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The 7 best digestifs after dinner



The grandfather had plans. The after-dinner drinks are delicious, have much less calories than a cheesecake and can even help with digestion (maybe). Start with these digestifs.

Armagnac, Brandy, Cognac

In general, brandy tastes of whiskey, but is more fruity, says Alastair England, wine director of the restaurant group Zuma USA. If you like Spanish wine rather than whiskey, choose Brandy. If you enjoy more refined brown spirits, try cognac. And if you prefer a richer, richer whiskey and find (and can afford) Armagnac, you should get it because it's hard to find. Add a pinch of water to add flavor, says Juyoung Kang, bartender at Dorsey at the Venetian Resort and Las Vegas hotel] Italians pour 27 herbs and spices, including rhubarb, chamomile and cinnamon, into a grape liqueur to Fernet Branca manufacture. It is an acquired taste. Some compare it to unsweetened black liquorice; others say it is very bitter, vegetable and minty. Zang suggests giving Fernet a sour shot: Put equal parts of Fernet Branca and whiskey or vermouth plus plain syrup and lemon in a cocktail glass. Zang says it's perfect for Asian food.

Jägermeister ( No, really!)

Forget what you forget (or forget) about Jägermeister. This German elixir unites dozens of herbs, flowers, roots and fruits that make up ginseng, juniper, anise and poppy berries, says England. Leave the bottle outside the ski lodge and enjoy it in a hot tub with friends after a day on the mountain. Also works in hot chocolate. Remember, if you shoot it, it's hunter. If you drink it, it's Jägermeister.

Calvados

It is produced by producers in Normandy who make the apple or pear juice into cider, distilled once or twice and aged in oak barrels. "If cognac is like red wine, then Calvados is white wine," says Zang. "Compared to Cognac, Calvados is lighter, very fruity and very easy to drink." She recommends Chateau du Breuil 20 Year Old XO (jammy) with baking spices or Boulard VSOP, which tastes of baked apple with vanilla. Enjoy it neat and at the same temperature you drink red wine.

Chartreuse

The green variety is a bittersweet and the yellow is a bit sweeter. The green variety is vegetable, herbaceous, spicy and deceptive (1

10 ABV) compared to the honey-like sweetness of the milder, less pliable (80) yellow.

Do digestifs live up to their name?

Probably. "Alcohol can reduce the feeling of pressure and bloating after meals," says Scott Gabbard, M.D., gastroenterologist at the Cleveland Clinic. But alcohol is not the only ingredient in some digestifs. There are also the herbs. Although most brands do not disclose their (often numerous) ingredients, some herbs are used by physicians to treat functional dyspepsia. This condition occurs when the top of the stomach does not open, resulting in bloating and fast feeling. Note: Anything that goes beyond a drink does not improve the results.


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