After savouring a delicious meal, the last thing anyone wants is to feel bloated and tired. With bloating comes a heavy feeling of lethargy and sluggish digestion overall. These side effects can really get in the way of enjoying the pleasure of food but the good news is that they can be pretty simple to overcome.
Taking your digestive health into your own hands can be as easy as pouring yourself a drink. Let's take a leaf out of our Italian and French friends’ books and explore the benefits of a daily aperitif and digestif. In this article, we'll guide you through aperitifs and digestifs, what they are, how to bring them into your meal times with the help of JIN JIN cordials.
Aperitif vs digestif: what’s the difference?
If both of these drinks are designed to support your digestion, is there really a difference? The answer is yes! The reality is that an aperitif and digestif not only differ in flavour, but have distinct functions and purposes as well. Let’s take a look.
What is an aperitif?
Much like how Europeans appreciate their food, they also make sure to digest it well. This is where the idea of an aperitif comes from – it’s derived from the Latin word ‘aperire’ which means ‘to open’ and so these aperitif drinks mark the start of a meal.
They’re usually dry and light alcoholic drinks that are classically made up of sweet vermouth, campari or white wines. And since they’re enjoyed as a way to prepare the appetite, you can expect your aperitif to be served with starters or amuse-bouche.
What are the benefits of aperitifs?
They stimulate your digestion
The bitterness of an aperitif makes it a great way to stimulate your digestion since the stomach will be prepared for the delicious food that’s about to come. When the stomach is prepared, the food will be digested properly which will help avoid those troublesome side effects of slow digestion like painful bloating.
They slow you down
Another benefit is that drinking an aperitif sets the pace of the meal. Often, a root cause of digestion problems is eating sporadically which doesn’t give your body a chance to prepare for digestion. The same can be said if you tend to rush your meals.
By opening your meal with an aperitif, you’re sending signals to both your brain and gut that there’s food on the way and by savouring the drink, you are setting the pace for the rest of the meal.
What is a digestif?
With every good beginning, there must be an equally great ending. So after a tasty meal, a traditional way to bring it to an end is to sip a digestif – an alcoholic beverage that's made with herbs, roots, and spices.
Digestif drinks come in many different forms, from bitter liqueurs to herbal liqueurs and fortified wines. They're often sipped slowly to savour their unique flavours. These post-dinner drinks are enjoyed neat and make the ideal ending to particularly large meals.
What are the benefits of digestifs?
It’s claimed that they support digestion
Believed to aid digestion by helping the body to break down food more efficiently, they create a pleasurable experience that can also help you relax: another excellent way to support your digestion.
They create a special bonding experience
Digestifs are a tradition in many cultures which can help you feel connected to either your own culture or taste a brand new one, sip by sip. The act of coming together at the end of a meal with a digestif is also a bonding experience–hence why they find their place at almost every dinner party.
Drink JIN JIN as an aperitif or digestif drink
Sometimes, traditional drinks that are alcoholic beverages aren’t always conducive to good gut health. In fact, too much alcohol can actually cause gut inflammation. So if you’re trying to improve your digestive system, it could be worth introducing this concept of bookending your dinner with a drink but instead, swap the alcohol for more nutritious drinks.
JIN JIN is a naturally fermented drink containing a delicious blend of 35 different kinds of fruits, vegetables, mushrooms, and cultures that make your gut microbiome happy. It would make a perfect digestive drink as not only can it improve gut health, but JIN JIN also stimulates digestion just like the alcoholic versions without the worry of any negative impacts. Plus it's one of the best nutritious drinks out there.
How to drink JIN JIN as an aperitif
C&T (cordial and tonic)
If you’d like to use this refreshing fermented cordial as an aperitif, enjoy it with light tonic water, cucumber ribbons and a generous squeeze of lime. The recommended ratio to start with is one part cordial to ten parts water (1:10) but you can adjust this to your liking.
Iced tea elixir
You could also brew some green tea (a fruit or mint-flavoured one would be extra delicious). Simply pour it over ice and stir in your JIN JIN for a nutritious herbal aperitif.
How to drink JIN JIN as a digestif
Whether you prefer sweet liqueurs or a more bitter digestif, you’ll be able to recreate your after-dinner drink with a gut-loving cordial. Why not try mixing JIN JIN into cold-pressed ginger juice and enjoy it neat or top it with some sparkling water?
For a sweeter flavour, you could stir together some fermented cordial, fresh lemon juice, and a touch of maple syrup. Garnish with some zest and enjoy this limoncello-inspired digestif.
The aperitif and digestif tradition lives on, especially for gut-health!
It’s true. An aperitif is a perfect way to wake up your digestion and set a steady pace for the meal ahead. It reminds us to slow down, allow the stomach to do its job, and savour the moment. Similarly, once the delicious meal is over, you can savour a digestif to support the digestion of food and connect with your loved ones around the table.
If you’re struggling with your digestion, drinking alcohol with every meal may not be the best idea. Thankfully with gut-loving fermented cordials like JIN JIN, these traditions can live on, even for gut-health-conscious people like you.
These cordial bottles are not only full of nutritious plants and enzymes, but they can make the most delicious drinks to complement your tasty meals. Bon appetit!