Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Places You Can Get Fernet: Citizen Wine Bar in Worchester, MA

An emailed tip from Dave from the Bay State:
There is a bar called the Citizen in Worcester MA where Fernet flows freely!  From fernet and cokes to hanky pankys.  Shots chased with Ginger beer and a branca menta flip made with housemade cocoa tincture that is out of this world!  These guys are true kings of the craft and well known as one of the very few places to get fernet in central mass.  Just thought you should know.

Citizen Wine Cheese and Chocolate Bar is the sort of establishment that eschews both conventional bar food AND the Oxford Comma. On the other hand, they do boast "proper ratios" every night. Which is not only impressive, but (depending on how they enforce those ratios) potentially discriminatory. Wooo!

Filed Under: Places you can get Fernet, Boston, Bars should be all forced to post their ratios all the time, welcome to Worchester $1.25 pa, The Oxford Comma is the sexiest comma, Tom Brady is a handsome man,

Monday, June 7, 2010

Places You Can Get Fernet: Halo, in Atlanta, GA.

Fernet was previously found in Atlanta at the local (and not the Murder Kroger).

Again from our traveling correspondent.
At Halo in Atlanta. Stay sexy.

As you can see, my boy is excellent with the Fernet Fotography.
Filed Under: Places you can get Fernet, Fernet Foto File, Atlanta, Fernets and their migratory patterns, Jason Heyward is an effing stud.

Friday, June 4, 2010

The Greatest Fernet Story Ever Told?

Got this in the ol' inbox this week. It was so good, so wonderful, so utterly transcendent that it demanded to be shared, (almost) immediately, unedited and uncut. Without further ado, I present to you, the gentle reader...
 Well. That pic turned out a bit more sacreligious than I'd originally intended.

...The Greatest Fernet Story Ever Told (This Week So Far). Enjoy.
About a year ago I hosted an Argentine wine dinner with 5 courses paired with different Argentine wines. I couldn't find a proper wine to go with dessert so my liquor rep suggested the national drink of Argentina, Fernet Branca. She brought a bottle by to sample and we were both hooked. It really didn't go with the dessert [ED- Shocking!] but I knew it packed verve and would be very memorable to our 80 guests. The dinner went fantastic and I introduced Fernet to everyone, gave a toast and we did our Fernet (sans ginger chaser) together and as you can imagine it was a polarizing experience.  All in all, great night of food, wine and Fernet. 
 So the real story begins post-dinner.  These two girls persuaded me to do shots of Fernet with them. I was feeling Euphoric from the great evening and we ended up doing NINE shots.  I think I forgot to mention that I had to be at the airport at 5:30 am the next morning (or maybe it was this morning) as I was a chaperone on my daughter's 8th grade trip to Washington, DC.....I actually passed out from the indulgence much to my wife's displeasure and had to be carried to the car and poured into bed. [ED- This has never happened to me. Ever.]
I was kinda/sorta unresponsive when my wife and daughter tried to wake me at 3:00 am and after repeated attempts to get me up, they realized it wasn't gonna happen. I woke from my comatose state at 8:00 am and was a little fuzzy but amazingly had no hangover! 
I knew I had to be somewhere and thought everyone had overslept but me. So I got a text from my beautiful daughter Claudia that said "I still love you" and knew I was in trouble. Then I got a phone call from my wife and she didn't still love me!! However, she arranged a flight later that day (for an extra $400 thank-you very much) and arrived at the hotel just as the Redeemer Lutheran School 8th grade class was getting back from the nighttime monument tour. Of course they all knew what happend to me (even the ticket agent at the airport knew!) but I was going to make the best of a bad situation and became the friggin' best 8th grade chaperone anyone has seen. Volunteered for every detail no one wanted and at the end became great friends with the teacher and all the students thought I was the "cool" chaperone. I owe it all to Ferent Branca.
 Let this be a lesson to you, my friends: NOTHING BAD CAN HAPPEN TO YOU when two (or more) girls "persuade" you to do shots of Fernet Branca. It's like Spanish Fly, except instead of helping you get laid, it helps you get awesome. Also, your family will love you forever. The End.

Or not quite the end. Our contributor tacks on with an extra special Places You Can Get Fernet:
I'm the biggest supporter of Fernet in the Panhandle and if you ever get to Pensacola, Florida stop by Seville Quarter for some Fernet at End O' The Alley Bar. We are the leader in NW Florida (not saying much) and are very proud to be in the "know" of this incredible (in moderation) elixir.
Bill Carlson
Seville Quarter
Pensacola, FL
You hear that Pensacolans? (Pensacolians? Pensacolas? Pensacolacicles?) End O' The Alley is your new Home Base. Get to it, people. Oh, and one more note from Mr. Carlson...
ps. The staff has nicknamed Fernet "Kill Bill" in homage to me. You got to be known for something in your lifetime!
  I'll leave the MSPainting up to y'alls.

Amazing. Simply, amazing. Many, many thanks. 

Any other Entries from readers as to your Greatest Fernet Stories? Come on, San Franciscans. I know you've got 'em. Sharing is caring.
Filed Under: MSPaint Skillz, The Greatest Fernet Story Ever Told This Week So Far, Places you can get Fernet, Hangover Freedom, Florida, Yes I know I'm going directly to hell

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Actual Research-Like Substance: Scott Brody's Epic Eva Peron Story

Once in a while Your Fernetiquette pretends to be An Actual Blogger instead of being some schmo who assigns everything a cutsie tag and calls it a day. I admit it's not often, but on occasion I do put legitimate effort into this little webspace.

