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25 Must-Try Fall & Holiday Fernet-Branca Cocktail Recipes

Libations

Oriana Leckert | November 6, 2018
From eggnog to pumpkin to cinnamon, a collection of delightfully flavored cocktails perfect for the season.

Few liqueurs are as seasonally appropriate as Fernet-Branca, so we’ve rounded up 25 of our favorite cocktail recipes that are perfect for fall and winter. You’ll find rich cranberry flavors, a hint of citrus, a splash of apple, notes of ginger and cinnamon, and plenty more seasonal aromas and flavors to delight your senses.

So whether you’re in search of the perfect aperitif or a great-tasting cocktail to enjoy with friends and family while watching a glorious autumn sunset, we’re sure one of these will be perfect for the occasion.

Fernet-Branca Fizz

Ingredients:

  • 2 parts Fernet-Branca
  • 1 cup fresh-squeezed blood orange juice
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 dashes grated blood orange peel
  • 3 dashes ginger
  • 3 dashes orange bitters
  • 1 egg white
  • ½ part lemon juice

How to make it:

To make the syrup

Warm the fresh-squeezed blood orange juice in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add sugar, grated orange peel, and ginger. Stir occasionally until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and strain to remove the orange peel. Refrigerate until cool.

To make the cocktail

Combine Fernet-Branca, blood orange syrup, orange bitters, egg white, and lemon juice in a shaker with ice. Shake well and strain into a chilled glass over ice. Garnish with a mint sprig and lemon wedge.

Riveting Punch

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ parts Fernet-Branca
  • 2 parts blush wine
  • ½ part elderflower liqueur
  • ¼ part raspberry liqueur
  • 1 part club soda

How to make it:

Combine ingredients in a wine glass. Add ice and swizzle gently. Garnish with a grapefruit slice.

Eggnog Bliss

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ parts Fernet-Branca
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 dash cream of tartar
  • 1 cup fine sugar
  • 1 dash ground cinnamon
  • 1 dash mace
  • 1 dash allspice
  • 1 pinch ground cloves
  • 4 parts aged rum
  • ½ part brandy
  • 2 parts warm milk (whole milk preferred)

How to make it:

To make the egg batter

Separate the egg yolks from the whites; set yolks aside in a separate bowl. Combine egg whites with cream of tartar and mix until peaks are formed. In a separate bowl, combine sugar, cinnamon, mace, allspice, and ground cloves. Mix well. In another bowl, beat egg yolks with ½ part aged rum. Gradually add the sugar mixture, folding into the yolk and rum. Carefully fold in the egg white mixture. Use immediately or refrigerate overnight.

To make the cocktail

Add 2 parts egg batter to a warmed mug. Fold in the Fernet-Branca and brandy. Gently stir in warm milk. Garnish with freshly grated nutmeg.

Coffee Catharsis

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ parts Fernet-Branca
  • ¾ part cold-brew coffee
  • ½ part simple syrup
  • 1 part heavy cream

How to make it:

Chill ingredients. Combine cold-brew coffee, half the simple syrup, and three dashes of heavy cream in a shaker. Shake well, then pour into a rocks glass over ice. Float the Fernet-Branca over the coffee mixture. Whip together the remaining heavy cream and simple syrup. Float the cream mixture on top and garnish with grated nutmeg.

The Perfect Pear

Ingredients:

  • 1 part Fernet-Branca
  • 1 pear, sliced thick
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 4 whole cloves
  • ¼ cup + 1 dash sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 parts rum
  • ½ part fresh-squeezed lemon juice

How to make it:

To make the pear syrup

Set aside two pear slices for garnish. Put the remaining pear, cinnamon sticks, and cloves in a skillet over medium heat. Toast pear slices on both sides (about 3 minutes per side, or until they turn golden brown). Sprinkle ¼ cup white sugar over the pear slices and heat until the sugar begins to caramelize. Add water and bring to a simmer; stir until sugar is dissolved. Simmer for about 5 more minutes, until liquid is reduced by half. Strain the syrup into a glass jar and set aside until cooled.

To make the cocktail

Brûlée the pear slices by sprinkling them with the remaining sugar and then using a torch to melt the sugar until it’s bubbly and golden in color. Cool slightly. Add the pear syrup, rum, Fernet-Branca, and lemon juice to a shaker with ice. Shake vigorously, then strain the mixture into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a pear slice.

Ginger-Lime Twist

Ingredients:

  • 1 part Fernet-Branca
  • ½ part fresh-squeezed lime juice
  • ginger beer

How to make it:

Mix Fernet-Branca and lime juice in a shaker. Strain into a chilled glass over ice and top with ginger beer. Garnish with a lime wedge.

