The Week (US)

Spirits: The new fernets


“For decades, the category of fernet has been synonymous with Fernet-Branca,” said Brad Thomas Parsons in the online magazine Punch. But the 176-year-old Milan-based company doesn’t have a monopoly on the bracing amaro. There have been fernets made in Switzerlan­d, the Czech Republic, and Mexico, and since 2011, when the first postProhib­ition U.S. fernet debuted, “the category has been exploding.”

Arcane Fernet ($39.50). Twenty-seven botanicals meet in this dark fernet from Brooklyn. It combines peppermint, “the complex herbal sweetness of a small-batch root beer,” and “a delicately bitter finish.”

Rhine Hall Fernet Lola ($45). This Chicago fernet has a fruit-brandy base and “comes on strong” before it “eases into a mellow richness.” Geijer Spirits California Fernet ($36.50). A good “gateway” fernet, this “mildly bitter” blend from San Francisco offers “notes of cinnamon and warm baking spices.”

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