For example, about five months ago I took the time to type out an ENTIRE EMAIL(!!) that politely asked the purveyors of Bourbon and Branch how they managed to come up with the delicious Fernet-based cocktail known as the Eva Peron. Naturally, I didn't follow up on that email in any way, shape or form. I've been wayyyy too busy to spend my time in the dogged pursuit of truth.

Still my friends, I am here today to testify that you do indeed reap what you sew. Yes, this weekend I received the following note from Mr. Scott Brody, the lead bartender at Epic Roasthouse re: the origins of The Peron:
If you're still interested in the story behind the Eva Peron (and even if you aren't) here it is:

We had a liquor rep trying like hell to get Canton ginger liqueur into Epic back in 2008.  Shortly after bringing it in, we got a call from him to arrange a party for a friend of his.  His friend was going to Argentina on an "epic" adventure and he wanted a specialty cocktail containing Canton for the party.  
 Epic: Pictured
We agreed to try and come up with something, and I took the two ideas: Argentina and Canton, to Tony Nik's in North Beach where I knew Darren Crawford was working.  Our friend and fellow bartender Jake Cornell was there, and the three of us started brainstorming.  I knew that Fernet mixed well with Sweet Vermouth from cocktails such as the Hanky Panky, and everyone in SF knows it pairs well with ginger.  Furthermore, I knew that Fernet is wildly popular in Argentina.  We can't remember exactly who came up with the lime, or who thought of trying ginger ale; but Darren started mixing, decided on equal parts of Carpano Antica, Fernet and Canton, squeezed in half a lime, shook everything and topped it with ginger ale.  We tasted it, decided that ginger beer would work best, and voila, a cocktail is born.  We came up with the name Eva Peron, because the Evita cocktail already exists (nasty thing with Midori in it). 
The drink was a hit at the party, and once Darren started working at Bourbon & Branch, he brought the Eva Peron with him.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact me, or come by Epic and I'll be happy to mix up an Eva for you.

-Scott Brody.
 Odds of me taking Mr. Brody up on that offer? Excellent.

(Srsly tho: Many thanks to Scott for the story!!! Now everyone immediately go to Epic and tip like a Rockefeller.)
Filed Under: Actual research-like substance, Bourbon and Branch, Epic in the non-internet way, Fernet cocktails, The Argentine Menace, San Francisco in general, Don't act like I never do anything for you people

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Places You Can Get Fernet: Cure in New Orleans, LA

Another short one. If time permits, I've got plenty of interesting updates coming very soon.

Forwarded to us by our intrepid traveling reporter, who testified that Cure boldly offers not just Fernet-Branca, but ALSO features my old nemesis* Branca Menta.

Well played.

*Updates also to come on our longstanding bloodfeud with The Menta.
Filed Under:  Places you can get Fernet, Nawlins, Fernet Foto File, Branca Menta is the devil, keeping up with this blog is hard sometimes.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Places You Can Get Fernet: Harry's Bar in Allston, MA

It's been a while and I've got some catching up to do, so how about a short one? OK? OK.

Taken May 17, 2010 at Harry's Bar and Grill in Allston, Mass. The accompanying message from the fine gentleman who sent the picture:
I miss you, my friend.
You too, brother.
Filed Under: Boston, Places you can get Fernet, Fernet Foto File, male bonding amongst males, Allston Rock City.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Hey you guys, I went to a show!

And then I wrote about it at Such a Clatter! Check it out, yo.

Filed Under: This has absolutely zero to do with Fernet Branca, Guest Posts, Fellow Travelers, And yes I had my dancin' shoes on and I was feelin' alright

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

"The Liqueur of Hades"

According to Salon dot com, quoting The Wall Street Journal quoting something called "The Wine and Food Society of New York", (which doesn't even sound like a real thing) Fernet is "The Liqueur of Hades".Well, OK.

I'd file an objection, but frankly fair enough. Hades isn't so bad, and the description is fairly appropriate in all honesty. If nothing else, it's better than being called something truly terrible like say... the Liqueur of Cleveland. Can't even imagine what that would taste like.

Also, THIS is hilarious.

Betsy von Furstenberg was suspended from Actor's Equity in 1960 after secretly putting [Fernet] into Tony Randall's onstage drink.
 Of course.
Oh, Felix Unger. Such a buzzkill.
Filed Under: Fernet Foto File, Fernet is Famous or something, People upon whom Betsy von Fustenberg has forced the stuff, The Liqueur of Hades

Monday, May 3, 2010

Guest Post: Clatter Takes the Plunge

It's Fernetiquette's First Ever Guest Post! Yrs truly just dragged Bill, the excellent and prolific author of the exceptional music blog Such A Clatter, out for some Fernet. Photo evidence goes here:

Flowery guest prose goes here [FN1]:

First & just reiteratively, I will concur re: the Marina.  Which is like a weird wormhole-portal-thingie to some other place/time/culture (quote-unquote), incongruous amidst our fine City where some, at least, are said to have left their hearts.  I will admit to being overly-reductive (& yes a hater, sue me[FN2]) but Marina: ew to the bottle-blondes & the boob jobs, ew to the overgrown frat boys & gym rats, & cetera just, ew. [FN3] Anyway, Russian Hill has its fine points but would certainly be nicer all around w/out the blight of the Marina situated like, Right Next Door.  The cross-pollination was alas evident, when  Fernetiquette hosted yours truly for what was to be yes, my very First Time test-driving (what I understand to be) the hipsters’ go-to digestif.  &, as you’ve already heard by now, we had it on tap [FN4] which evidently is not the usual means of delivery.

