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Category Archives: Fernet Branca

Cocky Yamazaki

This is the first of what I hope to be many barrel aged cocktails, I used a two liter once charred new american oak barrel for the first batch of this. As time goes on I imagine that I will have to allow for more time for this to reach its peak, but for the first go around I only had to keep this in for three weeks:

  • 1 Yamazaki
  • .5 Canton
  • .25 Fernet Branca

After this aged I re-bottled it and then added .25 coriander ginger syrup (you can find this recipe under the Bastard Child post), stirred over ice, and served up. Mind you, I didn’t just aged one drink worth of this, I used a whole bottle of Yamazaki and proportionate measures of the remaining ingredients.

This drink, before being aged, is still a good one, but does taste a little raw with so much Fernet coming through. After aging this though, everything mellows and blends into what tastes almost like an unfiltered, fresh pressed apple cider with a small pull of whiskey in it. It is light enough to be considered a spring and summer cocktail, but it can also hold up to the heavier foods served in fall and winter.

George’s Last Word

In case you haven’t noticed, there has been a revival of classic cocktails going on for quite a while now, one of these gems is the Last Word. This is a great prohibition era drink that came from the Detroit Athletic Club and is now pretty popular in Seattle. I was charged with selling through the Galliano at my bar, which is no easy task because nobody really ever wants a Harvey Wallbanger. So I tweaked the Last Word to make it my own and toss another bottle into the recycling:

  • .75 gin
  • .75 Galliano
  • .75 Maraschino
  • .75 lime juice
  • splash Fernet Branca

Shake the first four over ice and strain into a chilled, Fernet washed, cocktail glass. This variant is much more neon in color than the original, which calls for Green Chartreuse instead of Galliano and Fernet Branca.

On a side note, Fernet is an amazing Italian Amaro, with some great notes of pretty much everything. It is the everlasting gobstopper of liqueurs, nobody quite gets the same flavor profile. For a different approach and a nice dram of healthy absurdity check out an interesting take on Fernet, from a blog focused on ferns by a friend of mine.

Longshanks’ Revenge

With fall coming and the first bit of chill weather in the District I figured I ought to put out a cocktail with some warmer notes:

  • 1.5 Chamomile infused Famous Grouse
  • .75 Cayenne-Thyme Syrup
  • .5 Fernet Branca
  • .5 Dry Vermouth

Build in an ice filled old fashioned glass and stir lightly or turn once in a shaker.

I have a terrible time naming drinks. My chef named this one after Edward I of England (Longshanks) and his victory over William Wallace of Scotland way back around the turn of the 14th century. After thinking about it for a bit and reading up on my history I realized it makes a lot of sense: the alliance between the French and the Scots is represented in the vermouth and Scotch, issues with the Vatican are tossed in with the Fernet Branca, and the general political and military strife can be seen as the Cayenne-thyme syrup, adding heat over time. Thank you, Eric.

A note on the Scotch: take a 750 of the Grouse (it would be a shame to use anything that one would happily sip) and add a dozen chamomile tea bags, let it sit for a half hour and remove the tea. Voila, you now have a bottle of chamomile infused Scotch and you’ve done something useful with that bottle of Famous Grouse that has been collecting dust. 

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