thunderdome.pngSeveral years ago, Fernet Branca, the inky Italian liqueur that's been around since 1845, became an obsession among San Francisco bartenders. Now, the bitter digestif, with its forceful notes of cinnamon, myrrh and mint, is "ubiquitous," points out Adam Schmidt, barman at cozy Greenpoint hangout Manhattan Inn. "But I think people are drawn to it for its unique flavor: nothing else tastes like Fernet Branca."

Its distinctive notes, often savored in shot form among industry folk, also works its magic in cocktails. For the Thunderdome, what Schmidt deems "a new spin on the Old-Fashioned," he combines Fernet Branca with spicy Rittenhouse rye and a rich maple syrup, finished off with a few dashes of Angostura bitters.

This soothing winter libation is exactly what you want to settle in with, listening to tunes played on the back room's hypnotic piano.

 
The Thunderdome

1 oz. Fernet Branca
1 oz. Rittenhouse Rye
ΒΌ oz. maple syrup
2 dashes Angostura Bitters

 Build ingredients in glass; add fresh ice and stir. Garnish with orange peel.


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