Fernet-Branca is a type of bitter liqueur that originated in Italy in the late 19th century. It is made from a blend of over 27 herbs and spices, including myrrh, chamomile, cardamom, aloe, and saffron, which are macerated in alcohol and then aged in oak barrels for up to a year.
Fernet-Branca is typically consumed as a digestif after a meal, as it is believed to aid in digestion. It is also commonly used as a cocktail ingredient, particularly in drinks such as the Toronto and the Hanky Panky.
Fernet-Branca has a distinct, bitter flavor and aroma, and is often described as having a medicinal quality. It is a popular spirit in Argentina and other parts of South America, and has gained a cult following among bartenders and cocktail enthusiasts worldwide.
Fernet-Branca was first created in Milan, Italy in 1845 by Bernardino Branca, a herbalist and chemist. Branca was fascinated by the medicinal properties of herbs and spices, and set out to create a bitter tonic that would aid in digestion and promote overall health.
Using a secret recipe that he developed through trial and error, Branca created the original formula for Fernet-Branca. The recipe included a blend of over 27 herbs and spices, which were macerated in alcohol and then aged in oak barrels for a period of time.
Fernet-Branca quickly became popular among Italians, who consumed it as a digestif after meals. It was also believed to have medicinal properties, and was often used as a remedy for various ailments.
In the years that followed, Fernet-Branca became a staple in bars and restaurants throughout Italy and eventually spread to other parts of Europe and South America. Today, Fernet-Branca is enjoyed around the world and has gained a cult following among bartenders and cocktail enthusiasts.
Over the years, the recipe for Fernet-Branca has remained largely unchanged, with only minor adjustments made to the formula to improve the flavor and aroma of the liqueur. The Branca family continues to produce Fernet-Branca to this day, using the same recipe and production methods that were developed over 175 years ago.
The ABV (alcohol by volume) of Fernet-Branca is 39%.