5 Suggestions for Sophisticated After-Dinner Drinks (& Etiquette Tips!)

sophisticated after-dinner drinks include cognac and brandy
Taken by Markus Winkler via unsplash.com. [Public Domain].

Don’t confuse sophistication with stuffiness.

It’s fun to enjoy an evening of adult drinks with friends, smoking jacket not required (but feel free to encourage it). Perhaps your grown-up palate is longing for more. Maybe a drink that begs for the well-dressed version of yourself and classical music in the background?

Quench that thirst and desire with sophisticated after-dinner drinks.


We don’t aim to shock anyone, but did you know vermouth isn’t a spirit? It’s actually a wine! It’s a fortified wine to be precise—not fortified like our cereals—but fortified with additional alcohol.

The wine gives vermouth those beautiful aromatic notes and has added alcohol to make it stronger. A rather brilliant idea, wouldn’t you agree?

Sip it neatly after dinner with friends and impress them with your knowledge of what vermouth truly is.

Related Read: A Few Different Wine Pairings for Spring Produce


Not to be confused with liquor, liqueur is sophisticated—and, of course, quite French.

This lovely drink which comes in many forms is created using distilled liquors. Sweetness is added using fruits, sugar, and spices. Although the word is French, liqueurs themselves come from a few countries, including Germany and Italy.

They are quite rich and suitable as dessert.

Sherry or Port

Sherry and port are both fortified with brandy. This causes them to be compared to each other often. However, they shouldn’t be confused for one another.

Port is a sweet wine and sherry is dry. While they both hail from Spain, the difference in the timing of fortification and the types of grapes used brings out two distinctly different flavors.

However, both are sophisticated after dinner-drinks with beautiful colors and a warmth only a brandy-fortified wine can bring.

Related Read: The Difference Between Craft Beer and Mass-Produced Beer


Reigning from Cognac, France, Cognac is another form of brandy. Forget what you’ve seen in movies. It’s for everyone of legal age and a cigar is not required.

Cognac is the perfect after-dinner drink if you have suggestions for tweaking the host’s dinner recipes. After a sip or two, they really won’t care what you have to say.


Have you noticed a theme? Brandy is a fabulous after-dinner drink and it comes in a multitude of forms.

A distilled wine, it has long been used to “settle” stomachs after feasting for the evening. If you find yourself a bit bloated after indulging in a four course meal, it’s the perfect choice. 

Related Read: 4 Drink Flavor Trends to Watch in 2020 & Beyond

After-Dinner Drink Etiquette

We aren’t grabbing a beer from the cooler. These are room temperature after-dinner drinks, so in order to fully enjoy them, some etiquette must be followed.

Proper Drinkware

A nice collection contains cordials for liqueurs and port wine, snifters for the many types of brandies, and copita glasses for sherry.

Glassware allows the aromas and flavors to shine through. They also help connoisseurs to sip slowly, which should always be done.

Small Pours

Once dinner is over, drinks are best enjoyed in small doses with engaging conversation (or alone with your own thoughts). Pours are small and the flavors big.

Whether ordering at a fine restaurant or entertaining at home, enjoy expanding your palate and knowledge as you try a few sophisticated after-dinner drinks. 

Related Read: What To Know about Wine Before Attending a Tasting Event