Summer is definitely cocktail time for us. We don't tend to drink so many cocktails in the fall and winter; beer and wine are more common then. But summer is all cocktails, and every summer we look for something new to add to our repertoire (and our liquor cabinet). This summer it is definitely St. Germain elderflower liqueur (more on that soon!) and we are also eyeing Fernet Branca: a new-to-us bitter digestif. Here is perhaps the best way to get introduced to it: a summer cocktail of Fernet Branca mixed with an old favorite: Pimm's. Fernet Branca is an Italian brand of a bitter digestif made from a mix of herbs and aromatic spices. It's very popular in Argentina, where it's most often mixed with Coke. It's also become increasingly popular on the general upswing in popularity of digestifs, bitters, and other aromatic spirits.
This recipe plays up its herbal tones with a mixer of Pimm's No. 1 Cup, that classic English drink. It's often mixed with ginger ale or lemon soda, and this recipe also calls for ginger ale. All the herbaceousness gets a lift from lemon, mint, and cucumber. Sounds unbelievably refreshing! Ready for a sip of this after a long, hot day of gardening?
• More on Pimm's Cup
Have you ever tried Fernet Branca? Do you like it?
2 parts Pimm's No. 1
1 part Fernet Branca
3 parts ginger ale
Garnish: cucumber slice
Combine a slice of cucumber, lemon, and mint into a rocks glass. Muddle the ingredients using a bar spoon or muddler. Add ice. Pour in Pimms No. 1, then ginger ale and stir. Top with Fernet Branca and garnish with a cucumber slice.
Related: Summer Cocktails! The Full Roundup
(Image: The Baddish Group)