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Chris Amirault

Fernet Branca & Branca Menta Recipes

161 posts in this topic

I've been tweaking away and think that I've come up with a pretty damned good variation on the Toronto Cocktail which -- my first foray into cocktail nomenclature -- I'm calling the Corktown Cocktail:

2 oz rye

1/4 oz Fernet Branca

1/4 oz Cointreau (go light)

1/4 oz demerara 1:1 syrup (go light)

dash Angostura

dash orange bitters

Stir, pour, and serve with a fat orange twist that you've squeezed over the glass.

I made the recipe above last night and it turned out mighty tasty. I didn't have any Cointreau on hand, so I used Luxardo Triplum. Overall the cocktail was well balanced and blended well. The idea of Cherry Brandy eje mentioned intrigues me. That may be tonights experiment.

Well I'll have to second that Chris's Corktown is quite delicious. I find the Toronto intriguing in the way that you want to keep drinking it to figure out the last little bit that it needs to be perfect. Maybe this is it, or maybe it's far enough away to deserve an appellation from another metropolitan area. You decide.

When I pick up some yellow chartreuse (probably not VEP, sadly), I plan on giving Tom Schlesinger-Guidelli's creation a try

  1 part Thomas Handy

  1 part Chartreuse Yellow VEP

  1 part Fernet Branca

  Dash orange bitters

Stir and serve in a crushed-ice filled rocks glass with an orange twist.

I generally don't need any encouragement to go to sleep, but then I'm not necessarily averse to it either.


 

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Tom called that a "Goodnight, Chris" -- no relation, though he made it for me once. As fate would have it, this is precisely the drink I made for myself tonight, with Rittenhouse BIB, the whiskey-barrel-aged Fee's bitters, and a lemon twist (old, dry orange wouldn't do). It's not for everyone, but I love it.


Chris Amirault

camirault@eGstaff.org

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Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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Been trying to find recipes with Branca Menta. Audrey Saunders's Goodnight, Irene (2:1 bourbon and Branca Menta with crushed ice) is outstanding, but I crave more. Sam suggested using it as a substitute for creme de menthe; I haven't made the Delmarva Cocktail he suggests, but would be interested to know more possibilities.


Chris Amirault

camirault@eGstaff.org

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Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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Fiddling with the Stingier Cocktail, and learning that 2 rye: 1/2 Branca Menta: 1/2 Licor 43 is a better balance. The Menta is sweeter than you think it'll be.

That drink also requires a fat orange twist, flamed if you like, which works wonders with the Branca Menta. I decided to push that tonight with another brown spirit, Brugal añejo, that's raw and intense enough to battle through the Branca Menta. Might really shine with something even stronger (Inner Circle green?), but for now, it's sufficiently raw for its name:

The Rough-and-Tumble

2 oz Brugal añejo

1/2 oz Branca Menta

1/2 oz Clément Creole Shrubb

Stir, strain. Flamed orange rind over top; edge the rim; drop into glass.


Chris Amirault

camirault@eGstaff.org

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Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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Death and Co. currently features a cocktail called the Frisco Club which contains Fernet Branca. If memory serves (and it probably doesn't) it's a base of gin with blood orange liqueur, lime juice, grapefruit juice, and Fernet Branca. If I had to guess at the recipe, it would be:

* 1 1/2 oz gin (they used Plymouth)

* 3/4 oz. blood orange liqueur

* 1/2 oz. lime juice

* 1/2 oz. grapefruit juice

* 1/4 oz. Fernet Branca

This is probably a terrible approximation but is a good base to tinker with. The only measurement I'm sure about is the Fernet Branca, because I asked. At a quarter-ounce, the Fernet Branca was definitely present and clamoring for attention, but still well-balanced. I think it's a very good drink to highlight the ingredient for the uninitiated.


Edited by Mazzer (log)

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blood orange liqueur
?

I believe it was Solerno. I've seen it at Astor and figured it has been around long enough to generate knock-offs, but apparently it's fairly new. Cointreau might be an acceptable substitute at home.

