When this month’s hostess, Candice, told me she wanted to make a cocktail using Fernet Branca, my first reaction was “WHAT?” I had literally never heard of Fernet and I immediately felt like my cocktail knowledge was just a bunch of hooey. Of course, I had Fernet in cocktails without probably paying attention before, but I had never tasted this spirit on its own, purchased it, or even really heard of it. Therefore, I WAS EXCITED!
Fernet Branca is a very interesting spirit. It is traditionally an Italian digestive – similar in many ways to bitters. However, Fernet is really mysterious and the actual recipe is kept secret – no one really knows exactly what is in it. Which, might scare some people off, but I myself, love a little mystery. The other thing to note is that Fernet is sort of the drink of mixologists. Yeah, all the cool kids know what it is. In fact, Candice first found out about Fernet from a bartender at Bar X, who made her this month’s cocktail, The Toronto. So, now, we are all cool kids too. Thank goodness.
Candice is one of my favorite people and we have been friends since we were 15ish years old. She is one of those people that you can laugh and be silly with, but also have real, intense, and hard conversations with. She is thoughtful and intelligent and on top of that, her legs are at least 10 miles long. Candice has been known to spend some time at Bar X, so I was excited to have her share with us the things she has learned from some of Salt Lake City’s best artisan cocktail makers! I wasn’t surprised that something like Fernet ended up being her spirit of choice to share with us. Like The Toronto cocktail, Candice is strong and intense, with a little bit of mystery. She’s one of my best friends, my go-to lunch date, an amazing mother, and she held a killer Cocktail Club event – thank you, Candy Bee!
April Cocktail: The Toronto
*Makes two drinks* (or a really large drink for yo self!)
Any bitters that you like work, such as orange, cardamom, angostura, or another favorite.
To make simple syrup, boil together equal parts of sugar and water, stirring, until the sugar is completely dissolved. Let cool to room temp. You can keep extra in the refrigerator for a few weeks.
4 oz rye whiskey or Canadian whiskey
1/2 oz Fernet Branca
1/2 oz simple syrup
2 dashes bitters
2 think strips orange or tangerine zest
–Fill a small pitcher halfway with ice
–Add the whiskey, Fernet Branca, simple syrup, and bitters
–Stir continuously for about a minute, until the mixture is well chilled
–Strain into two cocktail classes and add a strip of orange or tangerine to each cocktail
This cocktail was like my dream come true. Strong, but easy to drink. Full of flavor – but interesting flavor…not totally expected. The Fernet has this wonderful, unique medicinal taste – but leans much more toward the citrus and floral side of things. It pairs amazingly well with whiskey. The bitters and simple sugar just add a little sweetness and the orange peel was the perfect garnish. This is literally, a Heartbeat Nosh perfect cocktail!
See more of the step-by-step process in the slideshow below!
For more fun ways to drink Fernet Branca, check out this fun BUZZFEED.
AND GUESS WHAT? Next month we are learning to make OUR OWN BITTERS!
I am really excited and this is definitely a post you will want to keep an eye out for.
Bitters. Are. Amazing! Follow the fun at #HBNCocktailClub
ALSO – Stay tuned to find out how YOU can become a member of
HBN Cocktail Club for the upcoming year!
Photo Contest details coming soon.
Categories: Cocktail Club