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

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Places You Can Get Fernet: Varnish in Los Angeles, CA

Fernet was previously found in Los Angeles here. 

This past weekend, I journeyed to the City of Angels in search of some saffron-infused Italian bitters. I went to several different taverns, some of which really should have served Fernet (I'm looking at you, Bar 107) but only managed to strike murky brown gold at one place. And what a place it was! Like all good bars in LA, this place was impossible to find and had no sign. Literally. It's an upscale speakeasy-style joint through an unmarked door in the back of a diner called Varnish.

Be forewarned, my friends. Varnish ain't cheap, but the perfectly-mixed concoctions you'll get will be worth every penny. This is doubly true if you order off-menu. For while the specialty drinks are worth your time, you should also feel free to rely on the considerable expertise of the waitstaff and mixologists. For example, one of my companions ordered something with gin, not sour or fizzy, "but extra delicious" and was served a simply wonderful Gershwin.

Needless to say, when I noticed Fernet-Branca on the menu (for $12 a shot no less - yikes!) I thought I'd challenge them a bit. "Whip me up something with Fernet in it," I told Devin, our (completely devastating) server. "Make it interesting."

The result: The Newark. It looked like this.

Dark bars + dark drinks = great times, dark photos 

The Newark seems like a bit of an obscure concoction, but its ingredients are essentially listed as: 
  • 2 oz Applejack
  • 1 oz Carpano Antica sweet vermouth
  • 1 oz Maraschino liquor
  • 2 bar spoons Fernet-Branca
It was served chilled in a cocktail glass, and it was fabulous. The brandy gave the drink a sort of cordial warmth, but this was balanced by the forward fruity notes of apple and cherry. The Fernet gave it a nice familiar kick at the finish (I have a hunch that our barkeep used more than two bar spoons in mine.) Serving it chilled mellowed the strong flavors out nicely.
 Cocktail by Varnish. Décolletage by Ms. J.

Passing the Newark around the table garnered these responses:

  • "Sort of Christmassy, but in a good way."

  • "It's like an all-spice flavor in there."

  • "It tastes like cold spiced apple cider, with saffron and lots of booze."

  • "Don't know if I could finish it, but it's good."
Obviously, I finished it and would give it my highest recommendation. The next time I'm at Bourbon and Branch I'll be sure to see if they can do a Newark that measures up.

Filed under: Places you can get Fernet, Fernet cocktails, LA is sorta OK sometimes, Los Angeles, these are a few of my favorite things, Luckily it didn't taste like New Jersey

Monday, February 22, 2010

"Hella Fernet"

We're moving a little slowly from the trip to LA, but should have Fernet-related update posted shortly. In the meantime, here is a picture of what we all wish our waterclosets looked like:
Oh. My. God.

This is the decor adorning the walls in the ladies room at Vesuvio. Goodness gracious, I am in awe.

Filed under: OMG OMG OMG, Vesuvio, There is apparently such a thing as Fernet art, And you thought North Beach was only good for mediocre pizza and strippers

Thursday, February 18, 2010

All Your Updates: Tossing (Back) Footballs, Burrito Justice, and Scouting the Enemy

All Your Updates to Various Things for Feb. 18

Talkin' Footballs (Just in time for baseball season!)
Prior to the Super Bowl, we tipped you off to the magic of the Football, a drink that essentially consisted of Fernet-Branca and whipped cream. Sufficiently intrigued, the lady whipped up some... um, whipped cream so we could drink the footballs while watching the footballs.

The gnome looks on... wistfully

We (er... she) decided for the sake of scientific inquiry to try both the store bought whipped cream and homemade stuff. Mixing in a bit of vanilla extract and sugar to whipping cream, she got to work:

As you can see, we lack a mixer. I have been told to remedy this.

The result was quite frankly delicious and far FAR superior to the store-bought whipped cream.

It's like a Fernet Float! 

Obviously, if you're familiar with Fernet you can guess what one of these tastes like, but I will say it was better than I expected. The cream really mellowed some of the natural overpowering amaro tang. The vanilla in the homemade cream was an especially nice touch. I'd even recommend one of these to the fernet-averse, though I'd probably pour them a smaller glass.

For the sake of completeness, here's a shot of the prettier-but-not-quite-as-tasty Football with the store bought whipped cream.

