Thanksgiving is a feast of plenty, a final blowout before the darkness and scarcity of winter. But while it’s the one day that you’re allowed to eat your age in pumpkin pie slices, that doesn’t change the capacity of your stomach. Indeed, on Thanksgiving, the only thing more reliable than all-day football is the couch-bound groaning of you and your loved ones. Thankfully we have a solution that will help get all of that turkey, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce and stuffing moving. Digestif liqueurs cut through the clutter down there, and help get you feeling alright again in time for leftover-palooza later in the evening. Here are seven soothing spirits to stock up on for post-Thanksgiving relief.
Amaro Montenegro ($27)
This old-school Italian amaro is packed with dried fruit flavors and finishes with a pleasant tang. Infused with orange peels and 40 different herbs, it comes in a quirky, squat bottle, which looks a lot like you probably feel after that third serving of yams.
Zwack Unicum ($27)
As good to drink as it is fun to pronounce, Zwack Unicum is a bright, bitter Hungarian liqueur, perfect for Fernet Branca lovers. It’s dry with a hazy medicinal finish and a woodsy background (thanks to a few months spent aging in oak casks). Sip it neat or over ice and let the dark, silky spirit do its curative work.
Nocino della Cristina ($42)
Nocino is a traditional Northern Italian liqueur made with green, unripened walnuts. While you can find some imported bottles, a few American producers have also started making their own version of this mellow, sweet, nutty liqueur. Made in Napa, Monteverdi Spirits’ Nocino della Cristina is rich with coffee-toffee flavors that perfectly segue your night away from pie and into stiffer substances.
Cynar 70 Proof ($40)
A bolder, boozier version of the classic Italian artichoke liqueur, Cynar 70 Proof is much drier and more bittersweet than its lower-proof older brother. While the original Cynar is delicious in a Negroni or even in a Manhattan, this extra-strong Cynar is perfect for drinking neat or over ice. Nutty and heady with notes of eucalyptus, it’s a great way to drink your veggies if those green beans never made it onto your plate.
Plomari Ouzo ($15)
Anise-heavy but light-bodied, this faintly sweet ouzo can be sipped solo at room temperature or chilled with a big cube of ice. The dilution will cause it to fog up and enhance its creamy sweetness.
Letherbee’s version of Malört, a somewhat divisive spirit with a cult-following in Chicago, Bësk is infused with botanicals like wormwood, juniper and elderflower for a hard-to-pin-down (but decidedly delicious) flavor. It clears your head, fortifies your spirits and is surprisingly easy to gulp down considering its pronounced bitterness. Drink it cold but undiluted.
Mister Katz’s Rock & Rye ($30)
In the late 19th century, Rock & Rye, a mix of rock candy syrup, citrus fruits and rye whiskey, was a common cure-all. But when Prohibition hit, the remedy all but disappeared. Over the past few years, bottled versions of this extra-strong cocktail have cropped up again, including New York Distilling Company’s Mister Katz’s Rock & Rye. Made with their own rye, sour cherries, rock candy syrup and citrus, it might not cure every ailment, but it will certainly help ease you into your post-Thanksgiving coma.