Italians love bitter spirits, Italians love 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 the Italian monk Frate Angelico Fernet (pronounced 'Fair-Nay'). Fernets were created to counteract the effects of Malaria, but went on to be 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. The New Yorker bar Employees Only serves for example the "Fernando", Fernet with vermouth, or the "Toronto", Fernet with whiskey and orange zest.
- 44% alcohol
- 0.7 liter / 23.65 fl.oz