Best digestifs to try
Check our best digestifs to buy for post-supper sipping, including a classic Italian amaro, coffee liqueur and alcohol-free options
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 at a glance
- Best classic amaro: Amaro Averna, £21.99
- Best for botanicals: Dispense. Modern British Amaro, £30.95
- Best limoncello: Santa Marta Limoncello, £15.95
- Best chocolate liqueur for a sweet tooth: Tempus Fugit Spirits Crème de Cacao à la Vanille, £29.75
- Best whiskey liqueur for sipping: Lucky Sod, £24.44
- Best unique digestif: Escubac, £27.24
- Best for cider fans: Thistly Cross Traditional Cider Liqueur, £29.95
- Best bitter digestif: Cynar, £16.86
- Best flavoured amaro: Mr Black Coffee Amaro, £33.24
- Best non-alcoholic digestif: Feragaia, £22.75
Best digestifs to try in 2023
Best classic amaro
This classic Italian amaro was created in Sicily in 1868. Spicy and vibrantly bittersweet, with coffee, chocolate and bitter orange notes.
More like this
Dispense modern British amaro
Best for botanicals
Made using 17th-century recipes plus an old Sicilian family concoction, Dispense features a whopping 24 different botanicals, including English hops, rhubarb, myrrh and more, blended with the brand’s own pinot noir vermouth. Expect lots of zesty orange, spicy notes and nuttiness – enjoy neat or long, mixed with tonic or sparkling water.
Santa Marta limoncello
Tempus Fugit Spirits crème de cacao à la vanille
Best chocolate liqueur for a sweet tooth
Lusciously sweet and sticky, this liqueur is incredibly fragrant, with notes of vanilla, milk chocolate and caramel – it smells just like a bar of Cadbury chocolate. Sip instead of dessert after dinner. Read our full review of the best chocolate liqueurs for more inspiration.
Best whiskey liqueur for sipping
A creamy mouthfeel and luscious fudgy vanilla tones balanced by a robust, fiery kick of Irish whiskey. Sip from a hip flask on a festive winter walk. Read our full review of the best whisky liqueurs for more like this.
Best unique digestif
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.
Thistly Cross Traditional Cider Liqueur
- Available from Thistly Cross (£29.95)
Best for cider fans
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.
Thistly Cross (£29.95)
Best bitter choice
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.
Mr Black Coffee Amaro
Best flavoured amaro
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.
Best non-alcoholic digestif
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.