Explore our pick of the best digestifs to buy below, then check out our guides to the best aperitifs, vermouths and international gins for more inspiration.


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

Amaro Averna

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

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.

Available from:
Asterley Bros (£30.95)
Fortnum & Mason (£41)

Santa Marta limoncello

Best limoncello

A lovely limoncello that ticks all the boxes, this is tangy and packed full of heady lemon flavours. It’s classically enjoyed neat, but would also work well in a spritz or negroni.

Available from:
Amazon (£17.25)
Master of Malt (£15.95)
Waitrose Cellar (£17.25)

Tempus Fugit Spirits crème de cacao à la vanille

Tempus Fugit Creme de Cacao a 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.

Available from:
Master of Malt (£29.75)
Amazon (£26.25)

Lucky Sod

Bottle of Lucky Sod

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.

Available from:
Amazon (£24.44)
Master of Malt (£24.44)
The Whisky Exchange (£24.45)


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

A bottle filled with pale yellow liquid

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.

Available from:
Thistly Cross (£29.95)


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

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

Mr Black Coffee Amaro Liqueur

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.


Feragaia bottle in front of green leaves

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.

Available from:
Harvey Nichols (£20)
Ocado (£24.95)
The Whisky Exchange (£22.75)


Best aperitifs


Hannah Guinness olive magazine portrait
Hannah GuinnessSenior sub editor and drinks writer

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