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.

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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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SAB Gimlet

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Well, it appears that little bunch of Sage I acquired at the Farmer’s Market on Saturday has got me in the grip! IN THE GRIP! The Sage has clawed its way into my brain and now the only thing I can think about is, “What Gin + Sage cocktail can I make next?”

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You, you’re responsible for this madness! jkjkjk, I luv u and never want you to go away. #SageLover 

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Last night my illustrious girlfriend and I were discussing what to make with the Sage after we got back from jogging and she suggested a Gimlet. Awesome idea, easy drink to riff on. When I think of Sage, I think earthy flavours. My mind immediately turned to Hella Bitters Citrus Bitters cause they have all those extra herbes & spices which really compliment Sage.

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To this I added some St. George Absinthe Verte and used the Berkshire Mountain Distillers Ethereal Gin Batch 11. This is a magnificent American Gin and has an earthier spice set than say, a London Dry. If you have St. George Terroir or Botanivore, that would make a totally awesome sub, as would Greenhook Dry, Dorothy Parker or even Mayfair Gin. You can use a bright Gin, but I wouldn’t recommend a Juniper foward one.

SAB Gimlet

  • 2 oz BMD Ethereal Batch 11
  • 1 oz Lime Juice
  • 3/4 oz Simple Syrup
  • 1 dash Hella Bitter Citrus Bitters
  • 5-6 Sage leaves
  • Absinthe rinse
  • Garnish: Sage leaf

Rinse a double Rocks glass with Absinthe and chill. Combine Lime Juice, Simple Syrup, Sage leaves and muddle. Add Gin, Bitters, and shake. Double strain into double Rocks glass over ice. Garnish with Sage leaf.

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Cheers to all your Sage adventures!

Lemme See That El Camino

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Whoop! Here’s another post where I get to talk about the Home Bar Girl Tequila Challenge and Something Awesome. Last time the Something Awesome was Penelope Cruz, this time it’s that oh so sexy El Camino.

1. The Tequila Challenge: to encourage us Home Bar Gurls and Dudes to think of Tequila as more than “shots!” and/or “Margarita Time”. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE a good Marg as much as the rest of the world but Tequila is versatile! Think about using Tequila in place of Gin or Whiskey in your cocktails. Pair it with Vermouth, Amari, Bitters and Chartreuse Jaune. Stir it, Shake it, Serve it, Sip it. Yep, Sip your Tequila, don’t Shoot it! If this means you need to stop buying gross Tequila like José or Patrón, then please do so immediately. Mmmk? So many other tasty Tequilas await!

2. The El Camino: I love the Early-70s El Camino SS. I think they’re awesome muscle cars and despite being half car/half truck, I still think they’re dead sexy.  Super Sport? Quit teasing, just lemme drive it! And dropped? Hot damn, gimme that Lowrider! Perhaps my inner SoCal Mexican is shining through a bit too much with all this El Camino talk. I would even say that the El Camino is the Mullet of the South Western USA. Business in the front, Party in the back, but oh so much party in the back!

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This is not my car, I want this car, it will be mine. Photo via www.speedsports.net

Now, what does the badass El Camino SS have to do with a badass Tequila cocktail? You’ll have to make one to find out.

Lemme See That El Camino

  • 2 oz Blanco Tequila
  • 3/4 oz Averna Amaro
  • 1 oz Grapefruit Juice
  • 1/2 oz Agave Nectar
  • 1 dash Hella Bitter Citrus Bitters
  • Orange peel

In tin, combine Tequila, Averna, Grapefruit Juice, Agave and Bitters. Dry shake until Agave has dissolved. Add ice and shake shake shake again. Express Orange Peel and garnish.

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