Anyhoo and as previously related infra, drinks were brought to our table at the Bullitt bar.  Some beers, four shots of el Fernet-o, & two “ginger backs” for the newbies (those being me, check, & my dazzling companion).  I had been assured that chasing the Fernet with ginger ale would not categorically render me a Girl, but I do harbor some skepticism there. [FN5]

So, yeah I drank the stuff.  Uh huh, yes I surely did.  & apparently it is something that people actually do drink, both repeatedly & willingly.  So I am prepared to concede that I’m missing something there.  (Especially since I pretty much used up my RDA of intolerance just hating on the neighborhood, right?)

 I'll spare the suspense: he was not impressed.

What to say about the Fernet Branca?  Well, when I was twelve I smoked my first cigarette which was a Kool menthol.  That’s a memory I was surprised to revisit upon sipping my leather-colored shot there in the bar.  But yeah, menthol.  Menthol on fire.  Cool on the palate yet warm going down, hey it’s freaking alchemy in a shot glass!

  Molecular geometry for Menthol. [FN6]

I know there are supposed to be various subtle notes of this & that, but I couldn’t really discern any of the alleged saffron or cardamom, & wouldn’t recognize myrrh or aloe (I did my homework on Wikipedia, btw) if they walked up to me on Hyde Street & slapped my face w/a French manicure.  Pretty much whatever’s in there gets shoved aside by the cool/warm tactile sensation.  Oh & by the unambiguous & shouted voice [FN7] of camphor, so there may be some medicinal value there I’m just saying.

I was really trying my best to be all x-cultural & open-minded, but can we talk for just a moment re: the music in that place. [FN8] Jesus seriously, who w/a straight face plays that bland generic white people disco shite? [FN9] Query posed rhetorically, although now that I think about it I did crave a seriously stiff drink after a single verse, so there’s some viral marketing for you.             

So.  Not to go all Marcel Proust on you here, but the Fernet did have this uncanny ability to dredge up forgotten memories & that was a magical & mysterious thing to experience then & there in the bar.  I recalled that time when I had pneumonia & couldn’t do much other than lie still under the crushing weight of my watery lungs, blotting my fevered forehead.  I thought the Fernet mightn’t be bad if I’m ever similarly stricken again.  Topically applied, I mean, & assuming a favorable per-ounce price point comparison with Vicks VapoRub registered trademark. [FN10]  With which it shares its distinctive bouquet.  (Sorry man, but truth to power, right?)

Emphatically though, I will insist that every downside to the evening’s escapade was more than balanced by the quality of the assembled company, & Friendship indeed is a tonic superior to all others.  Vive la difference I say with some not-inconsequential gusto.  So, thank you for the invitation, & for the ensuing adventure.  In conclusion, the gods did smile when, as we were settling the check, the Clash were heard to intrude gloriously & incongruously upon the music selection.
At least we can agree on these lads. [FN11] 

FN1- All footnotes are MINE though. It is my blog, after all MWAHAHAHAHAHahahahahaahahaha.
FN2- Correct me if I'm wrong, but I was under the impression that being "overly-reductive" and "a hater" were necessary prerequisites of being a music blogger.
FN3- Co-sign, save for the bit about boob jobs.
FN4- (sic) as to the failure to capitalize On Tap.
FN5- Acceptable. See ORFE Sec. 1.0(3).
FN6- Be honest. You guys weren't expecting FUCKING SCIENCE, were you?
FN7- It's subtle... subtle like a T-Rex. 
FN8- See FN2.
FN9- Pretty much Marina folk and Chowdahheads. But I repeat myself.
FN10- It doesn't. I've tried. [FN12]
FN11- Oh, and the cheesy bit about the friendship and company and blah blah blah whatevs. That stuff is pretty cool too I guess.
FN12- What? I'm not proud.

For the record, my favorite part was the Tranny joke. 
Filed Under: Guest Posts, Russian Hill, Seriously though Thanks Bill that was great, The Only Drink That Matters, Faces of Fernet, Alchemy in a Shot Glass, Fellow Travelers, People upon whom I've forced the stuff.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Fernet On Tap is a Real Actual Thing

I can swear to the above statement in a court of law. Because last night, I ventured all the way over to the expensive side of the City to Bullitt and saw it with my very own eyes. It was glorious.
Hella OMGs!

Let's get a close-up view on that bad boy.
Yep. That's right. It's an an adorable wee lil Fernet bottle stuck on a tap. And that tap dispenses Fernet. It's like a unicorn gumdrop fountain made of $100 bills. Too good to be real. If they had one of these at The Homestead I'd probably try to move in.

Unfortunately, they don't have one at The Homestead or anywhere else in my general area, so I'm forced to go all the way to Fernet Central/Russian Hill to sample Fernet On Tap. Russian Hill is A) pretty far from me, and B) basically the Marina. More on B) later, but let's just say I'm glad they weren't checking neighborhood passports too closely.

So what did Fernet On Tap taste like? To be honest, it tasted a heck of a lot like regular Fernet. It may have been slightly more "open" and a tiny bit less sharp, but it was still Fernet so it still had plenty of prickliness to spare. Theresa, our ever-present companion and photographer, said it tasted "warmer". I think that's right, though none of the variances are present to a large extent. Bottom line: you really have to work hard to taste the difference.

This should not be a surprise. Fernet does not exactly present the subtlest of flavor palates. You can fuss with the margins all you like, but you're not going to alter the big picture a whole bunch. Fernet On Tap will still walk up to you and slug you in the face just like Fernet Not On Tap will. The only difference may be in the exact angle of the right cross.

I don't have much more to say about Bullitt itself, so allow me to comment on Russian Hill in general. First, this is the window of the bar right next door from Bullitt:
Yes, that's a gigantic bottle of Fernet-Branca with branchy tree-like things growing out of it. Well, OK. Cheers to you Cresta's 2211 Club. Your window display is beautiful like a rainbow.

