We’ve all heard that Mediterreanean cuisine can lower our risk of heart disease and improve our overall health… But what about the cup to the side of your paella plate? Aperatifs and digestifs have crossed the ocean to become a popular low-sugar drink that’s on the rise in the States. Before you head out for drinks, learn all about these spritzy summer bevs!
Apéritifs and Digestifs: What’s the Difference?
It’s all about the timing. An apéritif is simply a liquor served with appetizers, to help stimulate your appetite before mealtime- to remember, just think AP!
While a drink that makes you hungrier may seem counterintuitive to a fit life, because they’re served before a meal, apéritifs are lower-sugar, lower-proof liquors, so you can enjoy while not worrying about calorie count or drinking too much too soon!
Americans probably know apéritifs as traditional cocktail ingredients like vermouth, bitters and Campari in martinis, Manhattans and negronis. In Europe, these bitter liquors are often served straight up to sip, or with soda water, juice or ice.
The Aperol Spritz, Sans Guilt
The aperol spritz is one of our favorite and the most well-known apéritif cocktails… Maybe because of the eponymous branding or its unique orange color and flavor- neither too sweet or too bitter, with a woodsy aftertaste you can never quite place!
Typically, an Aperol spritz recipe includes equal parts Prosecco or Champagne and Aperol, with a spritz of soda water. Those who want to keep sugar and calories low can cut the champagne, or replace it with a lighter sparkling wine, like a vino verde.
Aperol Spritz, Sans Guilt- 111 calories, 16.4g sugar
Fill wine glass full of ice. Add aperol and soda water. Garnish with orange.
Digestifs: Your Post-Dinner Drink
As for digestifs, as you may have guessed by now, they come after the meal, to promote healthy digestion. These are typically heavier drinks, like rum, cognac and sweeter, heavier wines, so we often recommend you skip these.
However, there are a number of digestifs that are low sugar-content because they’re made in the same way as apéritifs- by steeping herbs, fruits or flowers in alcohol for long periods of time to expose their flavoring. For example, chartreuse is a potent, herbal digestif made from 130 herbs and other plants macerated in alcohol and steeped for about eight hours.
One trendy digestif that’s popping up is amaro (above), another herbal liquer served neat or over ice. Learn about all the best brands of amari (the fancy plural version) here!
All this being said, don’t forget to fill your plate with the healthiest herbs, veggies and tender meats- and always drink a glass of water between each alcoholic drink!ORDER THIS WEEK’S MEALS