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Great Branca Bar Pops Up in Art Nouveau Splendor


Oriana Leckert | February 21, 2018
Bringing unique apothecary-style cocktails inspired by Fernet-Branca to a city near you

Are you ready to get your vintage drink fix? Over the next several months, the Great Branca Bar will be making its way across the country, stopping in four cities and featuring custom apothecary-style cocktails specially devised for each, all of which are inspired by the iconic herbal flavors of Fernet-Branca.

The timeless Italian liqueur is composed of 27 unique ingredients, many of which will be on display in apothecary jars at the Great Branca Bar. How all of these ingredients come together for the signature Fernet-Branca taste is a family secret, but the Great Branca Bar’s featured cocktails all highlight this storied spirit. The concoctions demonstrate how the Italian amaro can be combined with other flavors to create unique drinks. All the senses will be engaged as the herbaceous Fernet-Branca is paired with various other spirits and mixers to create unexpected flavor experiences.

Bitters could be considered alcohol’s best friend, and the pleasantly bitter Fernet-Branca is the life of the party, blending with a noticeable presence into all of the counterparts in each drink at this pop-up installation.

The bar is designed to evoke the Art Nouveau period of the Roaring Twenties, and its décor features a variety of vintage Fernet-Branca advertisements. Their duotone designs nod to the vibrantly colored entertainment posters of the 1960s, exuding a youthful energy.

The Great Branca Bar will be moving across the nation, starting in New York in February, then heading to Chicago in March, Boston in May, Los Angeles in June, and back to New York in November. Be sure to experience this presentation of Italy’s finest when it’s in your town, and in the meantime, enjoy your own versions of these vintage apothecary cocktails from the comfort of your own home.

The Toronto

1/4 part Fernet-Branca
1 1/2 part Templeton rye
1/4 part simple syrup
dash of bitters

Stir, serve on the rocks


1 part Fernet-Branca
1 1/2 parts Malfy gin
1 1/2 parts Carpano Antica Formula vermouth

Stir, serve up

Fernet & Cola

1 1/2 parts Fernet-Branca
6–8 parts Mole Cola (or any cola you can find)

Build over ice, serve in a highball

Fernet Me Not

1 part Fernet-Branca
1 part tequila
1/2 part lime juice
3–4 parts Fever Tree ginger beer

Shake, strain, and top with a ginger beer highball


1/2 part Fernet-Branca
2 parts rum
3/4 part simple syrup
1/2 part lime juice

Shake, serve up


To try more unique cocktails, head to Taste | Fernet-Branca

All images courtesy of KLG PR

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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