Another French myth: there is no such thing as “digestives alcohols” (digestifs en français) or aperitives alcohols. Alcohol, before, after, or during a meal does not help digestion. On the contrary, it makes it worse!
Dr. Lekutat’s answer:
Especially after fatty meals, alcohol is said to promote digestion. But it seems it’s not the alcohol that has a positive effect on the stomach. On the contrary: alcohol actually impedes gastric emptying. It blocks the action of nerves that are important for the transport of food in the abdomen. So high-proof alcoholic drinks are not beneficial to digestion. Herbal liqueur BEFORE a meal can be enjoyable. But here again, it’s not the alcohol but the bitter substances the drink contains that stimulate the mucous membranes of the stomach to release acid. That can actually facilitate the pre-digestion of foods. The bitter substances in non-alcoholic beverages such as espresso have a similar effect. The right time for this digestive aid is about half an hour BEFORE a meal. And after you eat, a postprandial walk is better than any drink.