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Sep 13, 2006 12:33 AM

Fernet Branca

It's mind-baffling how this Italian digestif, which is so popular with San Francisco bartenders, is SO hard to find anywhere else! Most specifically, I'm trying to find it in DC. Any help? I did find one liquor store that carries it. I'm now looking for a bar so I can enjoy it when I'm out. Any help is appreciated. You can read more specifics here:

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  1. I realized that link might now show, so here's another:

    1. What's amazing about that stuff is that it really works. I had some after a big dinner. By the time I finished my drink, I felt, yes, refreshed.

      1. You can order it on (I don't know if there are Beverages&More branches in DC).

        I hear you; it's hard to find a lot of things outside of SF!

        1. Try Averna. It's a better tasting Sicilian digestive. I've been drinking it since I was 8.

          3 Replies
          1. re: 2top

            Better tasting in what way? I actually like Fernet, though I can see why others find it vile. What does Avema taste like, and is it widely available?

            1. re: Pei

              layman's answer: tastes like a cross between cola and punt y mes. Nonino amaro is even better.

              1. re: Pei

                Averna tastes like a delicious, not-too-sweet root beer, to me. I like it.

                I *love* Fernet Branca. I'm probably the only Chinese restaurant in the country (or, maybe, outside of San Francisco) that stocks this liqueur. When a customer comes in and complains of no appetite or a sour stomach, I put an ounce or two of Fernet in club soda, no ice, and beseech the customer to drink it down but it's going to taste like medicine. They feel better (and hungry) in minutes! Remarkably, two of the Fernet "newbies" actually said they thought it was very, very refreshing, and that they'd have it again.

            2. "Inky soy-mahogany. Flowers, fresh herbs, licorice and mince meat. Rich texture. Lovely sensuous palate of wild, alpine fresh spice and succulent flavors. Very concentrated with a firm, yet silky presence on the palate and into the very deep, lingering finish." -

              It's a full body smooth taste with its sweetness offset by complex bitter herbs. I see it in most Italian restaurants from Boston to Miami.