Look, let’s all be honest and candid with each other; many of us like a little drink every now and again. It can be something we really look forward to after a hard weeks work, or it could be something we greatly anticipate at a gathering. The last one is important, of course; as celebrity chefs will tell you, there is an art to eating and drinking, and it all comes down to whether what you’re drinking is an Apéritif, or a Digestif. No doubt you’ve heard at least one of those terms before, but we here at Silke are going to offer you an explanation as to what they mean, and how they effect you when eating comes in to the equation.
Although the practise of drinking Apéritifs is said to have started in 1846, when Joseph Dubonnet’s eponymous wine-based, quinine tinged concoction became popular first for it’s intended purpose (combating malaria) and then by way of Joseph’s wife, who loved eating and drinking, sharing it to friends and acquaintances at parties, but the practise dates back to at least 500 A.D. What that practise entails, exactly, is pretty simple; stimulating the appetite by consuming certain types of alcohol before sitting down for a meal. These include, but are not limited to, fortified wines such as Commandaria, Sherry, or Port, Vermouth, and Dry Champagne; generally, alcoholic beverages that are dry and sour rather then sweet.
Eating And Drinking Alcohol
Digestif is probably the term a lot of you are less familiar with, but you can no doubt figure out what it means; they are alcoholic drinks served after a meal is finished, in theory to help aid in digestion and to soothe the appetite. Certain regions consider drinks that would be counted as Apéritifs in others as Digestifs, so there is a fair bit of crossover, but as a general rule, favoured Digestif’s include Brandy- particularly Cognac- sweet liqueur’s, or even liqueur based cocktails such as Black Russians. Outside of the cocktail example, many Digestif’s are usually taken straight.
These are less hardline rules so much as guidelines, and deviating from them isn’t going to result in some awful turnabout; either way, you’re likely to have a lovely evening of fine food and good drink regardless of your choices. Although, we do recommend drinking water at well-timed intervals to remain hydrated, lest you fancy a hangover in the following morning.