Cherry-Chocolate Delight

Ingredients:

  • 1 part Fernet-Branca
  • 1 part chocolate liqueur
  • 1 part cherry liqueur
  • 1 ½ parts white brandy
  • ¾ parts heavy cream

How to make it:

Combine all ingredients in a shaker and shake vigorously. Pour into a cocktail glass and garnish with a dash of nutmeg.

Pumpkin-Pear Pleasantries

Ingredients:

  • 1 part Fernet-Branca
  • 1 part sugar
  • 1 part water
  • 1 or 2 pears, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 1 dash pumpkin pie spice blend
  • bourbon
  • ¼ part fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • seltzer (optional)

How to make it:

To make the pear syrup

Add 1 part sugar and 1 part water to a saucepan over medium heat. Warm and stir until sugar is dissolved. Cool to room temperature. Add chopped pears and mash. Strain mixture through a tea cloth, squeezing the cloth to extract all juice.

To make the pumpkin-pie-spiced bourbon

Add a dash of pumpkin pie spice blend to a mason jar and fill with bourbon. Let sit overnight. Strain through a coffee filter to remove spices.

To make the cocktail:

Combine Fernet-Branca, pumpkin-pie-spiced bourbon, pear syrup, and lemon juice in a shaker with ice. Shake gently but thoroughly. Strain into a cocktail glass and top with seltzer if desired.

Eggnog Twist

Ingredients:

  • 1 part Fernet-Branca
  • 2 parts bourbon
  • 3 parts milk (whole milk preferred)
  • 2 dashes maple syrup
  • 1 large egg

How to make it:

Combine all ingredients in a shaker and shake vigorously. Add ice and shake again until chilled. Strain into a chilled rocks glass and garnish with freshly grated nutmeg.

Ale House Rocks

Ingredients:

  • 1 part Fernet-Branca
  • ½ part fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • 2–3 dashes orange bitters
  • ginger ale

How to make it:

Mix Fernet-Branca, lemon juice, and orange bitters in a shaker with ice. Strain into a chilled highball glass and top with ginger ale.

Creamy Fernet Float

Ingredients:

  • 1 part Fernet-Branca
  • ¾ part dark rum
  • 1 scoop vanilla or coffee-flavored ice cream
  • ginger beer

How to make it:

Add Fernet-Branca and rum to a chilled rocks glass. Carefully add a scoop of ice cream and gently top off with ginger beer.

Fernet Espresso

Ingredients:

  • ¾ part Fernet-Branca
  • ½ part espresso
  • 2 dashes orange bitters
  • 1 dash simple syrup
  • half-and-half

How to make it:

Combine Fernet-Branca, espresso, orange bitters, and simple syrup in a shaker. Strain into a cocktail glass. Top with half-and-half and garnish with mint leaves.

Cinnamon Smash

Ingredients:

  • ¾ part Fernet-Branca
  • 1 part water
  • 3 parts white sugar
  • 1 part brown sugar
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • lemon chunks
  • mint leaves
  • 2 parts rye
  • ½ part ginger liqueur

How to make it:

To make cinnamon syrup

Boil water. Add white and brown sugar and stir until sugars are dissolved. Add two cinnamon sticks and simmer for five minutes. Remove from heat and refrigerate.

To make the cocktail

Muddle syrup, lemon, and four mint leaves in a shaker. Add ice, Fernet-Branca, rye, and ginger liqueur. Shake vigorously. Strain into a rocks glass and garnish with a cinnamon stick and mint leaves.

A Sweet Escape

Ingredients:

How to make it:

Combine all ingredients in a shaker and pour into a chilled cocktail glass filled with ice. Garnish with an orange wedge.

Honey I’m Home

Ingredients:

  • ½ part Fernet-Branca
  • 1 part water
  • 1 part honey
  • 1 ½ parts sloe gin
  • ½ part fresh-squeezed lime juice
  • 2 dashes bitters

How to make it:

To make the honey syrup

Heat water and honey in a saucepan over low to medium heat. Stir until dissolved. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.

To make the cocktail

Combine ½ part honey syrup with Fernet-Branca, sloe gin, lime juice, and bitters in a shaker and shake well. Strain into a coupe glass and garnish with a lime wedge.

Cranberry Crush

Ingredients:

  • ½ part Fernet-Branca
  • 1 part cranberry juice
  • 1 part bitters
  • ¾ part grapefruit juice
  • ¼ part simple syrup
  • 2 parts sparkling wine

How to make it:

Shake all ingredients except sparkling wine in a shaker with ice. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and top with sparkling wine.

