Fernet Branca is much more than a bitter Italian digestif. It’s now an essential nightcap (and super-cool secret handshake) for hipster tipplers and dapper bartenders. Train your taste buds for the esoteric world of this minty, medicinal amaro with these local cocktails.
WHY Essentially a manhattan with Fernet subbed in for bitters, the Fanciulli is perhaps the most common Fernet cocktail. This elegantly simple version allows the flavors to sing in a bold yet balanced profile.
FEATHER & NAIL ($9)
WHERE The Box Social
WHY A perfect introduction to Fernet, this piquant potion sharpens the spirit’s bitter, herbal flavor with spicy ginger liqueur and sweetened lime juice.
HAND OF FATE ($12)
WHY One of three Fernet cocktails at this Argentine eatery (Fernet is, after all, Argentina’s de facto national drink), the Hand of Fate greets you with a punch of rye whiskey and Fernet and fades to a sweet, mellow goodbye of curaçao liqueur and mole bitters.
WHITE FLAG ($9)
WHY In bar manager Sean Hoard’s fantastic concoction (technically off-menu, but available), a splash of Fernet adds complexity to a sun-dappled mix of gin, pink-grapefruit liqueur, lemon juice, and agave nectar, all kicked up with a pinch of salt.