Today we look at one of many pictures of Fancy Fernet Adverts taken by our lovely traveling correspondent. But unlike the rest of her handiwork, this is not a picture of something delicious or art deco-y or exciting. Nay, my friends. This is a picture of something that Your Fernetiquette is here to warn you sternly to avoid. That thing is the Emerald Evil known as Branca Menta.
The ad is from Argentina. The Limon is apparently from Peru.
Many* of my American readers are probably thinking to themselves: "Branca Menta? What is this thing that I have never heard of or tried as it is neither hip nor offered in any bar or restaurant ever? I am SO CONFUSED." So for them, allow me to explain: Branca Menta is the Branca distillery's spin off of their wonderful Fernet-Branca.
It's not a good spinoff like A Different World. No, it's the Saved by the Bell: The College Years of Italian bitters. Except eeeevil.
I was first exposed to Branca Menta a few years ago when I noticed that the corner store on my block was selling bottles. Intrigued, I shelled out the $26.99 + tax and crv. It looked something like this.
Now, I (obviously) love me some Fernet. But I also looooove all things mint. Peppermint, spearmint, whatevermint... it doesn't matter, I am in and can't get enough. I take Altoids three at a time. Last year for Christmas, the ladyfriend got me a five pound brick of Ghirardelli Peppermint Bark. This year, my stocking consisted of nothing but mint candies and those adorable wee lil Fernet bottles. True story.
Point is I'm a fan of mint, see.
My favorite way to induce massive stomach cramps
Given my proclivities, I naturally assumed that the Fernet + Mint combo in Branca Menta would be like washing my tongue in pure, uncut awesome. Um... not so. Rather than finding a way to pleasantly accentuate the naturally minty-esque flavor of Fernet Branca, it tastes like they just melted in some cheap green mint chip ice cream and called it a day. Whereas Fernet-Branca is a stark herbacious punch to the palate, Branca Menta is a sickly, filmy, vaguely creamy thing with none of the verve or panache of the original. And I hated it.
I was so disgusted by the stuff that had to pawn the bottle off on a friend who mixed it with some PBR as we watched college football.
Friend not pictured
Still, this stuff is obviously quite popular in Argentina or they wouldn't bother advertising it. Maybe it would go better with cola or lemon-lime soda, but the experience was so hugely disappointing that I figured the only way I'd ever try Branca Menta again would be if I did something monumentally stupid like start a dumb blog about the Branca company's primary product.
So obviously, I've got some work to do. Sigh.
Adorable wee lil Branca Menta bottle! Evil can be cute too.
*This is a lie. I do not have many readers.
Filed under: fernet adverts, Branca Menta is the devil, Those adorable wee lil fernet bottles, MSPaint Skillz, The Argentine Menace, no seriously it's the devil