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Aug 10, 2011 10:25 AM

Fernet Branca and Mexican coke(presumably the bottle kind)

SWMBO and I went to El Arbol last night a I saw they served the above. Now, I know what FB is and I have tried FB but the combination with Mexican coke baffles me. Is this something special? Would the more hip among you please enlighten me. Thanks, J.

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  1. It's like the Official National Drink of Argentina. Except I saw it made using Pepsi when I was down there...

    1. Ugh, I can't even imagine this. I'm usually pretty adventurous with everything, but Fernet tastes like an odd combo of pine sol and those little potpourri baskets my grandmother used to stash in the bathroom on the back of the toilet. Who knows, though... maybe this combo is amazing. I'd try it... warily.

      2 Replies
      1. re: popvulture

        When I went down to Buenos Aires, my good friend's brother recommended we buy a large bottle of Fernet and Coke when he visited our apartment. It was my first experience with Fernet and while I definitely agree with your analogy about the drink on its own, the combination is actually really tasty. It took a few sips/swigs to better appreciate the taste, but it's interesting and I like the minty-coke combo.

        1. re: popvulture

          popvulture -- don't give up yet. Fernet is delicious in small quantities in many drinks. It takes a lot of getting used to -- more than other amari like Campari, Ramazzotti, and the like. For a fabulous cocktail that focuses on Fernet, try this unlikely tiki-esque creation from our friends in Texas.

          Golden Gate Swizzle
          by Matt Tanner, Anvil Bar & Refuge, Houston, TX

          1 1/2 oz Fernet Branca
          1 oz Lemon juice
          1 oz Orgeat
          1/4 oz Falernum, Taylor's Falernum
          1/4 oz Orange bitters, Angostura orange
          4 ds Angostura bitters
          1 spg Mint (large, as garnish)
          1 sli Orange (as garnish)

          Build in Collins glass filled with crushed ice, swizzle until frost forms, garnish.

          Yes, my friends that is a 1/4 oz of Angostura orange.

          Read more:

        2. I have had Fernet with 3 different sodas: Coca Cola, Moxie (a gentian-flavored soda), and ginger beer. While the first two were drinkable, I did not return to the experiment. Ginger beer, whether mixed in as a buck (Deep Ellum's recipe below) or as a chaser, works great especially with the ginger heat and spice to match the Fernet's. Remember, just because a nation treasures a combination doesn't mean it is exceptional. Otherwise, people in other countries would be scratching their heads about what is so great about Red Bull & Vodka. But yes, sugar coke (whether Mexican, Brazilian, or other) is crisper than corn syrup coke and makes for more delightful drinks such as the Cuba Libre.

          Fernet Buck
          1 1/2 oz Fernet Branca
          1 oz Lime Juice
          1 dash Aromatic Bitters
          Shake with ice and pour into a highball glass. Top with ~4 oz ginger beer and add a straw.
          Read more about the Fernet Buck:

          9 Replies
          1. re: yarm

            I'm a huge gin buck drinker ... Will I like a Fernet Buck?

            1. re: hawkeyeui93

              I'd say those two drinks are at opposite ends of the accessibility spectrum. My wife is pretty adventurous. For example, we enjoyed Warning Labels tonight with Smith & Cross rum, Punt e Mes, Cynar, Campari, and two types of bitters. Yet trying to slip her more than about 1 tsp of Fernet will generate that piercing glare that only husbands know. ;)

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              1. re: EvergreenDan

                Thanks Dan ... I will still have to try it to find out why it is so polarizing though!

                1. re: hawkeyeui93

                  If you have a sip of Fernet Branca I think you will find out quite quickly why it is polarizing. One of the ingredients is a heavy dose of saffron, which apparently, like cilantro, a fair number of people can't stand the taste of.

                  Imagine Jaegermeister without the sugar, plus a hit of menthol and even more medicinal-tasting herbs and spices and you'll get close.

                  1. re: nickls

                    *Hint* of menthol? Someone described it as tasting like the washwater from the ashtray of a Newport Light smoker. ;) For me, the menthol is the hardest thing to get past. But then I found Maraschino challenging and Campari easy to like.

                    1. re: EvergreenDan

                      Actually, it is a "hit" of menthol, like a punch in the mouth, or a drag off one of those Newports.

                      There is also the bitter dimension, which I failed to mention. Like you, I took quickly to Campari and am still a bit wary of Maraschino overkill. For those afraid of bitterness, that could be another strike against the Fernet Branca.

                      1. re: nickls

                        Hit. Jokes on me. Got it. Try the Golden Gate Swizzle and let me know what you think. Fabulous Fernet drink.

                    2. re: nickls

                      Now I got to try it. Curiosity killed the cat ...

                2. re: hawkeyeui93

                  Ginger beer does a good job balancing the strong herbal nature of Fernet. Fernet is definitely an acquired taste but one worth acquiring the taste for in my opinion.