction to Grappa” tutorial located at the bottom of the page.

To learn another application for Aperol, visit Brynn's “Traditional Aperol Spritz” tutorial located at the bottom of the page.

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Taught by

Brynn smith2

Chef Brynn Smith

Los Angeles

Brynn Smith, the bar director at Sotto in Los Angeles, is known throughout the local bartending world for her whimsical and ... read more