Fernet-Branca – Italian spirit!

Fernet Branca Argentina

Fernet-Branca sounds like an old vintage car but it is an alcoholic beverage from Italy, that is very popular here in Argentina. In fact it is so popular that a song was written about it!Fernet con coca!What exactly is Fernet-Branca? It is a dark, syrupy alcoholic drink that taste almost like medicine, plants and bitter mud! Coke takes the bitterness away but the undeniable medicine taste will stay. It is an acquired taste that you get used to after some time.

Even though a number of people have tried, no one has yet found a way to drink for a living.ย  ~Jean Kerr

The ingredients are believed to be 27 different herbs and spices taken from four continents. Among the known ingredients are aloe, gentian root, rhubarb, gum myrrh, red cinchona bark, galanga and zedoary.Fratelli Branca Distillerie claim that the recipe has remained unchanged since its invention in 1845. According to the company, Fernet was created by the “self-taught apothecary” Bernardino Branca. The name “Fernet” belonged to a Doctor Fernet, a fictional Swede with whom Branca originally shared the credit for Fernet, presumably to add authority to claims of the drink’s health benefits. The logo, featuring an eagle poised over a globe, was designed in 1893 by Leopoldo Metlicovitz.

When my friends recently visited I asked them if they wanted to try it. I did not tell them what was in this drink or how it tasted. It took a little convincing before they actually took the first sip. I am going to leave you with the photos, which speaks a 1000 words!

Date: 21 October 2011
Where: Santa Rosa de Calamuchita, Argentina

Fernet con coca
Today we are trying Fernet for the first time
Fernet con coca
Getting ready for the first sip
Fernet con coca
Not sure what to think…
Fernet con coca
Not sure we like this!
Fernet con coca
This is not good!
Fernet con coca
No thank you! Not for my two friends!

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I have been fortunate to have done quite a bit of travelling over the last 10 years. By heart I am an adventurer and I love exploring new places, cultures and food. Travelling can become stressful and expensive. Over the years I have learnt to travel as cost effective as possible, simply by travelling more clever. Nelmitravel.com is a Adventure and Budget Travel site where I review Airlines, Accommodation, Transport, Restaurants and give helpful travel information.


  1. lol It does take a certain taste to enjoy it. It is in a class of liqueurs named Amaro. A herbal liqueur that is usually drank after a meal!!! Very good once you develop a taste for it!! Or at least thats what I have been told !!!!!!! lololol

  2. Nelieta, this is terrific! I have never heard of this drink before, not saying that I would even try it after reading your description, but your photos are 'priceless' as you stated. I can only imagine the taste by their expressions. Great post!

  3. I agree Jim and I think if a camera was close by the first time when I tasted it, I would have reacted the same..lol! I have grown used to it over the years…not that I drink it a lot but I will not say "no" to a glass of Fernet y coca! Apparently it is also very popular in San Francisco!

  4. They did not enjoy it Susan and I don`t think they will try it again..lol! But it is something that is very popular here and I always believe you should try something that is local..they had a taste of Fernet!

  5. lol sound like my granddad's spring tonic, but it had kerosene in it but the facial comments look the same. hope it does not work the same lol god bless

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