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Fernet Branca Substitutes

Fernet Branca is a popular bitter liqueur that originated in Italy. It is made from a blend of over 40 herbs and spices, including myrrh, chamomile, saffron, and aloe.

fernet branca on the rocks next to a bottle of fernet branca

While it is a staple ingredient in many cocktails, it can be difficult to find in some areas. Fortunately, there are several substitutes available that can be used in place of Fernet Branca.

Understanding Fernet Branca is essential when looking for substitutes. It has a strong, bitter taste that is often described as medicinal. It is also high in alcohol content, with a proof of 78. Popular Fernet Branca Substitutes include other Fernets like Fernet Stock from Czechia and Fernet Luxardo.

There are also more herbal liqueurs that can be used as a substitute. Worcestershire sauce can be used as a great substitute for Fernet Branca in savory dishes. It is a British variety of fermented mixture, also known as Salsa inglesa in Spanish.

Key Takeaways

  • Fernet Branca is a popular bitter liqueur made from a blend of over 40 herbs and spices.
  • Other Fernets like Fernet Stock and Fernet Luxardo can be used as substitutes for Fernet Branca.
  • Worcestershire sauce is a great substitute for Fernet Branca in savory dishes.

Understanding Fernet Branca

Fernet Branca is an Italian bitter liqueur that has been around since the mid-19th century.

close up of label on two bottles of fernet branca

It is made from a combination of 27 herbs and spices, which are blended together to create a unique flavor profile. The exact recipe for Fernet Branca is a closely guarded secret, but some of the herbs and spices used in its production include myrrh, saffron, chamomile, and cardamom.

Fernet Branca is known for its intense bitterness, which is balanced by a subtle sweetness and an aromatic, minty flavor. It has a distinctively bitter flavor that is often described as medicinal, and it is often used as a digestif after meals.

One of the most popular ways to drink Fernet Branca is to mix it with cola, which helps to mellow out the bitterness and bring out the sweetness. Another popular way to enjoy Fernet Branca is to mix it with ginger beer, which complements the herbal and spicy notes of the liqueur.

See also  12 Must-Try Fernet Branca Cocktails

Fernet Branca is often compared to other bitter herbal liqueurs, such as Amaro and Campari. However, Fernet Branca is generally considered to be more intense and complex than these other liqueurs, thanks to its unique blend of herbs and spices.

Popular Fernet Branca Substitutes

Fernet Branca is a bitter, aromatic spirit that is commonly used as a digestif or in cocktails. However, if you don’t have Fernet Branca on hand, there are several substitutes available that can be used instead.

bottle of fernet branca with a glass of ice and a can of coca cola

Here are some of the most popular Fernet Branca substitutes:

Fernet-Vallet

Fernet-Vallet is a Mexican spirit that is made from a blend of 20 different herbs and spices, including chamomile, cinnamon, and peppermint. It has a similar flavor profile to Fernet Branca, with a strong herbal taste and a bitter finish.

Cynar

Cynar is an Italian bitter liqueur that is made from artichokes and 13 other herbs and spices. It has a slightly sweeter taste than Fernet Branca, but still has a bitter finish. It is often used in cocktails as a substitute for Fernet Branca.

Luxardo Fernet

Luxardo Fernet is an Italian spirit that is made from a blend of 27 different herbs and spices, including saffron, myrrh, and gentian. It has a similar flavor profile to Fernet Branca, with a strong herbal taste and a bitter finish.

Unicum

Unicum is a Hungarian bitter liqueur that is made from a secret blend of over 40 herbs and spices. It has a unique flavor profile that is both bitter and sweet, with notes of cinnamon, clove, and orange peel. It can be used as a substitute for Fernet Branca in cocktails.

Letherbee Fernet

Letherbee Fernet is an American spirit that is made from a blend of 18 different herbs and spices, including ginger, cardamom, and chamomile. It has a similar flavor profile to Fernet Branca, with a strong herbal taste and a bitter finish.

See also  12 Must-Try Fernet Branca Cocktails

Fernet Francisco

Fernet Francisco is an American spirit that is made from a blend of 12 different herbs and spices, including ginger, mint, and bay leaf. It has a similar flavor profile to Fernet Branca, with a strong herbal taste and a bitter finish.

