DIGESTIF & APERITIF
A digestif is a beverage, usually small and alcoholic, which is consumed at the end of a meal. Some believe that a digestif aids the digestion of food. The term is lifted from French. Digestifs can be compared with apéritifs, which are drunk before a meal — usually, the digestif will be heavier and more alcoholic. A common rule of thumb is that white (clear) spirits are served as apéritifs while brown ones are served as digestifs.
Digestifs are usually drunk neat and are most often spirits; cognac is a common selection. Other likely choices include armagnacs, brandies, and whiskies. Some wines (usually fortified) are served as digestifs as well — for instance, port, sherry, or madeira. Non-alcoholic drinks such as coffee, though often drunk following a meal, would usually not be considered digestifs.
The word is French and is derived from the Latin verb "aperire", which means to open.
The apéritif indicates by extension the food-picking which can precede the meal. This includes finger food, usually pistachios, the chips or peanuts. On broader terms, the apéritif applies to all types of food (small cakes, cut out fruits, pork-butcheries, tapas, cheeses and other imaginative assortments) which are served along the drinks, corresponding to the concept of tapas and Russian zakouski.
Last, but not least, the apéritif also means the moment of friendliness/sociability where people get together to have these drinks and this food while discussing, even if no meal is planned together thereafter. For this reason, the apéritif is also a light meal, where one can some time have cocktails