Secondly, upon leaving Bullitt and heading back up Polk street towards my friend Such A Clatter's car, we passed yet another bar. Out from said bar came stumbling a prototypical Marina DudeBrah. He wasn't wearing an Ed Hardy T-Shirt, but I can only assume that was because he was at the end of a laundry cycle. At any rate, he stumbled up to our band of merry folks, nudged me on the elbow and pointed across the street towards an attractive young lady in the crosswalk.

"Hey man," he slobbered. "Wouldn't you like to get up inside that?"

Somewhat stunned, I laughed it off and said "Oh yeah, man. Absolutely."

She had apparently heard the exchange and was obviously smitten by the high compliment paid to her by our unnamed drunkard, because she turned towards us, raised a heavily manicured hand and went "WOOOOO!!!!"

Ahh, young love. You stay classy, Russian Hill. 
Filed Under: OMG OMG OMG, Best McQueen Tribute Evar, Russian Hill, DudeBrahs, Fernet Foto File, MSPaint Skillz, Fernet On Tap, Actual research-like substance.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Happy Birthday to New Coke!

That's right, kids. Twenty-five years ago today.
 What could go wrong!?!

Also a big Bon Anniversaire to Valerie Bertinelli, Warren Spahn, Sandra Dee, Miguel de Cervantes, Tony Esposito, Herve Villechaize, Bill Shakespeare, Shirley Temple, me, Lee Majors and Roy Orbison.

Filed Under: This has absolutely zero to do with Fernet Branca, I want to try Fernet con Coca Nueva, Spahn and Sain and pray for HELLA PRESENTS

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Maybe the Best Thing I've Ever Seen, Ever

This is all over the intertubes today but whatevs because OMG.

You see, Giants? You score when you actually touch the plate. Style points are extra, though they also have the potential make you immortal.

h/t Brigid
Filed Under: OMG OMG OMG, This has absolutely zero to do with Fernet Branca, The High Holy Church of Baseball, Profiles in Amazingism, No really watch it again it's the best thing ever, 5 runs in 4 games arrrgh

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Places You Can Get Fernet: Russell House Tavern in Cambridge, MA

The Russell House Tavern is in Harvard Square, across the Charles River from the Eastern Standard in Cambridge. Of course, Cambridge is where Harvard is. Thus, Russell House Tavern is a Harvard Bar, and I am legally obligated to deploy this picture:
Why yes, I do enjoy a nice Granny Smith from time-to-time.

Russell House Tavern is on "JFK street", which is kind of like having a gay bar in San Francisco called Moby Dick: too obvious to NOT be a real thing. The bar opened a few weeks ago, has a truly awesome special offer for the hungry brainacs who frequent the area.

Grossman said that the Harvard community was one of the top three factors he took into consideration before opening the restaurant. He added that he has informally created a “happy meal” for students, which consists of a 16-ounce Brooklyn lager tall boy, one shot of Fernet Branca, and a “giant” burger—priced at $18.
FUCK YEAH HAPPY MEAL. In my head these come in cardboard boxes in the shape of Fenway Park with a smiling David Ortiz on the outside dressed as the Hamburgler.

Filed Under: Places you can get Fernet, Boston, Oh Matt Damon he is such a tortured soul, Applesauce bitch, Hopefully McDonalds' lawyers will never hear about this

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Places You Can Get Fernet: Sable in Chicago, IL

In the middle of my junior year of college, my girl and I went to the City of Broad Shoulders to visit a friend of mine from grade school who had moved out there while he and I were in high school. It was in the dead of winter; the harrowing part of Midwestern January. According to the weathermen, it was something like -40 with the wind chill. I didn't know if what the forecast said was true, I just know it was the coldest I'd ever been in my life. It still is.

The three of us still managed to brave the conditions and fought our way downtown. I wore my Red Wings jersey. At the Art Institute, we did this:
Of course we did.

I mention this not because it's particularly relevant; it's just to remind myself that I should contact the old friend and the girl more often. They are wonderful people and I miss them both.

What is quite relevant is this: you can get Fernet in Chicago. True fact.

A good hotel bar can be a traveler’s best friend, especially when it comes with a pedigree like that of the recently opened Sable Kitchen & Bar in Chicago’s Hotel Palomar. With a spirits selection curated by bartender Jacques Bezuidenhout and cocktails like the Fernet- and St. Germain-laced Ginger Dram and the strawberry- and mezcal-bedecked Speaking in Tongues being mixed by Violet Hour alum Mike Ryan, Sable is the perfect bar away from home.
 Sable is at 505 North State street, which according to the googlz is right downtown-ish. Picture goes here.

For the record, the Ginger Dram consists of:
  • 1 3/4 oz. single-malt scotch whisky 
  • 1 oz. Domaine de Canton ginger liqueur
  • 2 barspoons Fernet Branca
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters
  • Ice cubes 
  • A dash of DA BEARS
  • Lemon twist
  • Served in a Nick & Nora glass
One of those ingredients may not be entirely serious.
Filed Under: Places you can get Fernet, Chicago, Fernet cocktails, Over-sharing and functional alcoholism, I don't get the ginger fascination I really don't, I'd buy Steve Bartman a shot dude deserves it

Monday, April 12, 2010

The Official Rules of Fernet Etiquette, v. 1.0

It's funny. I never really started this blog with the idea of serving as some sort of Fernet authority. In fact, I explicitly disavowed any such notion in the FAQs. I started this blog because the name popped into my head one day after a terribly long night at Pop's and I thought "Huh huh. That'd be a good name for a blog or something."

