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12 Best After Dinner Cocktails: Perfect Sips to End Your Meal

After Dinner Cocktails

Last Updated on January 25, 2024 by Lydia Martin

After dinner cocktails are the perfect way to unwind and savor the moments after a big meal.

As someone who loves exploring mixed drinks, I’ve come to appreciate these after-dinner drinks for their complexity and the unique experience they offer.

So, if you’re searching for the best after-dinner drinks perfect for this holiday season, here are my recommended cocktails to elevate your dining experience!

Top 12 After Dinner Cocktails And Drinks To Sip

1. Chocolate Martini

Glass of Chocolate Martini

The bitter-sweet Chocolate Martini is an irresistible choice for a rich and chocolatey end to your good meal.  

“I like to have a Martini, two at the very most.” – Dorothy Parker, Writer & Poet 

Prep Time: 5 mins  

Total Time: 5 mins  

Ingredients:

Instructions: Shake the first three ingredients over ice. Then, strain into a Martini glass with a chocolate syrup drizzle.

Serving: 1  

Star Rating: ★★★★★

2. Espresso Martini

Close Up Image of Espresso Martini

The Espresso Martini combines the richness of coffee with the vodka’s crispness – one of the best after-dinner drinks to sip!

Prep Time: 5 mins

Total Time: 5 mins  

Ingredients:

  • 2oz Vodka
  • 1oz Espresso
  • 0.5oz Coffee liqueur
  • 0.5oz Simple syrup  

Instructions: Mix all the ingredients with ice, then strain into a chilled Martini glass. Garnish with coffee beans.  

Serving: 1  

Star Rating: ★★★★★

3. Brandy Alexander

Glass of Brandy Alexander Cocktail Drink

Indulge in the creamy luxury of a Brandy Alexander, blending brandy with the smoothness of cream and the cocoa flavor.  

Prep Time: 5 mins  

Total Time: 5 mins

Ingredients:

  • 1oz Brandy
  • 1oz Dark crème de cacao
  • 1oz Cream

 Instructions: Shake all the ingredients with ice. Filter into a chilled cocktail glass and sprinkle with freshly grated nutmeg, if desired.

Serving: 1

Star Rating: ★★★★★

4. Frozen Hot Chocolate Martini

Glass of Frozen Hot Chocolate Martini

Combining hot chocolate and Martini, this frozen cocktail is a unique and indulgent choice for a perfect nightcap sip.

Prep Time: 10 mins  

Total Time: 10 mins  

Ingredients:

  • 1oz Chocolate liqueur
  • 1oz Vodka
  • 2tbsp Hot chocolate mix
  • Mini marshmallows

Instructions: Blend all the ingredients with ice until smooth. Transfer into your Martini glass and garnish with marshmallows.  

Serving: 1  

Star Rating: ★★★★★

5. Classic Vodka Martini

Bartender Making Classic Vodka Martini

The epitome of cocktail elegance, the Classic Vodka Martini is a simple yet sophisticated recipe to conclude your night meal.

Prep Time: 5 mins  

Total Time: 5 mins  

Ingredients:

 Instructions: Stir the liquids with ice and strain into a Martini glass. Garnish with an olive. (Tip: Swap dry vermouth with sweet vermouth if you like the sweeter version, and add some Green Chartreuse.)

Serving: 1  

Star Rating: ★★★★☆

6. White Russian

Glass of White Russian

Like a dessert, the White Russian oozes with creaminess, making it a perfect after-dinner drink.  

Prep Time: 5 mins  

Total Time: 5 mins  

Ingredients:

  • 2oz Absolut vodka
  • 1oz Coffee-flavored liquor
  • 1oz Heavy or whipped cream  

Instructions: Pour Absolut and liqueur over ice in an Old Fashioned glass. Top with heavy cream and stir gently.  

Serving: 1

Star Rating: ★★★★☆

7. Cherry Sazerac

A fruity twist on a classic cocktail, the Cherry Sazerac adds a hint of cherry for a unique dinner party drink.  

Prep Time: 5 mins  

Total Time: 5 mins

 Ingredients:

  • 2oz Rye or Scotch whiskey
  • 10.5oz Cherry liqueur
  • 0.25oz Absinthe
  • A few dashes of Orange bitters
  • Sugar cube  

Instructions: Muddle the sugar cube with bitters and liqueur. Add rye whiskey and ice, and stir well. Rinse a chilled glass with Absinthe and strain the cocktail.

