Aged: No age statement
Product of: Italy
A famous Italian bitters founded in Milan by the noble Branca di Romanico family in 1845. Fernet Branca is made from 30 different roots and herbs, including gentian, camomile, saffron and rhubarb, and aged in Slovenian oak vats for one year.
Originally created back in 1845, this is the star product of the Branca family and its company. Fernet-Branca continues to be made to the same unique formula with over 30 different roots and herbs, including gentian, camomile, saffron and rhubarb.
The production process is complex and involves numerous different types of macerations - indeed the distillery covers an entire city block and its labyrinth of rooms are filled with maceration vessels, tanks and wooden vats of every shape, size and type.
Once blended, these various different botanical macerations are aged for 12 months in huge Slovenian oak vats of between 15,000 and 20,000 litres each. These vats are beautiful examples of the cooper's craft and incredibly there are more than 300 of them in the cellars of the distillery.
While my friends in San Francisco will argue Fernet-Branca is best served as a shot, it is traditionally served over plenty of ice a with a slice of lemon or orange. In Argentina they drink Fernet-Branca long over ice mixed with seven parts cola. The drink is so popular there that the Branca family set up a distillery in Buenos Aires in 1935.
Bartenders' Fernet-Branca Coins
Bartenders in San Francisco first adopted the WWI military challenge coin tradition with Fernet-Branca Coins in 2010 and it quickly spread among other bartenders across America and then the world. Bartenders present their Fernet-Branca Coin when meeting other bartenders and if able to match the challenge by producing their own coin. If they are unable to meet the challenge with their own coin then custom dictates they buy the challenger a drink. Hence, Fernet-Branca Coins have become something bartenders place on the bar when visiting other bars to denote they are a bartender. The coins are highly prized and very collectable.
Review and Tasting
Sampled on 01/02/2011
Strong peppermint with spicy liquorice.
Fresh mint leaves, mint tea, camomile, with citrus zest and deeper rootier notes.
Retains dried mint and spearmint freshness throughout with a touch of prunes and cooked fruit. Big minty finish with a bitter bite.