And off we went.
Reposting because it's still my favorite

Then I got going a bit. And then I garnered a few readers. Then one day out of the clear blue sky, someone determined that this blog was about "Fernet Etiquette". Which: OK. I guess that makes sense. I may not be a bartender or a mixologist or someone with any specialized knowledge on the subject whatsoever... but I am a San Franciscan who drinks Fernet. Seeing as how San Francisco drinks somewhere between 35-50% of the Fernet in the United States AND I'm the only person within San Francisco to start a blog about it, I think the issue is settled: I am an authority on Fernet etiquette. Res ipsa loquitur.

I should note that while I did not ask for this responsibility, I shall not shrink from it. Thus, Allow me to present Fernetiquette's Official Rules of Fernet Etiquette, v 1.0. (A work in progress.):
  1. If you've never tried Fernet, you must seek it out immediately. I mean it. Look, whether you like it or you think it could peel the paint off the walls, Fernet is distinctive enough that it absolutely has to be sampled. Nay, not sampled: savored. Contemplated. Experienced. You must try it or you are not a complete person. Yes, Fernet is that powerful. Get to it.
  2. Don't think about it. Don't smell it. Don't hesitate. Just drink it. Whether you decide to shoot it or sip it, just dive right in. I will warn you: You will hate it the first time it touches your lips. That said, as soon as that warm clean menthol feeling hits your gut, you'll start to understand what is the big deal about Fernet. But I assure you my friend, it will be just a start.
  3. Ginger backs are acceptable, but not necessarily encouraged. The Infamous SF Weekly Fernet Article declares Fernet with Ginger to be "the style of drinking Fernet-Branca that is most popular in San Francisco." Whatever. If that's what it takes for you to handle the stuff, fine. I can't say I didn't need something to clear my palate after the first time I tried Fernet. HOWEVA... after a few months of practice, feel free to remove the training wheels. Put on your big boy pants and graduate to beer. Or hell, vodka.
  4. If you meet someone who hasn't tried it, you are obligated to buy them a shot. This is non-negotiable. Iron-clad. 
  5. If you are in somewhere outside of San Francisco and you see Fernet behind the bar, you are mandated to order it under penalty of law. Also non-negotiable. As a corollary: if the bartender then asks you if you are from San Francisco, you are obligated to tip like a Rockefeller and buy them a shot of their own.
  6. San Franciscans may not drink Fernet and cola in public within the city limits. Why? Because it's just not how we do things here and everyone else will point and laugh. In fact, unless you work for Bourbon and Branch or you're going to stir it in directly with your Pabst, you should probably just leave Fernet cocktails to the auslanders. Now, if you're barricaded inside the relative privacy of your own $1850/month-250-square-foot junior bedroom suite in the Excelsior and you decide to indulge in the forbidden pleasure of a Fernet con Coca, so be it. Just be sure the blinds are securely closed. Dear God, no one else wants to see that shit.
  7. The artificial "You are not supposed to drink alcohol until X time of day" rules do not apply to Fernet. Fernet is not just a delicious spirit. No my friends. It's also a hangover cure. It's also a fantastic digestif. In short: it's a miracle drink. Therefore it is appropriate for consumption twenty-four hours a day. If anyone looks askance at you, refer them to me. Besides, it's always noon somewhere.

Any other suggestions to add to the Official Rules? Post them in the comments.

So it is written, and so it shall be.
Filed Under: THE RULES AS I DECLARE THEM TO BE, San Francisco in general, The Infamous SF Weekly Fernet Article, I come from a long line of functional alcoholics, Fernet and Cola, Pop's is for winners, meta

Monday, April 5, 2010

Life Intervenes

Sorry for the light posting of late, but I had a bit of a busy week. I gots myself a brand new job and can no longer claim to be "chronically under-employed". That's right, ma. I'm a big boy lawyer now!

As you can imagine the new job necessitated a lot of errand-running, tying-up-of-loose-ends, and getting-my-ducks-in-various-rows. Oh, and celebrating. Lots of celebrating.

Job starts today, so once I get a handle on things we should be back to normal. I don't anticipate that it will be too long before we get back to our regularly scheduled drinkie blog.

In the meantime, today is also that all important holiest of days: Opening Day. 

And so that picture is pretty well perfect for the day. Today so much begins anew; so much is full of promise.

Here's to cherishing those beginnings fulfilling that promise. Cheers!

Adorableness via CALIBER
Filed Under: The High Holy Church of Baseball, Over-sharing and functional alcoholism, Posts about the Giants, That kid is so cute I almost want to reproduce

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Places You Can Get Fernet: Spoontonic in Walnut Creek, CA

Got an email last week from a tipster named Kristen who says:

I work in the East Bay in Walnut Creek at this place called Spoontonic lounge. We sell a butt load of Fernet, and if you ever want to come check it out we're within walking distance from BART (pleasant hill or walnut creek).

"Butt load" is a technical term in the drink service industry. FYI.

Spoontonic is seems pretty hip since you can follow it on the Facebooks. They also have something called a "My Space", which I've never heard of so it must be hella cutting edge. FWIW they're also really well received on Yelp. One review in particular mentioned that they have a photobooth and only charge $2 for a PBR which makes me all nostalgic for the home base.

Pictures blatantly cribbed from Yelp go here:

They gots cute hipster girls in The Crick too.

Having grown up in the Far East Bay myself, I can say that I'm pretty familiar with the area. This place sounds objectively better than any other bar in Walnut Creek I've ever been to by a mile and a half. AND they serve Fernet, so bonus! Small caveat: According to Kristen a shot of Fernet is $7. This would be utterly unconscionable in SF, but one must make adjustments for what the market will bear out in the uncharted hinterlands of the Bay.

