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Recipes

Fernet Me Now

by Chef

One of the most interesting aspects of my job as Beverage Director here at Great Southern Restaurants is the opportunity to observe the world’s ever-changing palate preferences and what influences our vast swing in taste trends. Oddly enough, whatever particular food trend is most prominent also dominates our spirit flavor-of-the-month. The 20th century saw the evolution of processed foods and huge influx of sugar intake, and our love for fruity cocktails and sweeter wines increased tenfold; and unfortunately, our love for aperitifs, digestifs, and other historically classic cocktails were lost in the shuffle of rum punches and shots designed to mimic sour candies. However, the 21st century has brought an entirely new variable onto the scene; a preference for herbal, organic flavors and a newfound love for leafy greens. The drastic change in taste resurrected a whole list of herbal, classic spirits, including our favorite: Fernet-Branca. Fernet-Branca is one of Italy’s oldest, most enduring and unusual drinks. Invented in 1845 as a stomach medicine, the black liqueur is known for its mint and black licorice flavors. Crafted from a number of herbs and spices like saffron, myrrh, gentian and chamomile, the amaro, or ‘bitter,’ has grown from being a cult favorite (often called the “bartender’s handshake” among professional mixologists) to a mainstream phenomenon. The past saw the bitter digestivo served only after a meal, but its popularity has propelled it into a category that far surpasses such boundaries; even Buzzfeed wrote an article referencing all the different ways to mix Fernet-Branca (San Franciscan’s love it with a splash of gingerale!). As a huge fan myself, I’ve spent hours dabbling in the science of Fernet and constructing many crazy cocktails featuring this special liqueur; thus far, my favorite is definitely the Fernet Me Now. Crafted along with Fernet-Branca, the Fernet Me Now is balanced with Forty Creek Barrel Select Canadian Whisky, house-made simple syrup, angostura bitters, and mint-shaken and strained into a snifter. The cocktail represents a perfect harmony between old age and new age mixology, and is an accurate characterization on the way our culture’s palate has evolved through the years. Stop into Jackson’s to try the Fernet Me Now — or just to chat about this fantastic and unusual spirit!

Ingredients:

  • 2 oz forty creek whiskey
  • Splash fernet
  • 1/4 oz simple
  • 2 dashes angostura bitters
  • 3 mint leaves

Instructions:

Add all ingredients into a shaker tin. Add ice and shake vigorously for 10 seconds. Strain into a snifter and garnish with a mint sprig.