First off, let’s quickly define these tricky French words… Apertif is a before meal drink and Digestif is an after meal drink. I feel better now don’t you? Obviously, there’s more to them then just their definitions; but it’s a good place to start.
An Apertif, before meal drink, is intended to stimulate your appetite. Therefore these drinks are usually more dry, low in sugar, and lower in alcohol. Sugar decreases appetite and the higher the alcohol the more numb your tastebuds become…maybe because with no food in you the faster the alcohol gets to your brain and the more drunk you become? Some samples of an Apertif are Vermouth, Gin, Dry White Wine, and Champagne.
A Digestif, obviously, have the opposite effect. They are meant to aid in digestion, be more sweet, and have higher alcohol content. Why they have higher alcohol content is beyond me because don’t you want to remember the meal you just had? Some samples of a Digestif are Bourbon, Brany, Port, Sherry, and Liqueurs/ Cordials.
To properly consume both of these beverages is to sip them. But sip cautiously, because the more you drink the more drunk you can become and then whatever food you are about to eat or have eaten will just get in the way of you enjoying more tipples.