During my year of drinking adventurously, we tried Fernet-Branca, which is a bitter liqueur. It is often served as a digestive or a common drink is Fernet mixed with coke or ginger beer. I was not a fan. I thought for sure I had just wasted money on a bottle that was going to collect dust on my shelf for eternity.
While doing research for Irish whiskey cocktails, one caught my eye, the Southside Smash from the Jameson website. It called for lime juice, whiskey, mint… so far so good… and Fernet. I like all of the other ingredients in there so I think I need to give it a try. I dialed back the Fernet to almost half what the recipe called for. This allowed all the flavors to come through and not be bullied out by the Fernet.
The two weeks before my recent Concoct event at Shelby Farms, I had two different taste testing evenings to fine tune my recipes and finalize the menu. The Southside Smash was one that gave people a new flavor element within the comfort of more familiar flavors. Everyone did a straw taste of Fernet, one woman really liked it, and no one was repelled by it. So, here’s to trying new things!
This second Concoct event was so much fun. The people were amazing, the energy of the group was congenial, and there were some great conversations. A handful of us went for dinner afterward to keep the party going.
For your next Irish Party, give the Southside Smash a try.
1 ½ ounces Irish whisky
¼ – ½ ounce Fernet-Branca
¾ ounce fresh squeezed lime juice
¾ ounce simple syrup*
4-6 mint leaves
Combine ingredients into a shaker, add ice and shake vigorously for 10 seconds.
Strain into an ice-filled rocks glass.
Garnish with a mint sprig.
*Simple Syrup is equal parts sugar and water. Bring to a boil and stir to dissolve. Cool to room temperature and store in the fridge for up to two weeks.
Alright, run along now and enjoy this spring! Slainte!