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DRINK WITH PINKY OUT
Fernet-Branca is for varsity drinkers only. This bitter Italian liqueur is made from a secret recipe, passed down through the generations, and it hits the tongue like a fistful of herbs that have been centrifuged with uranium (the flavor is quite difficult to describe). It's an acquired taste and, while I adore it, I can easily imagine hating it. But since Fernet is enjoying a bit of a comeback, thanks to pretentious cocktail drinkers like me, it's worth adding to your repertoire.
When you tumble down the cocktail rabbit hole, you'll find that many drinks are simply variations on classics. Mixology is formulaic: you can take a cocktail, swap out the spirits or bitters, and come away with a beverage as balanced as the original. Enter the Toronto, essentially a Fernet-laced Old-Fashioned and perhaps the best way to dip your toes into this sublimely bitter amaro (Italian for bitter, because I love redundancy).
Photo courtesy of Jesús Dehesa, copyright Jesús Dehesa (license).
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