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Death and Co. currently features a cocktail called the Frisco Club which contains Fernet Branca. If memory serves (and it probably doesn't) it's a base of gin with blood orange liqueur, lime juice, grapefruit juice, and Fernet Branca. If I had to guess at the recipe, it would be:

* 1 1/2 oz gin (they used Plymouth)

* 3/4 oz. blood orange liqueur

* 1/2 oz. lime juice

* 1/2 oz. grapefruit juice

* 1/4 oz. Fernet Branca

This is probably a terrible approximation but is a good base to tinker with. The only measurement I'm sure about is the Fernet Branca, because I asked. At a quarter-ounce, the Fernet Branca was definitely present and clamoring for attention, but still well-balanced. I think it's a very good drink to highlight the ingredient for the uninitiated.

So I just mixed this up using my guesstimates and with Cointreau in place of the Solerno, and it's pretty good. I went a little light on the Fernet Branca (a touch over 1/8 oz.) and was glad I did.

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Fernet Branca is not a drink but a threat. A threat from an elderly Piemontese Grandmother when you complain that your tummy hurts. All of these attempts to make it palatable are seriously scary :blink:

Kate

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Well I often drink an ounce and a half of Fernet Branca on its own after dinner, but then again I have a high tolerance for bitterness equal only to my love of it. De gustibus non disputandis I guess.


nunc est bibendum...

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Ordered a Fernet Flip last night at the Violet Hour. He's what Ira came up with.

3/2 oz Fernet Branca

3/2 oz Carpano Antica

Whole Egg

1/8 oz Demerara

Dash Angostura

Trying to minimize the number of ingredients and accentuate the Fernet, he tried it first without the Angostura and Demerara. The finish was really funky. After the minor tweak it was very pleasant all around. Perhaps the best Fernet drink I've had. Minty smooth, but not at all in the "I just left the dentist's office" sort of way I feel after many drinks that are heavy in Fernet.


True rye and true bourbon wake delight like any great wine...dignify man as possessing a palate that responds to them and ennoble his soul as shimmering with the response.

DeVoto, The Hour

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Ordered a Fernet Flip last night at the Violet Hour.  He's what Ira came up with.

3/2 oz Fernet Branca

3/2 oz Carpano Antica

Aka'd as 1 1/2 or 1.5 oz I assume?


Andy Arrington

Journeyman Drinksmith

Twitter--@LoneStarBarman

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Ordered a Fernet Flip last night at the Violet Hour.  He's what Ira came up with.

3/2 oz Fernet Branca

3/2 oz Carpano Antica

Aka'd as 1 1/2 or 1.5 oz I assume?

Yes, 1.5 oz of each.


True rye and true bourbon wake delight like any great wine...dignify man as possessing a palate that responds to them and ennoble his soul as shimmering with the response.

DeVoto, The Hour

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Is it minty with the FB, or is that Branca Menta?

FB, not Menta...yeah, there was a definite minty thing going on...not necessarily mint, maybe peppermint and menthol.


True rye and true bourbon wake delight like any great wine...dignify man as possessing a palate that responds to them and ennoble his soul as shimmering with the response.

DeVoto, The Hour

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FB has a pretty hefty eucalyptis note on it in the finish.

Toby


A DUSTY SHAKER LEADS TO A THIRSTY LIFE

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FB has a pretty hefty eucalyptis note on it in the finish.

Toby

Yeah, I'm probably confusing mint/menthol and eucalyptus...


True rye and true bourbon wake delight like any great wine...dignify man as possessing a palate that responds to them and ennoble his soul as shimmering with the response.

DeVoto, The Hour

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Is it minty with the FB, or is that Branca Menta?

"fenaroli’s handbook of flavor ingredients" has a chapter that goes into detail on amaros, particularly fernet and its contruction.

fernet is described by fenaroli as being primarily about a mint and saffron ratio contrasted with a series of bitter notes. branca menta is described as a variation with a ratio of significantly more mint to the saffron ratio of regular fernet.

fenaroli explains some weird stuff in his take on amaros. he even talks about amaros with certain basic notes like anise or artichoke that for some reason can't be adapted to a "menta" style variation where a ratio changes significantly. they supposedly can only be refined with supporting notes.

who knew...


