There are a dearth of cocktails containing Fernet-Branca. How do I know this? My previous Fernet post is far and away the most popular post I’ve written; at the time of this writing it has 3,829 views while the homepage has 2,226. As such, I feel it behooves me to create some more.
A search on CocktailDB yields 28 results. The easiest entry point for the uninitiated is the Fanciulli (sometimes Franciulli) cocktail. Essentially a Manhattan with Fernet in place of the Angostura bitters, I find myself making this more often than the traditional Manhattan. (My Fanciulli recipe is 2oz rye, 1oz sweet vermouth, 1/4oz Fernet.)
Looking through the rest of CocktailDB’s Fernet cocktail listings, I notice that many of them consist of spirit, sweet vermouth and Fernet. As Fernet is a bit of a bully, I sought to find an spirit that could stand up to it. The answer is unaged white whiskey, aka white dog. With it’s bold flavor, the white dog isn’t overwhelmed and definitely holds its own.
Dog Will Hunt
1.5 oz white dog (House Spirits)
.5 oz Fernet-Branca
.5 oz sweet vermouth (Martini & Rossi)
1 bar spoon 2:1 rich Demerara syrup
Stir with ice, strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with orange peel.
I should note that the white dog I used is 100 proof. If you use a lower proof whiskey, like Woodinville Headlong or Death’s Door, increase to 2oz. Also white dogs vary widely in flavor, perhaps more so than aged whiskeys which are mellowed by the wood. The House Spirits white dog is 100% barley, thus its flavor is unique among unaged whiskeys.