The more unusual digestifs
Published:  21 September, 2007

Most people think a digestif is something to dip in cup of tea, according to the BNIA's Lacroix. "The Latin countries have aperitifs and digestifs in their blood and yet, if one was to do a bit of market research on the British streets, I think we would be staggered at the amount of people who didn't know what a digestif is and how many people would say it's a biscuit," he says.

So here are some suggestions of more unusual digestifs from across the globe that retailers can sell to draw in that apparently clueless UK punter:

At up to 50 per cent abv, grappa packs quite an alcoholic punch and is definitely for sipping after a meal. Sainsbury's decision to stock Nardini Riserva Grappa in 175 of its top stores might have raised some eyebrows in the trade, but many have seen it as a move which could change the drink's fortunes around. (Nardini Grappa 01483 458700)

Pisco is a Peruvian native word for "bird" and the name of a port famous for its trade in the spirit. It is light bodied, clear or greenish-tinged, and is made from the Spanish Moscatel grape, which is known for its perfumed intensity. It's usually aged for months rather than years in casks made from a local evergreen beech.

Shochu is a distilled rice beverage from Japan and its rich and sweet aromas make it an ideal digestif. Malcolm Cowen is rolling out the UK's first Shochu. Tokiwa is produced by the 140-year-old Akashi Sake Brewery and will be available from October (Malcolm Cowen 020 8965 1937).




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Lifting the spirits

I were to sum up alcohol sales over Christmas 2017 in one word, it would be “gin”. At Nielsen, we define the Christmas period as the 12 weeks to December 30 and in that time gin sales were £199.4 million, which means they increased by £55.4 million compared with Christmas 2016. There’s no sign the bubble is about to burst either. Growth at Christmas 2016 was £22.4 million, so gin has increased its value growth nearly two-and-a-half times in a year. The spirit added more value to
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