Fernets are the “new” thing of the bar scene in NYC. Naturally bitter, they can be used for all cocktails that normally make use of bar bitters. In the speak easy bar “Employees Only” for example, Fernets are served with vermouth or whiskey.
But what exactly is a Fernet? Although some might think that Fernet is a brand name, it is in fact a bitter category. There are conflicting data when it comes to the origin of this spirit. But it is assumed, that the spirit is named after its iventor, the Italian monk Frate Angelico Fernet (pronounced ‘Fair-Nay’). It is said, that Fernets have magical virtues – formerly they were used for everything from a cure-all tonic to hangover cure. Today there are still several Italian Fernet producers, but most is made in tiny quantities for local rural Italian consumption. The various known recipes most typically share ingredients such as Saffron, Aloe, Gentian, Quinquina, Anise, Angelica, Mint and Myrrh. This latter ingredient, along with Saffron, is extremely rare and expensive, but builds the backbone of the best Fernets. Of course it is as well used for the production of Fernet del Frate Angelico.
This amazing liqueur stands up in quality from anything available on the modern market. It is made in micro-batches by hand at the Matter Distillery in Switzerland following an original, hand-written recipe, purchased by the distillery’s original owner in 1930 from a long-closed Italian distillery. Fernet del Frate Angelico can be sipped on its own, but shines in skillfully-made cocktails. Fernet del Frate Angelico is now available at ALANDIA. Here you can buy a bottle online.