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


  1. If it's anything like a Cuba Libre or Mandeville, it would benefit greatly from Mexican/Brazilian sugar coke instead of the high fructose stuff. Sugar coke is crisper, more refreshing and dignified.

    I have never had Fernet and Coke, but I have had Fernet and Moxie -- the gentian root in Moxie complements Fernet rather well! Idea came from Stevi at the TwoAtTheMost blog.

  2. Oooh! I didn't even consider that, but I bet that's entirely true. And we can get Mexican Coke around here without much trouble at all.

    Hmmmm. I think this calls for a follow-up Fernet con Coca night.

  3. Mexican Coke or otherwise, Coke is murder and I cannot advocate for its use.

    Don't drink Coca-Cola!

  4. Where do you find fernet in the us?