For those of us who prefer to drink our dessert, the recent resurgence of interest in digestifs—most notably, sherry and cognac—has provided another opportunity to have a small tipple between entrée and nightcap. A perfectly paired digestif not only places a cherry on top of a luxurious meal but truly helps aid with settling the stomach after maybe a plate (or two) too many.
There are more opportunities than ever now to ensure that a digestif, best consumed neat in one- or two-ounce pours, aligns wholly with the flavor profiles of a meal. Sample one of these four under-the-radar after-dinner sippers the next time you’re diving into a multicourse marathon dinner (or just making a stew at home).
Christian Roche Domaine De L’Ancienne Cure
A golden-hued sweet wine hailing from southwest France, Monbazillac has had a low-key presence among international wine lovers. Hopefully, this is the year all of that changes. With notes of candied fruit and a full-bodied mouthfeel, the biodynamic vintages from Christian Roche’s Domaine De L’Ancienne Cure are among the best for first-time tasters.
Drink with: Any meal featuring pastas, heavy cream, poultry or wild game
Many (dare I say most?) liqueurs have strict constraints surrounding the nitty-gritty details of how and where they’re made. Eau-de-vie (which translates from French to “water of life”), on the other hand, is simply any fruit brandy that isn’t made from grapes. This flexibility has led to a burgeoning number of nontraditional curveball iterations, like the popular dandelion eau-de-vie from Slovenia, Krucefix Dandelion.
Drink with: White fish, citrus and, of course, salads
Raki is an anise-flavored liquor deeply ingrained in Turkish culture that’s a delicious digestif on its own. However, in a Greece-specific rakomelo preparation, such as Finest Roots’, the liquor is able to go one step beyond, combining raki with honey and baking spices for a Hot Toddy feel and (reportedly) throat-warming medicinal properties.
Drink with: Lamb, yogurts, any Mediterranean foods
A centuries-old, grape-based spirit native to Bolivia with a crystal-clear hue, Singani was completely absent from the U.S. market until it became the pet project of Oscar-winning director Steven Soderbergh. Now, Singani 63 is finding its way into cocktails, rocks glasses and fluted post-dinner sipping vessels from Brooklyn to Los Angeles.