Fernet-Branca Is The Bold Amaro That Embraces Life’s Bitterness

Once you know, you know…

Fernet-Branca Is The Bold Amaro That Embraces Life’s Bitterness

Image: Fernet-Branca

The following article was produced in partnership with Fernet Branca.

One day a week, the hospitality rockstars on shift let their hair down and go off into the night to visit their favourite local bars. Usually on a Monday, Industry Night is a way for the local hospo teams to blow off some steam, while the regular clientele is nursing a stinker of a hangover from the weekend before. If you’ve ever worked in bars before, you’ll know what I’m talking about.

For years, bartenders have enjoyed a sense of camaraderie; a close-knit community built upon the inherent challenges and shared experiences unique to their profession. Among these professionals, whose personal knowledge of booze brands exceeds anything we can profess to have, there has only ever been one drink that’ll hit the spot.

“The Bartender’s Handshake” is a universal greeting amongst those in the know. Image: Fernet-Branca

Fernet-Branca: a mark of superiority within the right circles

Known the world over for its iconic flying eagle and globe iconography, Fernet-Branca is a premium and sophisticated bitter that reflects a century-old tradition among those in the know. This signature Italian bitter, known as a mark of superiority within the right circles, has enjoyed a strong reputation since first launching in Milan, Italy, in 1845 by Bernardino Branca.

It was in the 90s, however, when a new obsession was brewing within a group of bartenders. The group would frequent each other’s bars during one of their notorious industry nights working out of San Francisco’s Bay Area, where they would challenge each other to ‘test your mettle’ with a shot of Fernet-Branca; the ritual earned the moniker “the bartender’s handshake,” and a new tradition was born. 

There are of course many ways to serve the perfect Fernet-Branca: it can be sipped and nurtured in the traditional Italian digestivo, savouring unique flavour profile borne out of the 27 different herbs and spices from around the world, such as myrrh, rhubarb, chamomile, cardamom, aloe, and saffron (although the exact recipe is a closely guarded secret); it can be mixed and enjoyed with whisky or gin in classic cocktails such as Toronto and the Hanky Panky; it can also be knocked back between friends. 

The perfect serve. Image: Fernet-Branca

Fernet-Branca is there for life’s bitter moments

In life, we all experience bitter moments: the first cold streak after the changing seasons; missing out on the job we really wanted; getting stuck in peak Sydney traffic. They’re the thorn in our side, the rock in our shoe, the sour taste in our mouths. 

But without them, life wouldn’t be what it is: a complicated collection of conflicting moments, both good and bad. It’s in these struggles that we discover a strength and a tenacity. Life is bitter, sure, but it’s the cards we’ve been dealt.

Since its inception in the 19th century, Fernet-Branca has been known for its intensely bitter and complex flavour; it’s earthy and medicinal with hints of chocolate and mint. When bartenders share a shot of Fernet-Branca, it’s not just a test of mettle but a mutual acknowledgment of life’s bitter truths with an awry smile and a knowing nod.

Fernet-Branca is the drink of choice for the world’s best bartenders. Image: Fernet-Branca

As I said, the exact recipe is kept under lock and key, passed down from generation to generation, but the premium ingredients like rhubarb, aloe, saffron and myrrh, are soaked and macerated to unlock their unique flavours, before being aged in large Slovenian oak barrels for at least a year.

For many, Fernet-Branca is a polarising drink – the Vegemite of spirits, you might say. But this category challenger is the perfect alternative to tequila, rum and whisky; it’s a premium drop with a cult-like following that says life isn’t always sweet, life is bitter; it can be uphill and challenging, reminding us to face it head-on.

Get to know Fernet-Branca today.

Fernet Me Not
30ml Fernet-Branca
30ml Lime Juice
30ml Orgeat
Fernet and Cola
30ml Fernet-Branca
70ml Cola