Fernet Francisco: the Great American Amaro

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I am really pumped to write about this superb bottle of Fernet Francisco! I have been waiting to get my hands on this stuff for months y’all!

If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I just went to the San Francisco Bay Area to visit my dad and have a nice, relaxing holiday. While I was there I took a lot of Dramatic Landscape Photos, drank ALL of the Wine, and got the incredible bottle of Fernet Francisco that you will have the privilege of looking at in the following photos.

Isn’t the label great? Totally dig it.

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Fernet Francisco is made with 12 plants native to the San Francisco Bay Area in California. This makes me truly excited because: 1. I am from the Bay Area (duh, we get it gurl), 2. Using plants from a specific area will give a strong sense of Terroir, 3. I knew it had to be super complicated and tasty!

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Due to the fact that I was taking my bottle on an airplane, I wasn’t able to taste it until I got back to Brooklyn. When I cracked it open, I was totally expecting to have a similar experience to that time I first smelled a bottle of St. George Spirits Terroir Gin (also made with botanicals from where I grew up. I cried.)…

…I didn’t cry but I was instantly transported back to the Bay Area through the wonderful aroma of Fernet Francisco!

Tasting Notes:

  • Nose: Mint hits you in the face with a really fresh and pleasant aroma, not like menthol, but more like you just spanked a Mint bouquet. Super duper fresh! This awesome Mint experience is followed by Eucalyptus, Bay Laurel, grasses and spices.
  • Taste: Chamomile, dryness, more Mint, Wild Fennel, Eucalyptus, Cinnamon, some other spices I can’t figure out.
  • Finish: very dry, very wide, woody somehow. I LOVE THE FINISH. Why do I love this dry-wide finish? Because I am always looking for a way to dry out Cocktails and Fernet Francisco is really going to do that.

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On the back, the recommended cocktail is The Francisco with 2 parts Fernet Francisco, 1 part Ginger Beer, and a squeeze of Citrus on the rocks.

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The first Cocktail I made with Fernet Francisco was what I like to call an “Amor y Amargo” type drink, where the only ingredients are Amari, Liqueurs, Vermouths, Bitters, etc. I knew I wanted to use Dolin Dry as the second ingredient, and from the back of my brain the word “CYNAR!” came shooting forth like a lightening bolt!

The Full Winona

  • 1 1/2 oz Fernet Francisco
  • 1 oz Dolin Dry
  • 1 oz Cynar
  • 2 dashes Regans’ Orange Bitters
  • Garnish: Lemon Peel

Combine ingredients over ice and stirrrrrrrr. Strain into double Rocks glass over ice. Express Lemon peel and garnish. Dark and complicated just like Winona Ryder and everyone’s relationship to her. Luv u gurl.

Russian-Hill-2

Next I knew that I wanted to make a Black Manhattan variation, swapping out the Averna for Fernet Francisco and adding some of those super complicated Hella Bitter Citrus Bitters. Y’all, this drink is MAGNIFICENT! It’s truly one of the greatest Manhattan variations I’ve ever tasted because the flavor arcs keep going and changing and oh my god! You take a sip and just sort of sit there for awhile, so your brain can process all the stuff that just happened.

Russian Hill

  • 1 1/2 oz Rittenhouse Rye
  • 3/4 oz Carpano Antica
  • 1/2 oz Fernet Francisco
  • 1 dash Hella Bitters Citrus Bitters
  • Garnish: Lemon twist

Combine ingredients over ice and stirrrrrrrr. Strain into coupe. Express Lemon peel and garnish. Why Russian Hill? Manhattan variations are usually named after a neighborhood/boro and Russian Hill is a San Francisco neighborhood where Fernet Francisco comes from.
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You can’t wait to get your hands on this Fernet Francisco, right? I can’t wait to drink another Russian Hill! Cheers to Fernet Francisco for creating a truly great American Amaro!

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