Intro to Fernet

Coming soon is a much longer post (or series of posts?) on menu design and philosophy, but in the meanwhile let’s have a good ol’ fashioned recipe.

Strawberry, Fernet, magic

What is Fernet Branca?

Short answer is that it’s an herbal liqueur. The longer answer is that it’s a digestivo made in Milan by the Branca family. It was invented in the mid 19th century to cure cholera, and it sure does taste like it cures cholera.

Fernet Branca is famous stateside for two reasons– bartenders drink a lot of it, and Michael Caine mispronounced it in a Batman movie.

“Fernay Branca”

While Branca is the OG, Fernet has become a loosely defined style all its own, characterized by a high alcohol content relative to other amari (Fernet Branca is 39% ABV), saffron, and menthol. Most folks consider it an acquired taste. Congratulations! You are now an expert in Fernet.

The Recipe

Alright, here’s the drink. It’s a Fernet sour, but gussied up a bit. It’s easy to drink and dampens the extreme flavors of Fernet a little bit. Use it to introduce yourself or your friends to the stuff. It involves a water circulator to sous vide… mixology, baby!

  • 2 oz strawberry infused Fernet Branca
  • 1 oz lemon
  • 1/2 oz vanilla syrup
  • 1/2 oz vanilla liqueur, like Giffard Vanille de Madagascar
  • 1 eggwhite

Mix ’em all up in a shaker without ice and shake. Add ice, shake again, and strain. Garnish with some candied fennel seeds.

To make the infusion, weigh out 50g of strawberries and sous vide them in 750ml of Fernet Branca for 2 hours at 135 degrees Fahrenheit.

For vanilla syrup, use your preferred recipe! Here’s a delightful one, in case you need it.


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