Thursday, March 3, 2011

fernet fix

2 oz Fernet Branca
3/4 oz Pineapple Syrup
1/2 oz Lime Juice

Shake with ice and strain into a rocks glass filled with crushed ice. Dress the top with berries in season, and add a straw.

For Mixoloseum's Thursday Drink Night last week, the theme was "Kaiser Penguin." No, the theme was not to use Gilka Kümmel, but to make drinks that were in the spirit of Rick Stutz, author of the Kaiser Penguin blog. While Rick is a fan of ornate garnishes, J. Wray & Nephew Rum, and green Chartreuse, the aspect I latched on to was his love of Fernet Branca as shown in his Fernet Old Fashioned post. I decided to take it old school and modify the classic Brandy Fix into something Rick would love to have served to him. What is a Fix? According to Embury, Fixes are pretty much the same as Daisies (think: the Gin Daisy or the Ward 8); they are both Sours with a flavored syrup or liqueur instead of sugar or simple syrup as the sweetener. Although there are exceptions in the older literature, Fixes generally call for pineapple syrup and Daisies for raspberry syrup or grenadine. Given how well Fernet Branca pairs with lime and pineapple in drinks like the Fernet Buck and the Bartender on Acid, respectively, the Fernet Fix seemed like a good direction to take.
While berries were not in season, I tried my best to garnish lavishly with what I had on hand -- orange slices and a Luxardo cherry. Moreover, I wish that I had a sprig of mint to add to drink. The garnish played heavily in the aroma which was full of fruit notes. The fruit notes continued on in the sip with pineapple and lime flavors being supplemented with hints of Fernet's herbalness. The real wave of herbal flavor came in the swallow with Fernet's menthol playing a large role; however, whether it was the pineapple syrup or the melting ice, the Fernet Branca was somewhat tamed in this drink and was not the beast it can be in many drinks.

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