Digestive schnapps

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Digestive schnapps: aquavit, caraway and juniper
Apple brandy

A digestive schnapps , also digestif (from Latin digestio ' digestion '; French digestif, -ve 'concerning digestion', also 'digestive'; in Switzerland also Verdauerli or in Alemannic Verrisserle ; in northern Germany also chopper or caper ) is a Alcoholic drink that - unlike an aperitif - is drunk after a meal.


Examples of spirits known as digestive schnapps are:

Some of these products contain herbal extracts or spices (e.g. caraway seeds, aniseed), which are said to have a digestive effect - the alcohol contained in schnapps, however, has a digestive inhibiting effect and a digestive effect for herbal schnapps has not been scientifically proven.

Plum brandy

A classic example of a digestif is plum schnapps (Japanese Ume-shu , ' Ume schnapps ' ), which is served to guests in Asian restaurants when they hand over the bill. The plum brandy is said to have beneficial effects. It is drunk hot or cold.

Aniseed schnapps

In Greek restaurants, a glass of ouzo is often offered with the bill as a digestive schnapps. In some restaurants, however, the aniseed schnapps is served as an aperitif right after ordering. The reason for this is that ouzo in Greece is not a digestif at all, but an aperitif that is always served with oily and salty starters (such as olives, pickled sardines, etc.).

Cocktails as a digestif

White Russian , an after-dinner cocktail

Some cocktails are also preferred after a meal. These are called after-dinner cocktails and, depending on the ingredients, also dessert cocktails, as they are often served instead of or in addition to a dessert. These are usually short drinks that contain sweet and / or filling ingredients such as liqueurs , cream or egg yolks , whereas the aperitif cocktails taken before a meal are often very alcoholic, but not sweet, but rather bitter to bitter . Examples of typical after-dinner cocktails are the Rusty Nail , in which Scottish whiskey is combined with the whiskey liqueur Drambuie , and the White Russian made from vodka , coffee liqueur and cream.

Medicinal effect

The bitter substances contained in the drinks stimulate special cells in the gastric mucosa to release acid. This can then simplify the pre-digestion of the food. The effect has nothing to do with alcohol. When it comes to bitter substances, an espresso basically has the same effect. In fact, any positive effect felt after drinking a digestive schnapps is probably a pure placebo effect. Studies even suggest that the alcohol in schnapps can slow down digestion. According to this, alcohol intensively relaxes the muscles of the stomach walls and thereby inhibits the pumping movements that move the stomach contents forward.

Web links

Wiktionary: digestive schnapps  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. Christine Pander: Digestive schnapps: fairy tale or medicine? ( Memento from December 11, 2015 in the Internet Archive ), on apotheken-umschau.de, accessed on June 29, 2019
  2. Irene Berres: Myth or Medicine: Does schnapps promote digestion? , at spiegel.de, accessed on December 31, 2015
  3. Jörg Zittlau: Forget all the wisdom about your digestion! , on welt.de, accessed on December 31, 2015