Fernet Old Fashioned

Fernet Old Fashioned

The Fernet Old Fashioned may be the best drink I’ve ever created.

I know what you’re thinking: Every drink with Fernet is Rick’s favorite drink. And though that is harsh and false mostly true, this potion of utter joyment surpasses all others.

Though Fernet is clearly delicious on its own without ice, I wanted a cocktail that would be more approachable, and in my case, a bullet train for consuming more Fernet. For example, mayonnaise is hard to eat in quantity on its own (or rimming a cocktail glass) but if you make a sandwich with mayonnaise and butter on white bread, it goes down like a Mai Tai. (Note: this analogy is flawless.)

Fernet Old Fashioned

  • 2oz Fernet Branca
  • 1/2oz simple syrup
  • 1 dash either Angostura orange or Fee’s whiskey barrel-aged bitters
  • orange peel, for garnish

Stir with ice and strain into a rocks glass. Release those orange oils, squire. Alternately, you could build over ice and stir.

Rick from Kaiser Penguin

The Fernet Challenge

The rules are simple: make the Fernet Old Fashioned. If you don’t like it, I will drink and document any cocktail you choose. Yes, even one made with seafood cheese dip (but no poison! … well, deadly flowers are ok.)

KP Question

  • You either love or hate Fernet. Which is it? And what is your Fernet story? You surely have one.

p.s. Yes, I’ve made Fernet Old Fashioned hard candy and am bringing it to Tales.

34 Responses to “Fernet Old Fashioned”

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34 Comments to “ Fernet Old Fashioned”
  1. Tony HarionNo Gravatar says:

    Killer Garnish!

    I´m not a huge fan of Fernet (yet), but i´m gonna give this one a try.. right now!



  2. KatherineNo Gravatar says:

    Love love love Fernet!!!! Currently going through a fernet and diet coke phase.

  3. Doug WinshipNo Gravatar says:

    This post, like the analogy, is flawless!

    But, while I am currently on an Old Fashioned kick, my knees tremble at the rehab my taste buds would have to endure to recover from two ounces of Fernet!

  4. TiareNo Gravatar says:

    Can`t wait to try this one!

    Last week fernet instantly cured my acute bellypain caused by too many nuts, drinking this old fashioned will sure be good for me.

    When i saw this garnish at liqurious there was no doubt at which blog it belonged.


  5. KevinNo Gravatar says:

    I’m in argentina right now. Work involves pumping out about a two to three dozen Fernet cola’s in a night. I love the stuff but, you do get tired of it eventually. And for having some of the best fernet in the world. They really aren’t very creative with the stuff down here.

  6. Rick, I think it’s time to admit that you have a problem…

  7. Hello I’m a bartender from Buenos Aires Argentina.
    Here the people drinks up a lot of fernet, but in the booring way (Fernet with coca cola).
    I Found your Fernet Old Fashioned recipe, Delicious.
    I’ll put the recipe in the Bar Blackboard tonight.
    I hope you don’t mind.


    Federico Cuco

  8. JackNo Gravatar says:

    Hooray for Fernet! Rick, you asked for good Fernet fun facts / stories… here you go!

    1) As one might gather from a few of the above comments, Fernet is really really popular in South America. It is also really really (relatively) inexpensive there.

    2) My fiancee lived in Uruguay for awhile before we met – because of fun fact #1, Fernet became her favorite drink.

    3) Without prior knowledge of #1 or #2, I got a Fernet and Coke on our first date (4th of July fireworks, then drinks and snacks… in Hartford CT, of all the oddest places). Imagine my surprise and delight at discovering that this esoteric and somewhat spur of the moment drink choice was the most attractive thing I could have possibly done!

    4) Fernet is nigh-impossible to find in our current residence here in Vermont. You have to special order it for $30 a bottle. I love this state, but seriously…

    5) There’s a drink making the blogosphere rounds right now called the Toronto – I think it’s a Boudreau creation – that also involves Fernet.

    6) That drink + this drink + all the nostalgia + upcoming 4th of July = -$30 from my wallet. Thanks for the inspiration, Rick. Seriously. =)

  9. RickNo Gravatar says:


    A hearty cheers to you sir! Loved the stories and am always glad to motivate the purchase of Fernet Branca.

  10. Jay HepburnNo Gravatar says:

    Rick, finally tried this tonight – delicious! The sugar, bitters and zest tame the Fernet just perfectly.

  11. BonzoGalNo Gravatar says:

    I want a dress made out of that garnish. Get peelin’!

  12. […] up in our little corner of the blogosphere knows that the Kaiser Penguin, Rick Stutz, has an unhealthy affinity for Fernet Branca, of storied fame. In a recent Amazon search, I came across a Bill Cosby routine […]

  13. ZuckervatiNo Gravatar says:

    Ok, I can’t be the only one who can’t stand this stuff out of the bottle. Man, you’ve got to dilute it down pretty far before it stops burning.

