Finding Fernet

Also for Portland Monthly’s July issue, I rounded up Portland’s best fernet cocktails

                                                          Fernet Branca

For the uninitiated, fernet is a liqueur whose flavor one SF Weekly piece described, accurately, as “like black licorice–flavored Listerine.” It’s an acquired taste, to be sure, but something of a cult classic: fernet is known as “the bartender’s drink” (the fastest way to earn your barkeep’s respect is to order a shot); it’s inexplicably really popular in San Francisco; and, despite being Italian in provenance, it’s the national drink of Argentina. I, personally, love it. 

Fernet is typically drunk straight, as a digestif, but I found that its bitter, herbal profile added a subtle complexity to these four local cocktails.