(I kid, I kid.)

ETC: My tipster graciously offered to have a shot at the bar waiting for me should I ever make it out there so I can "test if the fernet tastes different outside the city." Oooh, that sounds like research. I like research. Finally, check out Kristen's tumblr, which is filled with all kinds of general hilarity.
Filed Under: Places you can get Fernet, Fernets and their migratory patterns, Journey to the End of the East Bay, How much are you paying for your Fernet, Photobooths are where the magic happens

Friday, March 26, 2010

Fernetiquette asks The Internet for help... again

Second verse, extremely similar to the first.

Anyone sprechen sie the German?
And while you're at it...
Deleted scene from 2001: A Space Odyssey

Any attempts at translation would be appreciated. Danke schön!
Filed Under: a normal person might have taken a class or something by now, fernet adverts, these could be Dutch for all I know, monkeys they haunt me they attack me monkeys

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Russian Hill is Officially Fernet Central

As a proud Mission District resident this is an obviously difficult admission. Unfortunately, given the events of the past 24 hours the truth can be denied no longer. Russian Hill takes their Fernet more seriously than any other neighborhood in San Francisco. They are Kings of Fernet.
 The Queen of Fernet. (No relation.)

Take a second to let that sink in, my fellow Missionites. Shake off your south-of-market hipster prejudices, re-align your worldview, take a deep breath... then continue. No matter how much it may hurt, we have to come to terms with this simple salient situation: Another neighborhood in San Francisco does Fernet better than we do. That neighborhood is Russian Hill.

Still not buying it? Allow me to explain.

Pivoting off our recent discussion of the quixotic obsession with internet traffic, this site got a sizable jolt yesterday when the extraordinarily popular foodie blog Tasting Table linked to yours truly in their write up of the new phenomenon of Fernet On Tap. Because I am self-centered and like seeing my name in print, the link looked like this:
  As you can see, I'm taking celebrity in stride.

More relevantly to my thesis, the article noted the availability of Fernet On Tap at Bullitt. Bullitt is a bar on Polk between Vallejo and Green in (yep) Russian Hill. Thrillist got the scoop on Bullitt's tap two months ago (and Fernetiquette lamely followed) so it is not quite BREAKING NEWS that one can get Fernet On Tap in San Francisco. HOWEVA, Tasting Table also mentioned that Tonic Bar, which is another Russian Hill bar a block and change from Bullitt, now also features Fernet On Tap. It is not an exaggeration to say that this development is one of the greatest things to ever happen to humankind.

I will freely admit that math is not my strong suit, but the equation here seems pretty definitive. We now have TWO bars in ONE neighborhood that have Fernet On Tap vs. ZERO bars that have Fernet On Tap anywhere else in America. That adds up to unrivaled, unchallenged, undisputed dominance. I'm sorry, Mission bars. You may be cheaper and closer to me, but until you install a Fernet spigot at Pops, Benders, Uptown or 500 Club, you'll continue to play second fiddle.

Until then: Russian Hill is Fernet Central. So it is written, and so it shall be.

Filed Under: Fernet On Tap, Russian Hill, Fernetiquette Gets Famouser and Famouser All The Time, fernet adverts, Best McQueen Tribute Evar, Tonic Bar, I should leave my hood once in a while

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Adventures in Internet Blogging, Pt. I.

Hello gentle readers. Allow me to take a small break from your regularly scheduled travelin' and boozin' and researchin' about boozin' to peel back the curtain a little bit on some of the subtleties of having a "web log".

Folks who have had a blog know that whether you're trying to scratch out a living or you're just starting out at some point the amount of traffic you get on a day-to-day basis becomes something of an obsession. I can't say exactly why it happens for those of us who aren't ever planning on making any money off blogging. It's probably narcissism (or at least that's the explanation with which I'm most comfortable.)

Regardless, this obsession is a universal thing. Bloggers pore over their traffic numbers like they're religious screeds. They analyze and determine the types of posts that are the most popular (here at Fernetiquette these babies are by far the most google friendly) and the posts that no one bothers reading at all (basically everything else.) This is a daily ritual, and for most of us it's a sad, silent struggle against sanity.

However, one of the great joys of compulsively checking your traffic numbers is seeing exactly how people stumble upon your site. The average reader may not know this, but when you load Fernetiquette I can see a whole lot about you. Not only do I get information on how many people view my page, but I am told those visitors' locations, their browser settings and how long they spend on my site before clicking off to look at lolcats. Most interestingly, I am also told the link that brought you here. I ALSO see it when people find me through a google search and I see what the google search was that drew the hit. As you can guess, google searches are often pretty funny.

For example, last Friday I posted this about the Eastern Standard in Boston, Mass. Because no Fernetiquette post would be complete without pithy, immature tag I slapped one on the bottom of it that said "Tom Brady is a Handsome Man." I did this for a few reasons. One because before Tom Brady was the quarterback for the Patriots, he played for Michigan.


As I explained in the True Faqs, I am a rabid Michigan Football fan. It is also true that Tom Brady is in fact quite handsome.

Proof pt. II. You know you want him.

Astute readers will note that my description of the Eastern Standard's "Heather in Queue" cocktail used the word "foxy". Less than an hour after throwing that baby up, I got a hit from someone in South Korea who had apparently googled "Tom Brady foxy". I found this amusing. You may find this sad or unremarkable, but this gets back to the Pathetic Life of Your Poor Blogger.

Along similar lines someone in Pinole, CA recently found me through this search, which ha ha google suggestion lulz.

Not quite as tasty. Or dangerous.

