I love a great beverage on the weekend. I also realize that alcohol can cause problems with the gut flora and digestive processes. So, I decided to try out a digestif to remedy the situation….
A digestif is a drink that is usually served after the evening meal, to aid in digestion. Very commonly used in Europe, not so much here in the states. A general rule of thumb is the more rich and indulgent the meal, the more you will benefit from the digestif at the end of that meal. Bitter digestifs typically contain carminative herbs, which are thought to aid digestion.
A carminative, also known as carminativum (plural carminativa), is an herb or preparation that either prevents formation of gas in the gastrointestinal tract or facilitates the expulsion of said gas, thereby combatting flatulence. Carminatives have been shown to decrease lower esophageal pressure, which on the other hand increases the risk of Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) with ‘heartburn’ as the most common symptom. (source)
The recipe for digestifs are usually from many generations back, and are often “secret recipes”. But, they are mainly composed of natural herbs, oils, spices, and roots that can help settle your stomach. Some of these include anise, cinnamon, clove, cardamom, elderflower, fennel, ginger, ginseng, juniper berries, poppy seeds, saffron, tree resin, and many, many more.
We tried out a few different recipes and this one was a big hit!
- 3 cups fresh mint leaves
- 1 cup fresh squeezed lime juice
- 1 1/2 cups white rum
- 1 1/2 cups Campari
- 1 tsp bitters
- Crushed ice
- 4 limes, quartered
- 4 cups tonic water