There are several iconic Northern Italian drinks that are seeing huge increases in their popularity. Why? Because they are splendid and have memorable, even overwhelming, flavours.
Campari – please see our previous post here – Campari – is a favourite and when mixed with soda or orange juice it becomes a excellent pre-dinner long-drink. The taste can best be described as “bitter” in a wonderfully flavorsome way almost perfumed. Like so many of its contemporaries the recipe for Campari is a closely guarded secret.
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A drink has been seen recently to challenge Campari’s position. This upstart is Aperol and is only fractionally younger than Campari. It was first offered in 1919 by the Barbieri company in Padua. Post WW11 it became very successful and was “rediscovered” recently by the international market.
It is now made by Campari and whilst it may be seen as competitive, Aperol is less bitter and beats the relatively low alcohol Campari on alcohol content. Depending on where it is purchased Aperol’s content various from 11% in its home market and 15% in Germany.
Why not try a delicious Aperol? Click the following AMAZON link Aperol Aperitivo, 70 cl
Aperol Spritz is a favourite was of serving this refereshing drink as an aperitif. It comprises 6cl Prosecco, 4cl of Aperol Spritz and a splash of soda water.
Why not try these pre-mixed Aperol & Sodas by clicking the following AMAZON link Aperol Soda (6 x125ml)
Served as after-dinner “digestifs” the recent trend is for those drinks that take their flavours from infused herbs and are often described either as an Amaro (literally Italian for “bitter”). For me, the best of these, is that was launched by Bernardino Branca in Milan in 1845 and known as “Fernet-Branca” which led to the founding of the Fratelli Branca Distillerie.
We know that the recipe of Fernet-Branca aromatic spirit is an industrial secret handed down through the generations – its currently known by Fernet-Branca’s President, Niccolò Branca – the but its thought that its 27 herbs and other ingredients consist of myrrh, rhubarb, chamomile, cardamom, aloe and saffron based on a distilled grape spirit. It has a reasonably high alcohol content at 39%
Fernet-Branca is used in several cocktails including a “Toronto” – Canadian whisky, Fernet-Branca, angostura bitters, and sugar syrup and a “Hanky Panky” – developed by The Savoy Hotel legendary bartender, Ada Coleman – comprising 1/2 Italian Vermouth, 1/2 Dry Gin and 2 dashes Fernet Branca. Stir and garnish with orange peel. In Argentina, partly as a result of the number of Italian emigres post WW11 and partly because Fernet-Branca’s concentrated marketing effort there, the mix of Fernet-Branca and Coca-cola – known as “Fernet con Cola” – continues to be very popular.
If you’d like to enjoy this fine Italian digestif please click the following link to buy a bottle of Fernet-Branca on AMAZON Fernet Branca, 70cl
I must confess – I don’t know what it is – but there is an essential combination of almost magical ingredients with Fernet-Branca that creates an elixir that has the most soothing effect on an over-burdened digestion. I am no Doctor but hugely recommend Fernet-Branca. Then again, I do tend to buy into those products that demonstrate certain claims which are extensively tested over the long-term.
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Images courtesy of Davide Campari Milan SpA. and Fratelli Branca Distillerie.