FernetMADE BY LETHERBEE DISTILLERS IN CHICAGO, ILLINOIS
This bracing liquor of Italian origin packs an intensely bitter punch, but it's one we can't get enough of! The complex mix of rhubarb, licorice root, mint and more than a dozen other botanicals is nicely balanced by caramelized beet sugar and a distinctive mouth-coating texture.
We're not alone in our obsession. Fernet has long been a popular after-dinner digestif and a favorite sidekick of cocktail bartenders everywhere (also, Italian chef Mario Batali is obsessed with it). Technically Fernet is a whole category of liquors, but not many people outside a few big brands have experimented with the genre. The folks at Letherbee excel in creating twists on old classics, so we aren't surprised they decided to tackle this badass bitter spirit. We also aren't surprised that it's the best fernet we've ever tasted.
They start with neutral grain spirits and infuse them with around 20 botanicals. But the kicker is the saffron. Distiller Brent Engel says: "It's magic. It's one of those flavors that's really hard to pinpoint, but it adds something that affects you on a primordial level."
tip of the tongue
While it’s natural to sip Fernet on its own after a meal, you can also make Argentina’s national drink by mixing it with cola. Or, even better – make a refreshing bittersweet cocktail! Combine 1 oz Fernet with 2 oz Vya Sweet Vermouth over ice and stir until cold. Strain into a rocks glass over ice and serve with an orange twist.