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Fernet-Branca versus Ramazzotti Amaro

Accustomed to Ramazzotti Amaro, can I easily make a transition over to Fernet-Branca ?
I don't know the consistency or flavor of the Fernet-Branca and was hoping someone here could inform me how it compares to the Amaro. TIA.

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  1. I haven't tried Amaro.. but Fernet is very popular in Argentina.. I've had it there -- and wanted to spit it across the room. To me it was very bitter and medicinal.

    I have a palate that does not like bitter -- so if you like bitter, you might find it enjoyable.

    1 Reply
    1. re: karmalaw

      I try to be open for new things, but Fernet just hit me as Vicks 44 with a shot of everclear.

    2. I have not tried the Fernet Branca as I have heard reports (even from bartenders I trust) that it tastes incredibly bitter. I personally like Averna Amaro, sometimes preferring it to the Ramazotti (which sometimes is too sweet and licorice-y for me). Averna has a drier finish and less sweet taste. Cheers!

      1. I really enjoy Fernet, it's a great addition to many cocktails and I enjoy it plain too. It's refreshing on a hot day or after working a lot. If I'm having it plain I usually will sip like a cordial or shoot it like a shot. While I'm not going to be that helpful comparing it to Ramazzotti, I do like having a bottle handy. I believe in Italy and Argentina they mix it with Coca-Cola.

        1. Even though it's not the same, I tend to treat it like Campari and mix it with soda. It's wonderful stuff, but I wasn't initially enamored with it. Mixing it with soda can really ease you into it. However, if you don't like bitter anything, this really isn't for you.

          5 Replies
          1. re: invinotheresverde

            Funny, I don't get a bitter taste so much as an astringent one.

            1. re: sailormouth

              Interesting. I see the astringent aspect, but I definitely get a healthy dollop of bitter.

                1. re: sailormouth

                  There's only one sure way to solve this: Fernet drinkathon! First round's on me. :)

          2. I didn't love the taste of Fernet for a long time, but drank it anyway because it's such an effective digestif. Over time, I have come to love the taste (though I still don't like Branca Menta). I like Ramazzotti, too. I generally keep a dozen or so amari and other potable bitters on my bar for variety. A short pour of potable bitters sipped neat, maybe chilled slightly, is one of my favorite ways to finish a meal.

            1. I'm from Argentina, there Fernet Branca is a very popular drink. As it's expensive, we have some local variations which are a bit sweeter. but still bitter, being Fernet Vittone the most popular variation, and quite a lot cheaper. Fernet is a great digestive, and very refreshing, specially in summer. The best way to drink it, is to put in a highball glass three or four ice cubes. Then you should pour Fernet to the top of the ice, and then top the glass with coke. If you do it quiclky, it should make a thick foam. It is definitely my favourite drink. Hope you enojoy it!

              1 Reply
              1. re: eljugador

                Thank you eljugador you are right on. The two are not at all alike. While I have enjoyed them both--I tend to favor Ramazzotti Amaro.

                And I agree with you philosophy about not mixing drinks to hide the taste.

              2. Ramazzotti Amaro is not like Fernet-Branca at all in my opinion.
                Not saying either is bad or a poor choice, but there is little ground on which to compare the two liqueurs - Okay they are both dark, herbal bitters but that's about the end of it!

                Personally, I much prefer Ramazzotti (or Montenegro if available) as a digestif - there is just something about Fernet Branca I don't like, though I can't put my finger on what it is.

                Regarding your question, ease of transition, all I can really add here is that it's quite a jump and there are a lot of shades in-between which might be worth exploring.

                Edit: Having read a few of the other posts on this thread, I'd like to also add my philosophy on drinking in general - if you wouldn't drink it straight, don't drink it mixed!

                2 Replies
                1. re: Steve_K

                  << if you wouldn't drink it straight, don't drink it mixed! >>

                  I'd say yes and no here. The issue with Fernet (among its fans) isn't that it tastes bad, but that it can be too intense. I think a comparison with 100 proof whisky would be appropriate -- it can be too intense to be enjoyable for some.

                  But in general, I think Fernet is much more enjoyable along side something sweet (like ginger ale), rather than mixed with it. It lets you see the enjoyable aspects of the drink on the edges between it alone and the sweet would-be mixer. That's how I learned to enjoy it, anyhow.

                  1. re: Steve_K

                    Much wisdom here about mixing / diluting strong flavors. I got into the whole "challenging flavors" thing via Campari, starting with a lot of soda and lime. If the standard was that I had to drink it undiluted on the rocks, I don't think I would have made the transition. I feel that a whole world of interesting flavors has opened up for me in the last 5-10 years.

                    My first attempt at Fernet wasn't so successful. I didn't mind the bitter and herbal flavors, but the "vap-o-rub" menthol is hard for me to take. I feel like I should have a head cold. I know that I've liked it in cocktails (e.g. Lord Hobo Sloppy Possum, with Canton & Lemon), so I'm pretty sure that I'll like it mixed. Maybe I'll eventually like it neat.

                  2. They are not even close. Suggest you try it before you invest in a bottle. I am curious about you inquiry. If you like Amaro, why change?

                    3 Replies