Explore our favourite digestifs, then check out our guides to the best aperitifs, vermouths and international gins.


Digestifs are drunk to aid digestion after a meal, usually neat or with ice. Unlike aperitifs, they tend to be sweeter, with a higher ABV, and range from brandy, port, sherry and liqueurs to bitter, herbal amaros such as Averna and Fernet Branca.

Feel free, however, to play around with these categories. For example, a sweet liqueur could work well mixed with tonic or sparkling water as an aperitif, while drinks such as earthy Cynar work equally well in a pre-dinner spritz as they do sipped neat after a rich supper.

Best digestifs to try

Amaro Averna, £18.08/70cl, Amazon

This classic Italian amaro was created in Sicily in 1868. Spicy and vibrantly bittersweet, with coffee, chocolate and bitter orange notes.

A bottle of dark liquid with a yellow, red and white label

Escubac, £26.25/70cl, Master of Malt

Distilled with the likes of caraway, cardamom, nutmeg, citrus, raisins, vanilla and saffron, this Scottish spirit is spicy and warming. Mix with tonic for an intriguing alternative to a G&T, or drink neat as a digestif.

Pococello, £26.40/50cl, The Drink Shop

This British limoncello is made with Chase potato spirit and aromatic Amalfi lemons. With an intense citrus fragrance, smooth and not too sweet, it's delicious neat and also works well with tonic water (think revved-up lemon barley water) or topped up with fizz as an aperitif.

Pococello Aperitif Bottle

Thistly Cross Traditional Cider Liqueur, £29.95/50cl, Thistly Cross

Scottish cider maker Thistly Cross has created a rich, warming liqueur with juicy apple flavours, gentle acidity and warming, subtly spicy undertones. Drink neat over ice after dinner, mix with ginger beer or try using in sour cocktails.

A bottle filled with pale yellow liquid

Cynar, £16.95/70cl, The Whisky Exchange

This classic bitter Italian aperitif is flavoured with artichokes – but don’t let that put you off. The end result is sultry, earthy and subtly vegetal. It works brilliantly in a spritz, swap it for Campari in a negroni or drink neat over ice.

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A bottle of dark liquid with a red, green and white label

Mr Black Coffee Amaro, £28.75/70cl, Master of Malt

Botanicals including angelica, coriander, macadamia, caraway and cardamom work with the coffee in this amaro to add that requisite bittersweet character, as well as more rounded, roasted and caramel notes, while bright citrus comes through thanks to grapefruit, orange and lemon. Sip on its own – over ice – or with tonic.

Mr Black Coffee Amaro Liqueur

Feragaia, £23.95, Master of Malt

Made in the Scottish Lowlands using 14 different ingredients, including locally sourced serrated wrack seaweed, bay leaf and chamomile, this non-alcoholic spirit is clean, subtle and elegant, with warming spice and herbal notes. It’s lovely lengthened with tonic water but we prefer it best drunk neat over ice, which lets the spirit’s smoky, peppery notes shine through.

Feragaia bottle in front of green leaves


Hannah Guinness olive magazine portrait
Hannah GuinnessSub editor and drinks writer

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