Fernet Branca workshop in Stockholm

Elisa Vignuda

Last week, I was invited to an inspirational evening with Fernet Branca at Little Quarter here in Stockholm. It started with a welcome drink, the classic Hanky Panky, and a short presentation of the product - its history, ingredients and how it's used around the world - by Elisa Vignuda, Export Area Manager at Fratelli Branca in Italy. It was interesting to find out that it's considered to be the national drink of Argentina, often mixed with cola. This was explained by the fact that the people of Argentina learn to drink the very bitter mate tea at an early age, thus they are used to bitter drinks in general. In the US, Fernet Branca has been a favourite shot among bartenders for a while, and it has spread to Europe and elsewhere, preferrably together with beer.

Chille and Jimmie making Hanky Pankys

Fernet Branca definitely has got a place in the bar as a cocktail ingredient as well, which the skilled bartenders Richard "Chille" Man and Jimmie Hulth proved with their tasty signature drinks during the rest of the event - well done, guys! They kindly shared the recipes, and all of them are quite straightforward except maybe Mama's Bitter Brew which requires a Japanese coffee siphon. Enjoy!

San Telmo Cobbler (Chille)
40 ml Dry sherry
20 ml St Germain
15 ml Fernet Branca
30 ml lemon juice
2 bar spoons fine sugar

Muddle an orange slice, shake with ice and the rest of the ingredients, strain into a big wine glass, fill with crushed ice and garnish with a mint sprig and orange wedge.

Maria Scala Daiquiri (Chille)
50 ml Bacardi Superior rum
10 ml Swedish Punsch
05 ml Fernet Branca
10 ml Dry Curaçao
30 ml lime juice
2 bar spoons fine sugar

Shake with ice cubes, double strain into cocktail glass.

Dolores Cocktail (Chille)
40 ml Bacardi 8 rum
20 ml Dubonnet
15 ml Dry Curaçao
05 ml Fernet Branca

Stir with ice, strain into cocktail glass, garnish with cherry and orange twist.

Chille with his Japanese
coffee siphon
Mama's Bitter Brew (Chille)
50 ml Bacardi 8
20 ml Bénédictine D.O.M
20 ml Carpano Antica Formula
15 ml Fernet Branca
50 ml water

Add to taste:
Cinnamon sticks
Cardamom pods
Star anise fruits
Chamomile flowers
Saffron honey
Chinese ginseng wine
Goji berries

Brew with Japanese coffee siphon, serve in small ceramic tea cups.

Il Medico (Jimmie)
45 ml Linie Aqvavit
20 ml Gabriel Boudier Creme de Peches
10 ml Fernet Branca
20 ml lemon juice
10 ml sugar syrup
15 ml egg white

Dry shake, shake with ice and strain into cocktail glass.

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