You must check this out immediately or I will fight you.
If you live in San Francisco, you should be familiar with Burrito Justice. It's a blog dedicating to taking what is old and historic about San Francisco (and specifically the Mission/Bernal areas) and exposing it to the fixie-riding-fernet-swilling folks populating our neighborhoods today. If you don't know them, take some time to poke around the site because pretty much everything they do is beyond fascinating.

I bring them up today because Burrito Justice has been absolutely killing it lately, in a way relevant to this blog's second most favoritest topic: baseball. (As an aside- OMG PITCHERS AND CATCHERS PITCHERS AND CATCHERS!) 

They took the time to overlay the schematics of Seals Stadium onto the current layout of the shopping complex, and (with some help) found the exact location of each of the bases.

He hits it high! He hits it deep! He hits it to Lane Bryant!

As if that weren't cool enough, today they went even farther back in time in a post titled "The Mission Has Always Been the Home of Baseball", wherein they drag up some amazing issues of the San Francisco Call Bulliten from 1924 which serve as the definitive history of San Francisco baseball. I don't want to ruin it (CLICK THE EFFING LINK ALREADY) but let me just say that I now consider myself an honorary member of the San Francisco Pickled Nine.

You're a handsome fella. What's your name?
A Faces of Fernet from a random schmo.

Those ceilings are the tits

Taken @ The Homestead on 19th and Folsom on Saturday, Feb. 13.

Light posting this week as I've been busy with some interesting and exciting stuff that has almost nothing to do with this blog. Should be back to normal next week.

HOWEVA, in what will probably not be an opening salvo in The Great California War but will certainly involve me talking mad shit to disinterested Dodger fans, this weekend I'll be hopping on a flight and heading directly... *shudder* Los Angeles. Naturally, I'll be doing some Fernetiquette research. Stay tuned.

Filed under: All Your Updates, Fernet Foto File, Faces of Fernet, Burrito is my favorite kind of Justice, LA is sorta OK sometimes, The Homestead, Fernet cocktails, The High Holy Church of Baseball

Friday, February 12, 2010

The Eagerly Anticipated(?) Argentinian Fernet Picture Post

First off: many, many apologies for the tardiness of this post. I have been negligent in my sworn duty to provide to you sexy sexy Foreign Fernet Fotos from our Senior Traveling Correspondent and for this I subject myself to no fewer than 20 lashes and a shot of Jägermeister. (*shudder*)

 So without further ado, let's get on with the shew.

First, let's meet our photographer. You first met her here. Then we learned a bit more about her here. She looks like so:
Isn't she lovely? The picture of grace and beauty. And isn't it nice that she's willing to take pictures with hideously ugly homeless passers-by? She's a saint, I tell you. A saint. Purely for the purposes of this post, let's call her "Christy." This is almost certainly not her real name.

Moving on!

Christy reported being quite surprised at the availability of a great variety of different Fernets. San Franciscans tend to think of "fernet" and "Fernet-Branca" as interchangeable. It turns out that they are not. Fernet is a type of liquor (an amaro actually, which is a subset of bitters), whereas Branca is a distillery. The Branca brand is obviously the most popular type of Fernet, but they do not own the whole Fernet universe. Nevertheless it would be quite fascinating to sample some alternative brands side-by-side. I've heard tell of a few local bars that have some, and hope to try them out soon.

But seriously, folks. Let's talk turkey. How much are we paying for our Fernet in Argentina?

HOLY CRIKEY TWENTY FIVE DOLLARS ARE YOU EFFIN... oh what's that you say? Argentina uses the "peso" rather than the dollar? OK. Little different. According to the all-powerful Google, a peso is currently worth just over 25 cents. Meaning that a Fernet and Coke will run you about $6 in Buenos Aires. You could do worse stateside.

(As an aside, how desperately do I want to know what a Fernet Todo Mundo is? EXTREMELY desperately. True fact.)

Speaking of money, I would pay piles o pesos to get my mitts on one of these babies:
In my imagination, these are the only places to sit in Argentina. While in Argentina, one may only take a load off in a brand new Branca Brand director's chair, preferably whilst lighting the cigarette of the radient-yet-sullen Argentine brunette who is sitting across from you. Of course, she only stops by momentarily to rest her feet and share a smoke, a fernet and a wry smile before flitting off to join her amigos at the book reading/political rally/orgy happening in her commune at University. This is how I picture Argentina. Please do not correct me if I am wrong.

There are also Fernet ads everywhere. I know this because it is a fact. 

