Have you heard of, or tried Fernet-Branca? It’s cool. It’s vaguely medicinal-seeming and it’s made with stuff you could find in body wash or the Bible. As a bitter herbal liqueur it can easily be described as an acquired taste but it has earned a place on our bar cart for its rich and palette-smacking complexity. There are a number of ways to enjoy this spirit, from sipping it as a digestive post meal, to a Fernet and Coke, or even mixed with espresso. But we have a classic stirred Fernet-Branca cocktail for your consideration.
A little history
This amaro is a bitter, aromatic spirit created by an Italian chemist (Branca) and a Sweedish doctor (Fernet) in 1845 to treat Cholera and Malaria. Seriously. By 1859, the good people of Milan realised this was a pretty decent tasting digestive and Fernet-Branca, as we know it today, was born.
Many things have changed since 1859, but amazingly the Fernet recipe has remained the same.
The recipe boasts 27 ingredients, including flowers, roots and herbs. We know it’s possible to detect notes of myrrh, rhubarb, chamomile, cardamom, aloe, and saffron but figuring out the exact ingredients is an alluring, if not futile exercise. To this day, 5 ingredients are such a tightly held secret that the Branca CEO still mixes them alone in a locked room.
Our favourite way to drink it
With a little Arancita Rosso of course! It gives it a sweet spice that we really like. We call this cocktail The Boss…as in the boss loves it, but also it tastes so good it’s just boss. If you serve it in a crystal cut glass it makes your feel fine as f*ck.
Start by chilling your glass in the freezer. No ice allowed in this drink! Promise us you won’t add ice. Then grab a cocktail shaker and add the following:
30ml Arancita Rosso
Gently stir, pour into your chilled glass and garnish with an orange twist.
Then it’s just a matter of finding somewhere comfy to settle in and enjoy.