Fernet-Branca, the famous Italian amaro, conquers the USA

November 28, 2016

Fernet-Branca is probably one of the most famous brands of “amaro” in Italy: the bitter herbal liqueur was invented in Milan in 1845 and immediately gained popularity, which resulted in the foundation of the Fratelli Branca distillery.

Characterized by a typical, intense bitter flavor, Fernet-Branca has always been produced following the original recipe – which, in a classic Italian fashion – that has been handed down from generation to generation.

Fernet-Branca is composed of 27 different herbs plus some special ingredients – of course, the complete recipe is a secret, and is only known to Niccolò Branca, Fernet-Branca current president. He still personally measures out the aromatics during the production process.

Outside Italy, and in the United States in particular, Fernet-Branca is very popular among discerning mixologists, unlike the very popular Jegermeister. Anyway, the Italian tradition of Fernet was recently transported to America thanks to the work of author Brad Thomas Parsons, a James Beard Award-winning writer who recently published a book title “Amaro: The Spirited World Of Bittersweet, Herbal Liqueurs”.

"When I was in Italy researching the book and interviewing producers, I would go into stores, [and] they would have walls, floor to ceiling, of all these different amaro that I couldn't get in the States," he says. "In Italy ... it's your grandpa and your father's shot". Italians may just drink it at the end of the meal. Americans are using it creatively, in cocktails.

It will be interesting to discover if Americans will love the unique flavor of Fernet-Branca, and – if they do – how they will mix it to create some new and interesting cocktail. Until then, we can only suggest you to sip an amaro at the end of your meal, during your fabulous luxury holiday in Italy. Our villas for rent are waiting to become the accommodation of your dreams.

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