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Fernet Branca is much more than a bitter Italian digestif. It’s now an essential nightcap (and super-cool secret handshake) for hipster tipplers and dapper bartenders. Train your taste buds for the esoteric world of this minty, medicinal amaro with these local cocktails. 


WHERE Interurban

WHY Essentially a manhattan with Fernet subbed in for bitters, the Fanciulli is perhaps the most common Fernet cocktail. This elegantly simple version allows the flavors to sing in a bold yet balanced profile.


WHERE The Box Social

WHY A perfect introduction to Fernet, this piquant potion sharpens the spirit’s bitter, herbal flavor with spicy ginger liqueur and sweetened lime juice.



WHY One of three Fernet cocktails at this Argentine eatery (Fernet is, after all, Argentina’s de facto national drink), the Hand of Fate greets you with a punch of rye whiskey and Fernet and fades to a sweet, mellow goodbye of curaçao liqueur and mole bitters.


WHERE Teardrop

WHY In bar manager Sean Hoard’s fantastic concoction (technically off-menu, but available), a splash of Fernet adds complexity to a sun-dappled mix of gin, pink-grapefruit liqueur, lemon juice, and agave nectar, all kicked up with a pinch of salt.

This article appeared in the July 2013 issue of Portland Monthly Magazine.

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