We love Fernet-Branca as a digestif for its wacky level of bitterness, but in cocktails, you have to tread lightly with such an intense ingredient. The Toronto, popularized by Jamie Boudreau of the famous Canon in Seattle, is a great example of how a little Fernet-Branca can go a long way in a mixed drink. Just a quarter ounce adds a generous layer of flavor to this simple cocktail that I personally think is pretty perfect for fall weather sipping.
It’s a pretty straightforward construction, but your base whiskey choice is definitely important. The cocktail was reportedly designed to highlight the more subdued nature of your typical Canadian whisky, but feel free to branch out. An American rye, especially the spicier varieties, will add a bit more punch, but if you make it as intended with a Canadian whisky, expect a surprisingly gentle cocktail where the medicinal qualities of the Fernet are subdued and well integrated into the bitters and spirit (a generous splash of simple syrup doesn’t hurt, either). Be sure to drink it with a sweater on for full effect.
2 oz. Canadian whisky
¼ oz. Fernet Branca
¼ oz. simple syrup (can’t go wrong with Pratt Standard)
2 dashes Angostura bitters
Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass over ice and stir until well-chilled. Strain into a rocks glass over a large ice cube and garnish however you damn well like.
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- Review: Fernet-Branca and Branca Menta
- Review: California Fernet
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