SPONSORED If you are reading the great food blogs of Mpls.St.Paul Magazine, you know how damn lucky we are to live in such a great food town—a great menu any day of the week (oh, hello five-course tasting menu at Victory-44 on a Tuesday!) Maybe it’s the food talking, but I want you all to know, I love food. I’m not leaving out any courses, no plate left unclean. If you relate at all, you’ve probably uttered a few sentences that sound like: “Ughhhhhh . . . food coma . . .” I'm sure you can relate: a stomach so full from various preparations of foie gras and pork fat that you can’t bear the thought of moving from your table for at least another three days. This is simultaneously the best and worst feeling possible. Luckily, I have found the cure . . . no big surprise, its alcohol. I’m sure you’ve kicked around the term “aperitif” to describe your before dinner drink of Champagne to whet your raging appetite. The opposite, “digestif,” is going to help you get it all down. Digestifs are typically served straight up, high-proof, and sweet or bitter in flavor, often containing herbs and spices. You may not think a shot of booze will do much to help your aching stomach, especially when the thought of putting one more thing in it might cause spontaneous human combustion. Look for Fernet Branca: peppery but sweet, herbal, and layers of flavor. Love dessert? Try an Eau de Vie or Calvados after a meal with your chocolate. Perhaps the Italians know best after a big heavy meal, they might serve Sambuca, an anise flavored clear liqueur, traditionally served with three espresso beans for luck, or, of course, vividly yellow and sour sweet Limoncello.
At Surdyk’s we have a large selection of traditional digestifs, and an audience for them all; a United Nations of post-dinner hooch. Stay true to your Nordic roots and drink Aquavit, you’ll love plum-based Slivovitz, or the popular Carlsbad Becherovka. Be adventurous and try the intense Zwak Unicum, the national drink of Hungary, or the artichoke-based Cynar. The next time you are wishing you wore a muumuu to dinner, or are just plain full and enjoying yourself too much to head home just yet, do yourself a favor and take a chance on a traditional digestif. Sip them (they are strong!) and linger over your meal, let the conversation flow, and realize that you really don’t feel as full as you normally might. Once you’ve grown a penchant for a digestif to linger over a meal, you won’t be sorry you did. A few ounces of Chartreuse or a chalky, tropical fruit-flavored tablet? A post-dinner drink is so much more civilized. Cheers! —Lindsey Coleman @surdyksliquor