Sunday, January 3, 2010

Fernet-Branca at Bourbon and Branch: The Eva Peron

Welcome to the Twenty-Teens, my friends! Did everyone use Fernet-Branca to wipe away your New Year's Day hangovers? I did, of course. Don't ask whether it worked because I don't remember.

Here at Fernetiquette, we also rang in 2010 by getting gussied-up and heading to the best little speakeasy in the city for a three hour session this Saturday night. I'd been to Bourbon and Branch a dozen or so times, so imagine my surprise when I perused the ever-shifting cocktail menu and my eyes lit upon this tall drink of water:

Don't keep your distance

Yes my friends, The Eva Peron. It appeared at the bottom of the last page of the Cocktails from Around The World section of the menu. The ingredients were listed as
  • Fernet-Branca
  • Carpano Antica (A sweet vermouth produced by the Branca distillery.)
  • Ginger liquor
  • Lime juice
  • Ginger beer
The menu noted that the Peron was an homage to Argentina and San Francisco's appreciation for Fernet. Naturally, I ordered it immediately. Unfortunately, due to the strict house rules I could not take a picture of the resulting concoction's presentation, but it was beautifully served in a collins glass over ice with a slice of lime. Approximately the color of whiskey and water, The Eva Peron was (like most everything at Bourbon and Branch) sublimely delicious.

Before I tasted it, I was a little wary of how much I would enjoy it as I'm not a huge fan of ginger flavors, but strangely the Fernet managed to be both front-and-center and quite subtle. I don't claim to have the most sophisticated palate for this sort of thing, but the lime and the effervescence from the ginger beer even seemed to help separate some of the floral and herbal notes from the Fernet. The overall effect was a complex, refreshing cocktail that had an earthy, almost wooden flavor... but in a good way.

Bottom line, I thought this was damned tasty. If they canned it and sold it in tall boys at corner stores, I'd buy a twelve-pack. Even one of my most staunchly Fernetphobic companions had this to say:
"It was interesting. I don't know if I would have finished the whole thing, but it was definitely not unpleasant."
 High praise!

I have put in an email to Bourbon and Branch to see if I can ask some questions about how they came up with the idea for The Eva Peron and see if I can get a better idea of the recipe. I'll report back if I hear anything in return.

Filed under: Fernet cocktails, It's not really that bad ya know, Bourbon and Branch, Drinks named after former heads of state, The Argentine Menace, actual research-like substance


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