Edited by bostonapothecary (log)

abstract expressionist beverage compounder

creator of acquired tastes

bostonapothecary.com

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I've been trying to figure out a few options at work for some orders we're getting from guests. One is for an "espresso martini," which I think means Kahlua, vodka, creme de cacao, and cold espresso. I'm going for something a bit different here using the espresso syrup I posted about a while back. The name refers to an Italian-American friend who lives near bourbon country:

The Cavallo

2 oz bourbon

1/2 oz Fernet Branca

1/2 oz espresso syrup

Stir; strain over fresh ice in an OF glass. Garnish with an orange peel.

A little test marketing at the bar indicates that Maker's Mark works nicely for those who prefer a tamer drink, whereas I like it with Henry McKenna.


Chris Amirault

camirault@eGstaff.org

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Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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Anyone know anything about "Fernet Bitters" as opposed to Fernet Branca?

I just picked up a bottle out of curiosity and because it was only painfully expensive at $35 a bottle, rather than the insanely expensive Fernet Branca at about $62. It does say prodotto Italiano and is 42% alcohol by volume. When I peeled the bar code off the back label there appears to be German text underneath.

The taste is similar to Fernet Branca but I didn't do a side-by-side tasting. After a small first sip, I did a shot with a ginger-beer chaser. Next I tried my Bitter, Bitter, Bitter: 2 oz Aperol (substituted for Campari), 1 teaspoon Fernet, a few dashes Fees old fashioned bitters, stir with ice and top with bitter lemon.

I wonder if this is a knock-off or what. But it seems to be a reasonable substitute for now.


It's almost never bad to feed someone.

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Anyone know anything about "Fernet Bitters" as opposed to Fernet Branca?

... Bitter, Bitter, Bitter: 2 oz Aperol (substituted for Campari), 1 teaspoon Fernet, a few dashes Fees old fashioned bitters, stir with ice and top with bitter lemon.

Sound great, although good Bitter Lemon is hard to find around Boston. (Polar brand is available, but I haven't tried it.) Maybe substitute some soda, fresh lemon, and lemon bitters? I'd think the Aperol would need a little lemon for acid, since it's sweeter than Campari.

Shouldn't that be Bitter, Bitter, Bitter, Bitter? :smile:

I'm trying this tonight!


Edited by EvergreenDan (log)

Kindred Cocktails | Craft + Collect + Concoct + Categorize + Community

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Sound great, although good Bitter Lemon is hard to find around Boston. (Polar brand is available, but I haven't tried it.)

tropico in roxbury sells schweppes bitter lemon bottled in africa and probably made with cane sguar. it comes in a really heavy bottle with a painted on label because in africa, i think they recycle by sterilizing the bottles rather than melting them down and reforming them.


abstract expressionist beverage compounder

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I'll keep an eye out for that Bitter Lemon. I tried the Bitter, Bitter, Bitter (Bitter) tonight and liked it rather a lot, as did my wife. I added 1/2 Lemon (as part of my bitter lemon simulation, along with about 5 dashes Lemon bitters), and I liked the acid addition. I need to retry it with real Bitter Lemon and also with Campari.

I used to drink Bitter Lemon as a kid, as my grandmother liked it. Fond memories. Kind of hard to believe in retrospect that I liked it.


Kindred Cocktails | Craft + Collect + Concoct + Categorize + Community

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Shouldn't that be Bitter, Bitter, Bitter, Bitter? :smile:

I'm trying this tonight!

Ok, Bitter*4 it is.

I used Schwepps this time. But in the USA I like the Safeway Italian Lemon Soda. As a side note when I first got my Aperol I tried it with the bitter lemon and was not impressed. The Fernet and Fees bitters make a huge difference.


It's almost never bad to feed someone.

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I added 1/2 Lemon ...

1/2 oz that is. Can't edit. Argh.


Kindred Cocktails | Craft + Collect + Concoct + Categorize + Community

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