Branca Menta & Bourbon Iced Tea
Summer is officially here and that means COCKTAILS. In San Francisco, summer doesn’t necessarily exist until September, when we have Indian Summer: warmer weather and beautiful sunsets. But that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy a nice summer drink after work :)
Fernet Branca is a type of amaro, a bitter, aromatic spirit that is made from a number of herbs and spices. It’s usually served as a digestif after a meal but can be mixed into other drinks as well. It’s very popular in Argentina, where it is mixed with cola, soda water, or even straight. My readers from SF will know that Fernet Branca is very popular in the Bay Area, where Fernet shots are often followed by a ginger ale chase.
It’s strong flavor is definitely one that can be overwhelming at first. An easy way to describe it’s flavor is to imagine Jagermeister without the sugar. I’m sure that doesn’t make it appealing to most of you - but I have really come to love the flavor and nice buzz that comes from a nice Fernet cocktail. An added bonus - no hangover!
If you’re curious about Fernet Branca but hesitant about jumping in, I would highly suggest trying my favorite liqueur, Fernet Brancamenta. Brancamenta is a natural and refreshing half bitter liqueur created from the proprietary blend of herbs and spices used to produce Fernet-Branca. Brancamenta’s unique and fresh taste is derived from the addition of Piedmontese peppermint, the most refined mint available. This distinctive spirit is made and aged the same way as Fernet-Branca with the exception of the last step where natural peppermint oil is added to give Brancamenta the unique taste for which it is known.
It is delicious. My favorite way to enjoy #Brancamenta is simply with ice cold Coca Cola. It is refreshing and tastes like a minty Coke! Simple, satisfying, and the perfect slow buzz.
I wanted to try experiment with some different recipes that incorporated Brancamenta this summer, and here is a really delicious one that will have you reaching for another glass. It’s a nice little spin on iced tea spiked with bourbon, Brancamenta, and finished off with refreshing mint. I made a batch after work last week and I was so surprised at how well balanced it tasted, and how much of a punch it packed. I ended up making quite a few glasses that night :)
Tip: Use a jigger for measuring out the components in this cocktail. The smaller end of a jigger is typically 1 fluid oz. This will help you achieve the correct balance of flavors! :)
What You Need (Yields One Cocktail)
- ½ oz fresh lemon juice
- ¾ oz organic agave nectar or simple syrup
- 1 oz Brancamenta
- ¾ oz Maker’s Mark bourbon
- 5 oz iced tea of your choice. I absolutely loved Honest Tea Unsweetened Just Green Tea and Sweetleaf Mint & Honey Green Tea with this!
Garnish: fresh mint
Muddle some fresh mint in a glass, and fill with ice. Pour the lemon juice, agave or simple syrup, Brancamenta, and bourbon in a shaker with ice. Shake well, and pour into the glass. Top it with your choice of cold iced tea and garnish with mint.
That’s it! A wonderfully refreshing drink for warm weather that goes down smooth, isn’t too sweet, and finishes off with a nice minty kick. I hope you give Fernet Brancamenta a try :) Let me know if you do!