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.“ ~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