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Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Fernet

Ran across an interesting drink here, in South America. It is probably more popular in Argentina, but I thought I would try it, anyway. I bought a bottle of Fernet, today, when I went shopping. Fernet is nothing you would drink straight. Here is what the Wikipedia says about it:

Produced in Milan, Italy. It is a bitter, aromatic spirit made from over 40 herbs and spices, including myrrh, rhubarb, chamomile, cardamom, aloe, and saffron, with a base of grape distilled spirits, and colored with caramel coloring. The drink, whose recipe is proprietary, was created as a medicine in Milan in 1845 by a young woman, Maria Scala. Scala's name became Maria Branca through marriage. The Fernet-Branca is still produced in Milan by the company Fratelli Branca, overseen by the Branca family, though the recipe of the Italian product differs slightly from that sold in America. Fernet-Branca is 45% alcohol by volume and is dark brown in color.
Because of its list of ingredients, a number of home remedies call for Fernet-Branca, including for the treatment of menstrual and gastrointestinal discomfort, hangovers, baby colic, and (formerly) cholera.


As you can see, it is not a drink to be taken lightly. However, apparently someone, somehow, somewhere decided to try it with Coca-Cola. And that has become the salvation for an otherwise undrinkable and unpopular concoction. It seems that Fernet and Coke can almost called the national drink of Argentina (at least according to the Wikipedia).

Alone, it is impossible to drink, but with coke- voila, a masterpiece. "Things go better with Coke" and that goes for Fernet, as well.

5 comments:

Myer said...

wally - fernet is one of my favorites and you can drink it straight, you just have to be from alaska.

Wally said...

Myer- I can't believe you have ever heard of it, much less drunk it. But straight! Alaskans are a hardy breed, indeed!

Anonymous said...

I've been to BA several times and have never heard of Fernet or fernet and coke but next time I'm there I'll for sure give it a try.

Tom

Myer said...

Wally:

I have a friend who swears by it. He is a bartender and always hoists it on unruly or unwanted patrons in straight form. It tastes a lot like jaegermeister only dry and without the sucre.

Mauro Mowszowicz said...

You should try it with some tonic water and a lemon wedge!