An all time classic Italian amaro, which dates back to 1845.
Fernet is created through a secretive and complex process – the factory, found in Milan, has the same footprint as most city blocks. The recipe is only known in its entirety by Niccolò Branca, the company president, who personally measures and mixes some of the ingredients. We do know that it is made with 30 different kinds of botanical, including saffron (the distillery is said to use up to 75% of the world’s supply of this expensive spice), galanga, rhubarb, chamomile and gentian.
The liqueur is matured in gigantic oak vats, made with Slovenian wood, and between 15,000 and 20,000 litres in size. To give an idea of the distillery’s scale, there are more than 300 of these vats in Fernet’s maturation cellars.
Fernet Branca offers powerful flavours of pressed mint, chamomile, liqourice, peppery spice, bittersweet gentian, fragrant saffron, caramel and lemon zest.
Less sweet and stronger than the majority of amaro, Fernet is wildly popular outside of Italy – particularly in San Francisco, where they drink it by the shot (and drink more Fernet per capita than any other city in the US), and in Argentina where it is mixed with cola. In Italy it is served with ice and a slice.
Try it with espresso for a pre-dinner pick me up!