Serving: 1  

Star Rating: ★★★★☆

8. Mudslide

Glass of Mudslide Drink

For those with a sweet tooth, the Mudslide is a dessert-like cocktail with a harmonious mix of chocolate and coffee flavors.  

Prep Time: 5 mins  

Total Time: 5 mins  

Ingredients:

  • 1oz Absolut
  • 1oz Coffee liqueur
  • 1oz Bailey’s Irish cream liqueur
  • Chocolate syrup
  • Vanilla ice cream

Instructions: In a shaker, combine the first three ingredients with ice. Shake well and strain into a coupe topped with ice cream and drizzled with chocolate syrup.

Serving: 1  

Star Rating: ★★★★☆

9. Cranberry Martini

Two Glasses of Cranberry Martini

The Cranberry Martini blends tart with a slightly sweet flavor, making it a perfect after-dinner drink.  

Prep Time: 5 mins  

Total Time: 5 mins  

Ingredients:

  • 2oz Ketel One
  • 1oz Cranberry juice
  • 0.5oz Orange liqueur
  • Fresh cranberries  

Instructions: Combine all the liquids in a shaker with ice. Shake vigorously and filter into a chilled Martini glass. Garnish with fresh cranberries.  

Serving: 1  

Star Rating: ★★★☆☆

10. Rusty Nail

Glass of Rusty Nail Cocktail Drink

Enjoy the simple sophistication of a Rusty Nail – a recipe with the perfect blend of Scotch and Drambuie, typically served on the rocks.

Prep Time: 5 mins  

Total Time: 5 mins  

Ingredients:

  • 1.5oz Scotch whisky
  • 0.5oz Drambuie  

Instructions: Pour Scotch and Drambuie into an Old Fashioned glass filled with ice. Stir gently.  

Serving: 1

 Star Rating: ★★★☆☆

11. Bees Knees

Bees Knees Cocktail Drink Garnished with Slice of Lemon

A delightful mix of sweet and citrus, the Bees Knees is a perfect drink for a refreshing post-meal.  

Prep Time: 5 mins  

Total Time: 5 mins  

Ingredients:

  • 2oz Gin
  • 30.75oz Fresh lemon juice
  • 0.5oz Honey syrup  

Instructions: Shake all the ingredients with ice. Filter into a cocktail coupe and garnish with a lemon twist or an orange peel.  

Serving: 1  

Star Rating: ★★★☆☆

12. After Supper

After Supper is one of the lightest and most citrusy after-dinner drinks, making it a refreshing and simple cocktail to end your night.  

“Transform evenings with a cocktail.” – Liquor Laboratory

Prep Time: 5 mins  

Total Time: 5 mins  

Ingredients:

Instructions: Shake gin, triple sec, and juice with ice. Filter into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with citrus peels, if desired.

Serving: 1  

Star Rating: ★★★☆☆

Note: The star rating was determined based on every cocktail’s flavor balance, aroma, smoothness, ingredients quality, and ABV.

FAQs

What is the Italian drink licorice after dinner?

The Italian licorice drink is called Sambuca [1]. This Italian liqueur is often served and enjoyed slowly after dinner.

It has a strong anise flavor and is sometimes served with coffee beans.

What is a good digestif cocktail?

A good digestif cocktail like Hot Toddy, Black Russian, Hot Buttered Rum, Irish Coffee, and Amaretto Sour should not be too heavy.

Some have a balance of dessert-like flavors or often include ingredients like bitters, herbs, or a touch of sweetness. Also, fortified wines are some favorite drinks post-meal.

What is the French drink after dinner?

A typical after-dinner drink in France is Cognac, a type of brandy [2]. Cognac has a rich, smooth flavor and is popular in France – the Cognac region.

What are some developments in the beer and wine industry?

In recent years, the beer and wine industry has experienced notable developments that have reinvigorated the after-dinner drinks and expanded the choices available to consumers.

One prominent trend is the rise of craft cocktails and the resurgence of amari. These have added a new dimension to after-dinner drinks, with bartenders and other beverage professionals showcasing their favorite concoctions. From classic favorites like the Negroni to innovative creations like the butter-fermented Negroni, there is a constant push to push the boundaries of taste and experimentation.

