In today's SF Chronicle, Gary Regan writes about the Hanky Panky cocktail, created by Ada Coleman, a legendary bartender from the Savoy.
The drink interests me because it contains Fernet-Branca, the incredibly bitter Italian amaro that all the bar/restaurant industry workers in San Francisco drink by the gallon both to cause and cure hangovers. I've really, really tried hard to like Fernet, and am afraid that I'll get kicked out of the city if I don't learn to love it.
So I whipped up this cocktail but was stuck on "two dashes" of Fernet the recipe calls for. Fernet is a bitter liqueur rather than an aromatic bitters, which means (technically) you can drink it on its own. So it doesn't come with the little dasher plug on it like your standard Angostura or Peychaud's bitters. So I used about 1/4 ounce of Fernet in the drink and now the drink tastes like Fernet. Not loving it. I'll use less next time.
I have had one Fernet cocktail that freaks me out how much I love it; served at Beretta and
I believe created by Thad Vogler created by Jon Santer. It's the Fiskadoro, made with Fernet, Grand Marnier, lemon juice, and Tia Maria. There is nothing in the ingredient list that screams "yummy" to me, but somehow the balance of the drink brings out the mint element of Fernet but not so much the dry bitter barky element. Lordy it's delicious.
Now I just made myself thirsty, and I already have a drink in front of me.