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This is week 21 of our tour-de-booze.  I really thought 21 should have been the kamikaze, the Irish Car Bomb, or buttershots.  Something you drank when you were 21 and this was a reminder why you never did it again!  This week, though, was the grown up version of something I never need to repeat, but now I have this bottle in my cabinet.  I’ll save it for the date I really want to make never call again.  This shit was terrible.

Our guide

Our guide

I can appreciate it has some value, some interesting herbal notes; but overall, this was a waste of $30.  Fernet-Branca is following up on last week’s exploration of bitters.  This is a bitter liqueur that is most commonly consumed on it’s own or with coke or gingerbeer.  It has a very herbal smell at first.  Second whiff, it’s more medicinal; reminiscent of cough syrup.  It looks like coke-a-cola and once you taste it, you understand the pairing.  It has very similar herbal elements as coke.

Not having ever been a huge fan of the coke cocktails, I skipped that route.  I tried the fernet on it’s own, just to see how bitter this bitter really was.  The taste is awful. It really is quite bitter.  The weird thing was, it made my mouth tingle when I tried it alone.  Never had that effect when I drank it mixed.

Per the norm, I consulted google to see what the world had to offer in the way of cocktails.  I started with The Late Night Reviver Cocktail.  This cocktail had all of my favorite elements lime, ginger, and gin, so I was off to a good start.  Even mixed, the strong herbal notes come through, but just didn’t work for me.  As I got toward the bottom of the drink, the herbal notes mellowed and reminded me of Pimm’s.   This made me wonder if I could use this as I would Pimm’s.

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The answer is a resounding NO.  I muddled cucumber and orange, added 1/2 ounce of fernet, and topped with gingerbeer.  It had all the flavors of a weak coke-a-cola.  I couldn’t even drink it.  Sad.  What a waste of a good gingerbeer.  Pimm’s being one of my favorite summer libations, I’ll revisit this soon, and properly.  Looking back, I was a little surprised I’ve not covered this one before.

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Alright, enough being bitter about bitter liqueur.  Be sure to see how Meg did this week.  I’m sure the only thing she may be bitter about is her vacation being over.

Happy Tuesday-  Drink up!

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