An apéritif is a cocktail or other alcoholic beverage that is specifically served before a meal, or with a small appetizer. In the culinary arts, the purpose of an apéritif is to stimulate or or arouse the appetite.
Examples of some common apéritifs include champagne, sherry, vermouth or bitters. Liqueuers made from anise, such as ouzo or anisette, are often served as apéritifs.
A digestif is a cocktail or other alcoholic beverage that is specifically served after a meal. In the culinary arts, the purpose of a digestif is to aid in the digestion following a meal.
Liquors such as brandy, cognac and whisky are examples of traditional digestifs. Fortified wines such as port, sherry and madeira are frequently served as digestifs.