Fernet Stock

Fernet Stock is a Czech spirit that is made from a blend of 14 different herbs and spices, including chamomile, cinnamon, and saffron. It has a similar flavor profile to Fernet Branca, with a strong herbal taste and a bitter finish.

Bottles of Stock Fernet with glass of ice - Fernet Branca Substitutes

Fernet Luxardo

Fernet Luxardo is an Italian spirit that is made from a blend of 27 different herbs and spices, including saffron, myrrh, and gentian. It has a similar flavor profile to Fernet Branca, with a strong herbal taste and a bitter finish.

Unicum Zwack

Unicum Zwack is a Hungarian spirit that is made from a secret blend of over 40 herbs and spices. It has a similar flavor profile to Unicum, with a unique taste that is both bitter and sweet. It can be used as a substitute for Fernet Branca in cocktails.

Fernet Leopold

Fernet Leopold is an American spirit that is made from a blend of 22 different herbs and spices, including chamomile, cinnamon, and cardamom. It has a similar flavor profile to Fernet Branca, with a strong herbal taste and a bitter finish.

Contratto Fernet

Contratto Fernet is an Italian spirit that is made from a blend of 24 different herbs and spices, including chamomile, cinnamon, and gentian. It has a similar flavor profile to Fernet Branca, with a strong herbal taste and a bitter finish.

Original Fernet Vittone

Original Fernet Vittone is an Italian spirit that is made from a blend of 27 different herbs and spices, including saffron, myrrh, and gentian. It has a similar flavor profile to Fernet Branca, with a strong herbal taste and a bitter finish.

Amaro Braulio

Amaro Braulio is an Italian bitter liqueur that is made from a blend of 13 different herbs and spices, including gentian, juniper, and wormwood. It has a similar flavor profile to Fernet Branca, with a strong herbal taste and a bitter finish.

See also  12 Must-Try Fernet Branca Cocktails

Amaro Montenegro

Amaro Montenegro is an Italian bitter liqueur that is made from a blend of 40 different herbs and spices, including orange peel, coriander, and cinnamon. It has a sweeter taste than Fernet Branca, but still has a bitter finish. It is often used as a substitute for Fernet Branca in cocktails.

Fernet in Cocktails

Fernet Branca is a popular ingredient in many cocktails due to its unique flavor profile. It is often used as a bittering agent and pairs well with other spirits such as gin, whiskey, and rum. Here are a few cocktails that feature Fernet Branca:

fernet branca spritz with red bitter, dry white wine, soda, zest and ice.
  • Manhattan: Fernet Branca can be used in place of or in addition to the traditional sweet vermouth in a Manhattan cocktail. This creates a more complex and bitter flavor profile that pairs well with the spiciness of rye whiskey.
  • Fernet Con Coca: This is a simple cocktail that is popular in Argentina and Uruguay. It consists of Fernet Branca mixed with Coca-Cola and served over ice. The sweetness of the cola helps to balance out the bitterness of the Fernet.
  • Hanky Panky: This classic cocktail was invented by Ada Coleman, head bartender at the Savoy Hotel in London in the early 1900s. It consists of gin, sweet vermouth, and Fernet Branca. The Fernet adds a spicy, herbal note to the cocktail.
  • Toronto: This cocktail is similar to a Manhattan but uses Canadian whiskey instead of rye. It also includes Fernet Branca, which adds a bitter and herbal note to the drink.
  • Bartender’s Handshake: This is a popular drink among bartenders and industry professionals. It typically consists of Fernet Branca and a shot of espresso. The bitterness of the Fernet pairs well with the strong coffee flavor of the espresso.
Please drink responsibly, be fully accountable with your alcohol consumption, and show others respect.

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Paul Kushner

Written by Paul Kushner

Founder and CEO of MyBartender. Graduated from Penn State University. He always had a deep interest in the restaurant and bar industry. His restaurant experience began in 1997 at the age of 14 as a bus boy. By the time he turned 17 he was serving tables, and by 19 he was bartending/bar managing 6-7 nights a week.

In 2012, after a decade and a half of learning all facets of the industry, Paul opened his first restaurant/bar. In 2015, a second location followed, the latter being featured on The Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.

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