The Toronto

Ingredients:

  • ½ part Fernet-Branca
  • 2 parts whiskey
  • ⅓ part gum syrup
  • 2 dashes bitters

How to make it:

Combine ingredients in a shaker with ice and shake well. Strain into a chilled martini glass and garnish with an orange wedge.

Fernetini

Ingredients:

  • ⅓ part Fernet-Branca
  • 1 part vodka
  • 1 dash lemon juice
  • 1 dash simple syrup

How to make it:

Combine all ingredients in a shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously and strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with a lemon twist.

Lemon-Ginger Bliss

Ingredients:

  • ⅓ part Fernet-Branca
  • 1 part vodka
  • ½ part fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • sugar cubes to taste
  • ginger beer

How to make it:

Mix Fernet-Branca, vodka, and lemon juice in a shaker with ice. Dissolve sugar cube(s) in a dash of ginger beer in a rocks glass and add ice. Strain the cocktail from the shaker over the ice and top off with more ginger beer. Garnish with an orange wedge.

Fernet-Style Hot Toddy

Ingredients: 

  • ⅓ part Fernet-Branca
  • 1 part water
  • 1 part honey
  • 3 parts fresh apple cider (unfiltered)
  • ½ part fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 ¾ parts dark rum
  • 2 dashes orange bitters

How to make it: 

Heat 1 part water and 1 part honey in a saucepan over low to medium heat and stir until dissolved. Add apple cider and lemon juice; bring to a simmer. Remove from heat and add Fernet-Branca, dark rum, and orange bitters. Serve in a warmed mug, garnished with cloves and an orange wedge.

The Orchard

Ingredients:

  • ¼ part Fernet-Branca
  • 2 parts apple brandy
  • 1 part sweet vermouth
  • ¼ part cherry liqueur

How to make it:

Mix all ingredients with ice. Pour into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with an apple slice or cherry.

The Orchard, Take II

Ingredients:

  • ¼ part Fernet-Branca
  • ¾ part apple brandy
  • 1 part sweet vermouth
  • ¼ part cherry liqueur
  • 1 part mezcal

How to make it:

Mix all ingredients with ice and strain into a cocktail glass over ice. Garnish with an apple slice.

Ginger Delight

Ingredients:

  • ½ part Fernet-Branca
  • sliced fresh ginger
  • 1 part sugar
  • 1 part water
  • 1 ½ parts rye whiskey
  • ¾ part fresh-squeezed lemon juice

How to make it:

To make the ginger syrup

Simmer sliced fresh ginger with sugar and water in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir carefully until sugar is dissolved. Strain the ginger out and store the syrup in the refrigerator to chill.

To make the cocktail

Mix Fernet-Branca, rye whiskey, lemon juice, and ginger syrup in a shaker with ice. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with a lemon wedge or twist.

Fantastically Figgy

Ingredients:

  • 3 dashes Fernet-Branca
  • fresh figs
  • 3 parts bourbon
  • 2 dashes pure maple syrup
  • 1 dash lemon juice
  • ginger beer

How to make it:

To infuse the bourbon

Fill a mason jar partway with fresh figs and top with bourbon to the rim. Let sit for one week, stirring daily. Strain infused bourbon through a tea strainer into a fresh jar.

To make the cocktail

Combine Fernet-Branca, maple syrup, and lemon juice, and muddle until thoroughly mixed. Add fig-infused bourbon. Pour mixture into a cocktail shaker with ice and shake vigorously. Strain into an old-fashioned glass with ice. Top with a float of ginger beer and garnish with fig halves.

Cider Crush

Ingredients:

  • ¼ part Fernet-Branca
  • mint leaves
  • basil
  • cucumber chunks
  • 1 ½ parts gin
  • 3 parts hard cider
  • 1 dash sugar

How to make it:

Muddle mint leaves, basil, and cucumber chunks in a cocktail glass. Add remaining ingredients and swizzle with ice. Garnish with a mint leaf and cucumber slice.

Whether you prefer a hint of citrus, a minty fresh flavor, or the rich aromas of coffee or eggnog, one of these recipes is sure to help you celebrate the season. Of course, once you’ve tried them, you’ll realize there’s no reason you can’t enjoy these delectable cocktails all year long!

Oriana Leckert is a writer, editor, cultural hipstorian [sic], and the author of Brooklyn Spaces: 50 Hubs of Culture & Creativity. Her writing has appeared on Slate, Atlas Obscura, New York Post, Matador, Hyperallergic, Gothamist, Curbed, Brooklyn Magazine, Brooklyn Based, and more.

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