But my absolute favorite example of this phenomenon so far is the apparent confluence of this post about Varnish in Los Angeles and this one about the Football cocktail which produced a google result for Fernetiquette when someone searches for (I kid you not) "homemade cream for décolletage". Insert relevant picture here:

Insert inappropriate joke here.

UPDATES! So speaking of The Eastern Standard, behold the Power of the Twitternets!

Re-tweet away, minions!

To say that the post on Friday was the Most Popular Fernetiquette Post ever is a bit of an understatement. Someone in Boston found it Monday morning, tweeted about it and BOOM this blog hit triple-digit page loads for the first time in its young life. And there was much rejoicing.

There was also some helpful clarification. In the comments to that post, Frederic answers our question about Ms. Heather:
This cocktail is named for a regular Friday-night customer who was standing “in queue” when Jackson created this drink for her as a replacement for the Hoskins, “as I was running out of the then famous 164-bottle stash of Amer Picon that I picked from a dusty corner of the Martignetti warehouse.”
More at the Drink Boston link, which Frederic also helpfully provides. FWIW, My friend Aly who lives in Boston but is unfortunately not a Fernetophile had this to say about The Eastern Standard:

The Eastern Standard is the only good place to get a drink in the Fenway area. It's near the park, but manages to stay douche bag free.

So there you have it. More Fernet, Fewer Douchebags. How can you go wrong?
Filed Under: meta, The Pathetic Life of Your Poor Blogger, Tom Brady is a handsome man, Boston, these are a few of my favorite things, All Your Updates, Fellow Travelers, MSPaint Skillz

Friday, March 19, 2010

Places You Can Get Fernet: Eastern Standard in Boston, MA

So. You're in Boston. You've gone to Faneuil Hall. You've had your picture taken in front of the Civil War memorial on the Common. You've done the Duck Tour. And you've walked by Fenway and thought about how nice it would be to see a game there but all the tickets are sold out and $350 for a scalped seat behind a pole are you effing kidding me!?!?!

Now you're thinking to yourself "Man, I could really go for a rib eye steak, half a raw lobster, some standard (not special, mind you) foie gras with seasonal garnish, and an heirloom apple tarte tartin for dessert. Oh, and also some Fernet. I've only got $75 to spend (not including tax and gratuity, of course.) But where???"

There's only one place that THIS writer knows of. And that's The Eastern Standard.

The aforementioned standard foie gras and seasonal garnish

Jackson Cannon, the (one-time? current? I have no idea) bar manager at Eastern Standard apparently is in the habit of referring to Fernet-Branca as "Jäger for men", which is offensive on precisely two levels. However, the article that brings us that absurd quotation also says stuff like this:
The first time you taste Fernet, it literally assaults your senses. It’s intensely bitter, peppery and mentholated. ‘I can’t believe I just swallowed that,’ may be your first thought. But, intrigued, you try it again. You like that cleaned-out buzz, that feeling that your insides have been sandblasted. The next thing you know, you’re working in a restaurant.

Why do waiters, bartenders and chefs gravitate toward this stuff? Well … It’s a badass drink that very few people know about, much less like. Drinking it conveys both that you have an advanced palate and that you embrace the ridiculous.

...so perhaps some quarter should be given since that last sentence is oh so very wonderful.

Making her grand appearance on the Eastern Standard Cocktail Menu is the "Heather in Queue". Who is this Heather and why is she standing in line? Who knows? Who cares? I do know and care that she is made up of "A few of our favorite things:"
  • Plymouth
  • Martini Bianco
  • Bauchant (an orange liquer)
  • Fernet
Heather does indeed sound foxy enough to wait my turn.

Filed Under: Places you can get Fernet, Boston, Fernet cocktails, Fancy Fernet Free Verse, Duck Boats yall, Tom Brady is a handsome man

Thursday, March 18, 2010

This Seems Relevant to My Interests

Via Uptown Almanac, it's Mike Giant doing something... amazing.

OK. First off:
Well done, sir.

Naturally, I have a few small qualms
  1. What on Earth is Skylark doing there? You might as well go with Blondie's and be done with it.
  2. I probably would have included Elbo Room.
  3. I definitely would have included House of Shields, though I understand if we're discounting Downtown and Yuppie SOMA.
That's... pretty much it. Pretty much every other time I thought to myself "Oh, what about..." it was already on there. My roommate Timmy objected to the absence of Tonga Room, but I think these are mostly not expensive/touristy/frat boy places. Hence the absence of Bourbon and Branch, Hobson's Choice and every bar in the Marina.

Oh, and I've been to THIRTY-EIGHT of those bars. Tell the truth: you're a little impressed, aren't you? Of course you are.
Filed Under: Over-sharing and functional alcoholism, San Francisco in general, thats fuckin art man art, Pop's is for winners, Fellow Travelers, I sense a pub crawl coming on

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Okay, Okay, I'll Try Fernet Con Coca.

It's hard to argue that I'm some kind of Fernet purist. While my preferred way to take it is in shot form, I have obviously enjoyed my fair share of some entirely scrumptious Fernet concoctions. So why is it that until now I've resisted trying the most popular (and easiest to make) Fernet cocktail in the world?

Frankly, I have no idea. I like Fernet. I like Coke. I drink enough of either ingredient that I would conservatively estimate my bloodstream is typically around 40% Fernet and Coke anyway. But the idea of ordering a Fernet and Coke gets my dander up.

Maybe I blanch at Fernet Con Coca because I'm defensive of the idea that you'd have to water it down to make it palatable. It's definitely also a bit of (ahhh my old familiar friend) San Franciscan Pretentiousness. Regardless, the idea of cutting my delicious Fernet with something as pedestrian as cola has spurred me to deploy not just one but two derogatory (and probably offensive) tags to refer to Fernet Con Coca on this blog.

