Best Bitters to Have Swept the Restaurant Community

Fernet Branca

The cool thing about Fernet is that the American pronunciation rhymes (and sort of rhymes) with a whole bunch of words. Thus, we're able to announce that a great Ferneternity has formed among the city's restaurant workers, who never seem to be far from this bitter, minty diges-tif. Produced by Milan's Fratelli Branca Distillery since 1845, this top-secret formula of chamomile, wormwood, rhubarb, chicory, and more than three dozen other herbs and spices is said to stimulate the appetite, settle the stomach, and (most famously) cure hangovers. It's no rarity to see a server Fernetically sealing himself against the stresses of waiting tables at the beginning of a shift, or Fernetting his troubles at the end of one. Also, though we've heard plenty of suggestions on how best to enjoy Fernet O'Clock -- Fernet with cola, Fernet with coffee, Fernet with brandy and crème de menthe (the Corpse Reviver) -- the most common recipe in San Francisco is straight up with a ginger ale back. Be warned, though: If you drink too much, the myrrh (or is it the rhubarb?) will hurt you in the morning.

 
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