Sunday, October 4, 2009


3/4 oz Bourbon (George T. Stagg)
1/2 oz Fernet Branca
1/2 oz Cherry Brandy (Cherry Heering)
1/2 oz Lime Juice
1/2 oz Falernum or Simple Syrup (Velvet Falernum)

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.

During the Bourbon Thursday Drink Night on Mixoloseum, someone posted a link to an older Gary Regan column in SfGate that revolved around an intriguing whiskey drink called the Porteño. The Porteño was created by Murray Stenson of the Zig Zag Cafe in Seattle, and pays respect to the great appreciation of Fernet Branca in Argentina. While Argentinians often enjoy their Fernet with Coca Cola, this cocktail mixes the liqueur with lime and cherry flavors. The identity of the cherry brandy was not specified in the recipe; while we used Cherry Heering, Rothman and Winter Orchard Cherry or perhaps even a Kirschwasser would function well. The Kirschwasser would certainly make for a much drier drink and would rely more heavily on the falernum for the drink's sweetness (the simple syrup was recommended if store bought or homemade falernum was not available).
The next night, I made a pair of Porteños after dinner. On the sip, the lime followed into the Fernet Branca flavors with the falernum spices lingering at the end of the swallow. The cherry and Bourbon notes were detectable but seemed to function more to add richness to the drink. As we drank the Porteño, whether through taste acclimation or warming, the balance shifted towards greater Fernet dominance.

1 comment:

Craig said...

This was nice (I subbed lemon juice because I was out of limes, plus I like the bourbon-lemon combo). I like the idea of using frenet as an ingredient where it's muted, and this did the trick. Heering and Falermum are both pretty subtle in cocktails, and I too found that they added some backbone but didn't stand out.

So I had some 100% cranberry juice that was not getting drunk, so I decided to use it as a base for something like a grenadine (crandine?) and plan on using it in a Ward 8. I mean, in case you were wondering....