Attempting Chartreuse, Part Deux: Eva Perón
Hot Bartender Kevin let slip during our conversation that bitter spirits are sort of the secret password to the world of professional bartendering. This goes far beyond pounding a shift shot of ouzo or Jäger before work.
For bartenders - the people whose livelihood depend on these spirits - each unique amaro, digestif, and aperitif is like a secret truly known only to them. They have the time and patience to sit with, analyze, and appreciate the time, thought, and labor that goes into these spirits.
For example, Fernet, a bitter Italian spirit involving myrrh, saffron, cardamom, and so many other herbs and spices, is known to some as The Bartender's Handshake. The story goes that only the most worldly motherfuckers, those who can sit down and truly get Fernet, ever order it. However, the bartender - a worldly motherfucker her or himself - will innately get this and serve a small glass of it to the patron on the house, before pouring a second. Bartender and patron, both worldly motherfuckers, will then silently bond over the bitter spirit and bask in its glow.
Personally, I would prefer an actual handshake because I don't like bitter spirits on their own. They make me gag. (And I never gag.) So, thus, I am not a worldly motherfucker actual world travel be damned. I can't shake on Fernet and I certainly can't shake on Chartreuse.
Instead, I get The Bartender's Finger.
So in our previous entry about Chartreuse, Hot Bartender Kevin was able to sway me with the legendary cocktail, The Last Word.
After that, he wanted to take a quick break and see if I would love one of his other favorite bitter spirits, Fernet.
By itself it is, to me, a legit form of Capital Punishment. Mixed into this drink it is sweet, complex, and spicy with the lime and ginger tempering the bitterness. No being abused in the mouth with a fistful of saffron and spice.
The drink gets its name due to Fernet being popular in two places in the Americas. The first is San Francisco, where the trend is to drink it straight. Argentina is the second, where Fernet is often mixed with coke.
Also, yes, this post title is misleading. There is no Chartreuse here. You have been duped. This drink is just part of the overall Chartreuse story. Actual Chartreuse returns soon. Toodles!
What You'll Need:
- 1 oz. Fernet Branca
- 1 oz. sweet vermouth
- 1 oz. ginger liqueur
- 1 oz. fresh lime juice
- ginger beer
- lime wheel for garnish (optional)
What You'll Do:
Combine the Fernet Branca, sweet vermouth, ginger liqueur, and lime juice in an ice-filled shaker. Shake it like a Polaroid picture. Pour into an ice-filled Collins glass and top with ginger beer. Garnish with lime wheel if using. Drink it and sing the hits from Evita.