We've seen this one before. It's hella snazzy and sort of romantic in a weird way. But there are more. Oh yes.

I think I would understand this one if I smoked pot or went to Burning Man or something. This is like some weird Fernet-meets-David Copperfield shit. Not for me. 

On the other hand:

Sign me up for ^that guy. Clean. Classic. Gorgeous. 

And speaking of gorgeous...

Unico amor is right. Rrrrowr.
Finally, I leave you with this ad. In the grand tradition of my interaction with Argentinian Fernet adverts, I cannot for the life of me figure out what in the fuck is going on here:

It appears to be a bird of some sort. An eagle? A hawk? A raptor? WHAT IS THAT THING!? He is wearing a suit (maybe he has an interview!) and enjoying hisself some Fernets. But he's not just casually drinking a glass of Fernet. No, he appears to be offering someone a hit. Fine, right? But the expression on his... erm.. beak makes it clear that he's not doing it in a friendly "Let's have some bitters and share some stories old chap!" kind of way. No, it's more of a "Oh? You're not interested in finishing this shot? That's fine, just don't mind me while I gently rip out your throat with my talons and regurgitate the pulpy mass of your half-digested larynx to my needy hatchlings" kind of way. 

Most peculiar.

Again, a thousand thanks to Christy for the photographs. May she always travel to places where I can guilt her into providing me with wonderful and easy content. A thousand cheers to Christy! Huzzah!
Filed Under: Senior BLANK Correspondent, How much are you paying for your Fernet, fernet adverts, Argentina loves them some Fernet, Fernets and their migratory patterns, Christy is hella rad, Fernet Foto File

Monday, February 8, 2010

"Fernet Branca, the cause, cure, sustainer and catalyst to so many of my adventures..."

The smartly-written foodie blog NW Vivant took some time recently to compose an ode to this blog's titular beverage. The whole post is worth a read, but here's a snippet:

... Fernet is delicious in a way like coffee becomes delicious. The first time you have it you’re probably just going along with the cool kids. Perhaps, a “friend” plunks a shot before you, one round or a dozen later you love Fernet. You still don’t realize the full on radness of Fernet yet though. After all, it’s just helped you along to a pleasant cheery state. The next morning you might wake up feeling just a tad the worse for wear, you start reviewing the previous evening and swear to not drink that dark crap again. You stumble out of bed and that self-same “friend” greets you with, you guessed it, a shot or Fernet.

Your gag reflex starts to kick in as the previous evening flashes before your eyes. ‘Trust me,’ you’re told. Shuddering, you step up to the plate and miracle of miracles, about ten seconds later all is much better and you feel ready to start all over again. You think to yourself, well that’s pretty effin’ cool. It fixes the problem it causes.
Indeed not only does it fix the problem it causes, but it causes (and subsequently remedies) several problems that you didn't even know existed. Usually before you're aware of them at all.

Dark Magic is right, my friends.

Filed Under: Fancy Fernet Free Verse, Fellow Travelers, Goddamn Google Alerts is awesome

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Are You Ready for a Football?

That's right. Not some football. A football.
Don't mind if I do
No, not like that. Like this.
  • Fill a glass with Fernet-Branca
  • Add a spoonful of cream, either whipped or foamed
  • Serve  
This little concoction is called a Football. That's right, not a Fútbol. A football. And why? I have no idea. But it should go well with some chips and dips tomorrow.


(Go Saints.)

Filed under: Fernet cocktails, Posts about Michigan, If you are rooting for Indianapolis you are a communist

Monday, February 1, 2010

You're a real blue flame special, aren't you son?

Young, dumb and full of...



Oh THAT. That looks much more appealing. And apparently, it's being served at the theater/religious experience that is Point Break Live! (Fernetiquette cannot recommend Point Break Live! highly enough, incidentally. Plays about movies about surfing are the source, man.... swear to God.)

For those of you who can't make it out, the Surfer on Acid consists of:
  • Fernet
  • Coconut Rum
  • Pineapple Juice &
  • 100% Pure Adrenaline!
Bodhi tells us: If you want the ultimate, you have to pay the ultimate price. Here the ultimate price is $7.00.

Sent to me by my friend Timmy, who didn't order one because he sucks. Timmy should know that fear causes hesitation, and hesitation will cause your worst fears to come true.
Filed Under: Fernet cocktails, Johnny Utah would be cool if he weren't a Buckeye, Utah get me two, Vaya con Dios brah