Well, folks. It's time to suck it up and try it. For science!

Pictured: ingredients. Not pictured: irrational internal scorn.

As an aside, the bottle above cost me almost $30 with tax at the liquor store across the street. And yet I paid it. Don't ever say I don't do anything for you people.

Dramatic reflection shot!

For the sake of completeness, here's how to make a Fernet Con Coca.
  • One shot of Fernet-Branca
  • Coca-Cola
  • Ice

At least they look pretty

Look, I'm not going to beat around the bush. Fernet and Coke tastes exactly how you'd expect it to taste. The cola waters the Fernet down so it's less punchy, but not so much that you can't still get the flavor. It's fine. A little blander than I'd like it to be, but fine. The best thing I can say about Fernet Con Coca is that mixing it like this prolongs the Fernet experience and the ice and cold coke make it more of a summer-y refreshing drink. Like a Tom Collins that'll put hair on your chest. I just can't see myself drinking this regularly is all.

FWIW, The Ladyfriend liked it more than I did. Here were her thoughts:

It's kind of an interesting balance in this drink, it seems. Sometimes it seems as though it doesn't take much Fernet for it to taste sort of like just a drawn-out shot of Fernet--like a shot of Fernet diluted a bit with Coke because, say, hypothetically, you only had a little bit of Fernet left and really wanted to make one last drink for the night but were too lazy/tipsy/naked to go out to the store to buy more Fernet--not that I would ever be able to relate to such a hypothetical desire in such a hypothetical situation, ever, because that's just sad! Right?

At any rate: a Fernet con Coca that tastes sort of like a drawn-out Fernet shot is not a bad thing. I enjoy it. It does, however, take on a somewhat different flavor when it's heavier on the Coca-Cola and lighter on the Fernet. The Fernet taste and Coke do complement each other rather well, I think; the specific way in which Coke is sweet and syrupy works with Fernet. (Note: I am not sure I could be paid/what sum of money I'd have to be paid to try a Fernet con Diet Coca. The sugar and the syrupiness of the regular Coke is crucial, I think, and I don't really like regular Coke most of the time. I'm super into Diet Coke, and yet I still would be hard-pressed to drink, voluntarily/for free, a Fernet con Diet Coca.)

So, final verdict: I like it. If one didn't like Fernet at all, I think a very very light-on-Fernet Fernet con Coca might even possibly work for that one. Should I ever find myself in Argentina, I shall order myself a Fernet con Coca with white-chick-style-atrociously-accented-broken-Spanish gusto.

So there you go. I should note that I have no such compunction against trying a Fernet and Diet Coke. I'm trying to watch my girlish figure, see.
FINALLY, in pseudo-celebration of the holiday, here is the face-melting #1 hit in a google image search for "Fernet St. Patrick's Day":

Holy shit!

Fuck if I know what that has to do with St. Patrick's Day, and fuck if I could care. THIS. IS. AWESOME. Something tells me this isn't an official Branca advert, though I confess I don't know whether I would like it more or less if it was. Regardless, one thousand cocktails to whoever produced this work of art, and I will now seek out a print to hang on the ceiling above my bed.

Filed Under: OMG OMG OMG, Fernet and Cola, The Argentine Menace, Drink it like a man you pansies, Fernet cocktails, le sigh, Fernet Foto File, fernet adverts, thats fuckin art man art

Monday, March 15, 2010


Hi. My name is Clint. I'm a chronically under-employed attorney who plays guitar in a silly punk rock band on the side. This is my blog.

It's been a few weeks since I used this space. I know my four readers were very upset/might have been curious/were not bothered at all at my absence. Fear not my friends, I'm back.

Anyhoo, I took this picture the other night on a date night with my ladyfriend.
Going forward, I think this blog will be a little bit more personal and a little bit broader in focus. Of course, I'll still talk about our favorite Italian digestif, but I think I'll also use this space for more personal reflection as needed. I hope all four of you stick with.

I took the above picture at Vesuvio, which I also talked about here. It was date night with Theresa, and we had a very nice time. She took this picture:
...which I liked for obvious reasons. Tee hee.

Regular postings should resume now.
Filed Under:  Fernet Foto File, And you thought North Beach was only good for mediocre pizza and strippers, Vesuvio, Over-sharing and functional alcoholism, meta.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Places You Can Get Fernet: 331 Club in Minneapolis, MN

Fernet was previously found in Minneapolis here.

A text I received on Sunday morning from Tim, Fernetiquette's Senoir Minneapolitan Correspondent, read:

Last Fernet Branca was found and imbibed at The 331 in NE Minneapolis

The 331 Club in Northeast (or "Nordeast" as they oh-so-adorably call it) Minneapolis seems like exactly the kind of place that would carry Fernet-Branca. Just take a browse around the picture gallery for a second and you'd think the place would be on the corner of Valencia and Ironictruckerhat.

Hopefully our boy Tim didn't actually drink the LAST last bit of Fernet. 'Cuz you can order more, yannoh. You betcha.
Filed Under: Places you can get Fernet, Minnesota, I'm cooperatin' here, We're not a bank Jerry, lolhipsters.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Fernetiquette Fashion Etiquette: 2010 SF Giants Edition

Dear Giants, please pay attention.

The new striped socks are 100% pure awesome. 

They even make this guy look good!

Couldn't be happier with them. Honestly. 

On the other hand...
 Oh dear.

The new Friday night beer league softball jerseys? Um. No. Not at all

Got it? Good.
Filed under: Posts about the Giants, Sartorial atrocities, HUR HUR ZITO'S CROTCH HUR HUR, MSPaint Skillz