    That said, we came up with a great cocktail for it one evening:

    – 1oz Fernet Branca
    – 1oz Malibu passion fruit rum
    – 1 can Coke

    Build over ice in a highball glass. Kind of reminds me of Mauby and soda.

  14. […] leave you without a cocktail! I crafted this sly harpy the other night as a riff on my Fernet Old Fashioned which I’ve probably consumed more of than any other potion this year. You know how absinthe […]

  15. buttersNo Gravatar says:

    I have checked out this post time and time again in amusement. I wondered why anyone would want to make this? As time has gone on I have come to love Fernet in my cocktails. Right now it is probably my favorite cocktail ingredient. I finally decided to make this drink and I can now say ‘wow’. This shit is damned delicious. Simple and delicious. Thanks for loving Fernet as much as I am right now and probably will in the future.

  16. RickNo Gravatar says:

    butters, Cheers! Anything that makes Fernet easier to drink in large quantities is a win.

  17. […] one which was put together by my crony Rick at Kaiser Penguin: the Fernet Old Fashioned. By simply substituting the amaro for the some-more informed scotch or […]

  18. BrianNo Gravatar says:

    I love Fernet. And I am making this cocktail (again) right now. First drank Fernet at a Danish girl’s house. She bought a bottle for her visiting father, who believed that it cures a cold. He only used a bit & left the rest. She couldn’t stand the stuff & dared me to try it. I fell in love and drank 1/4 of the bottle (straight!). She gave me the rest & we were both happy.

  19. […] That permits me to mix up my drinks at any pace i want and stop mixing when i`ve had enough, or play with the most impossible ideas for garnish. Its fun – but even me takes shortcuts and avoid certain drinks more often than not, especially […]

  20. PadodNo Gravatar says:

    Ive only tried this last night. Yes took me about 6 months to grab bottle of F.B. for home purposes.
    Today 6 went to guests at the bar. Started using Agave Syrup instead of Simple syrup and the result is tremendous. I SO have a new favourite after-meal-cocktail! thank you

  21. RickNo Gravatar says:


    Cheers! I’m glad you’ve joined the clan of people who drink way too many Fernet Old Fashioneds. :)


  22. […] Fernet Old Fashioned May19 […]

  23. For the new cocktail list at The Pourhouse in Vancouver, I did a take on the Toronto cocktail (Rye, angostura,fernet,simple) using my own bacon infused rye (alberta premium). I call it the Hogtown. Its rich in dark spice and smoky sweetness. A real kick in the teeth.

  24. […] both are very good with their knives. There were a few garnishes by Adam and Jordan last night that Rick Stutz would’ve been proud of. Both also have great flavor instincts. All three drinks by each […]

  25. galinNo Gravatar says:

    can you really taste a dash of bitters in Fernet? Well… there is only one way to find out

  26. CatherineNo Gravatar says:

    you have blown my mind. Thank you sir.

  27. DagrebNo Gravatar says:

    Just bought my first bottle. Straight up room temp: Un.be.lievable! The old fashioned is next!

  28. […] Magnificent, gorgeous, ridiculously complex garnishes. […]

  29. MarkNo Gravatar says:

    Well that looks like one really nice drink. I have copied out the recipe and I’m going to set about making it this weekend.

    Have to say that I absolutely love that garnish. Hope I’ve got the skills to make it look that good myself, but the weekend will tell.


  30. […] the list) is the inimitable Kaiser Penguin. I’m tempted to call him the one and only “Garnishblogger“, but Rick does a lot more than that. He also is great with housemade ingredients, has an […]

  31. Ricky AgustinNo Gravatar says:

    Thank you, sir. I almost tried your recipe to the letter, but opted for Fee’s Old Fashioned Aromatic Bitters and a flamed zest. I haven’t had a cocktail so good in a long time. =)

  32. […] plays a central role in the experience of the drink. Of course, you don’t have to make a latticework out of orange peels, a pirate ship out of citrus, or a ferris wheel out of pineapple and squash, […]

  33. […] garnish plays a central role in the experience of the drink. Of course, you don’t have to make a latticework out of orange peels, a pirate ship out of citrus, or a ferris wheel out of pineapple and squash, […]

  34. […] Mixology Monday Challenge however, I thought I would use it as the base for an Old Fashioned. Kaiser Penguin already had the same idea a few years back, so following his footsteps, here is my version of the […]

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Kaiser Penguin is a cocktail blog featuring original recipes, homemade ingredients, classic cocktails, and tiki drinks.

Why on Earth did you name your blog “Kaiser Penguin?”

It is a well-known fact that penguins are members of high society and enjoy fine cocktails. Our very own kaiser penguin would like me to mention that he also enjoys various treats from the sea.

Contact: rick@kaiserpenguin.com