In addition to the rise of craft cocktails, there has been a growing interest in locally crafted products. One example of this is Forthave, an exceptional drink produced in Brooklyn. This trend encompasses not only craft beer and wine but also other forms of locally made beverages that offer unique flavors and experiences.

The popularity of Palm wine, a traditional African beverage, has also been on the rise due to its slightly sweet and creamy taste. This drink, with its ties to an ancient tradition, has found a place in the modern market, appealing to those looking for something distinctive and different.

Amaro, known for its herbal and refreshing qualities, has seen an increase in consumption with Underberg being a popular choice. This bitter liqueur has gained a following among those seeking a complex and invigorating after-dinner drink.

Dessert wines like Pineau des Charentes have emerged as alternative options to traditional desserts. With their rich and complex flavors, these wines offer a fitting and sophisticated ending to a meal.

Beyond wine, the beer industry has also seen unique developments. Kijoshu, a special sake with a rich and lightly sweet profile, has gained recognition and popularity among enthusiasts. This unique sake provides a fresh and distinct flavor experience for those seeking something beyond traditional wine options.

Finally, vintage sweet Madeira wines have captivated connoisseurs with their complex flavors and harmonious balance. Wines like the 2000 D’Oliveiras Malvasia Colheita Madeira offer a truly indulgent experience for wine lovers seeking depth and sophistication.

These recent developments in the beer and wine industry reflect the continuous innovation and creativity within the realm of after-dinner drinks. With craft cocktails, locally crafted products, unique beverages, and exceptional wines, there is an ever-expanding array of choices for enthusiasts to explore and enjoy.

What is palm wine and why is it a favorite after dinner drink for some?

Palm wine is a beloved after-dinner beverage enjoyed by many, particularly in traditional African cultures. This delightful drink is derived from the sap of palm trees, which is obtained by tapping into the tree’s trunk. To create palm wine, the sap is collected in a bucket attached to the side of the tree and left to naturally ferment for several hours, typically up to six.

One of the reasons why palm wine is treasured as an after-dinner drink is its unique flavor profile. Upon fermentation, the beverage develops a slightly sweet taste, complemented by a creamy texture. This combination of flavors provides a pleasant and refreshing experience, making it an enjoyable choice to conclude a meal.

Additionally, another appealing aspect of palm wine is its relatively low alcohol by volume (ABV) content. With an ABV of around 4 percent, it offers a mild alcoholic kick that allows for relaxed enjoyment without overwhelming the senses. This moderate level of alcohol content makes palm wine a suitable option for those who prefer a lighter drink after their meal.

Culturally, palm wine holds significant importance in many African communities. It is a beverage deeply rooted in tradition and is often associated with gatherings, celebrations, and communal activities. Sharing palm wine after a meal fosters social connections, strengthens bonds, and promotes a sense of togetherness.

In conclusion, palm wine is a cherished after-dinner drink known for its unique flavor profile, refreshing qualities, and cultural significance. Derived from the sap of palm trees, it undergoes a natural fermentation process to produce a slightly sweet and creamy beverage with a low alcohol content. Whether enjoyed for its taste, the relaxing experience it provides, or the sense of community it fosters, palm wine continues to be a favorite choice to conclude a meal in various African cultures.

What is the most interesting Negroni that someone has ever had?

One individual, Justin Moran, founder of The Hidden Sea in South Australia, experienced a particularly captivating Negroni in the delightful town of Positano. During his visit just a month ago, he encountered a truly unique variation of this classic cocktail. This Negroni had been subjected to a fascinating fermentation process, involving the infusion of butter for an impressive duration of 24 days prior to being served. Moran was undoubtedly intrigued by this unconventional method, making it the most intriguing Negroni he had ever encountered.

Wrapping Up

After-dinner cocktails are more than just drinks; they’re a ritual, a way to savor the pleasure of a meal a bit longer.

From the creamy delight of a White Russian to the boldness of a Rusty Nail, there’s a cocktail for every palate.

So, the next time you dine out or host a dinner, serve one of these fabulous after-dinner drinks for a delightful and unforgettable evening!

References:

  1. https://www.forbes.com/sites/hunteratkins/2014/12/23/inside-molinari/
  2. https://finance.yahoo.com/news/heres-real-difference-between-brandy-211200057.html
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