June 27

Fernetic launches in Florida

Fernetic bombers alongside bottles of Fernet-Branca in their 170th anniversary package

Last week the Forbidden Root sales crew headed down to Florida, to share Fernetic, our Fernet-Branca collaboration beer.

Florida is wild, wonderful, and wet. (Seriously, it’s so humid down there.) But we landed, cranked the A/C, and hit the road. First stop: St. Augustine, whose claim to fame is The Nation’s Oldest City. And by that they mean, “the oldest continuously occupied European-established settlement within the borders of the continental United States.” Thanks, Wikipedia.

Flager College fountain in St. Augustine

To kick things off, we held a cocktail competition with five of St. Augustine’s finest. There were only two rules: all cocktails must use Fernet-Branca, and all cocktails must use Forbidden Root’s Money on My Rind. From hilarious names, to exotic flavors, to poignant backstories, we were seriously impressed. In the end, Chris Faber’s use of pineapple to balance the bitterness of Fernet and Money on My Rind, brought him the gold (i.e. a bottle of Fernetic, a bottle of Fernet-Branca, and a limited edition Fernetic snifter.) 

Here’s his winning recipe:
For a Few Dollars More
Chris Faber (third from left in photo below) of Ice Plant Bar in St. Petersburg, FL
-1 oz Fernet-Branca
-1.5 oz fresh squeezed pineapple juice
-.75 oz raspberry/basil syrup*
-.5 oz fresh squeezed lime juice
-2 oz Money on My Rind
-3 dashes Scrappy's lime bitters

Combine all ingredients except beer and shake. Strain over pebble ice and top with Money on My Rind. Garnish with grapefruit peel and fresh mint.

*For raspberry/basil syrup: combine 1 cup sugar, 1 cup water, and 10 muddled, fresh raspberries. Bring to a simmer for approximately 10 min, or until sugar has completely dissolved. Turn off heat and add 8-10 basil leaves. Allow syrup to cool, and then strain out solids.

Carolyn of Cavalier Distributing, Lincoln of Forbidden Root, Chris of Ice Plant, Steve of Infinium and Chris's winning cocktail

Pictured above, left to right: Carolyn Graham (Cavalier Distributing), Lincoln Anderson (Forbidden Root), Chris Faber (Ice Plant Bar), Steven Walleser (Infinium Spirits)

Then we covered ground for our second night in Boynton Beach where we hosted a second cocktail competition. Same rules, but this time bartenders had to use Fernet-Branca and Forbidden Root’s WPA. There was fire, fancy pouring, and a whole lot of Fernet-Branca. After five rounds, Hayden Gartzman, came out on top thanks to his creative use of roasted fennel syrup.

Here's his winning recipe:
The 1, 2 Salute
Hayden Gartzman (second from left in photo below) of Rebel House in Boca Raton, FL
-1 oz Fernet-Branca
-1 oz lemon juice
-1 oz roasted fennel syrup
-1 oz Benedictine
-3 dashes of rhubarb bitters

Double shake with two egg white and top with Forbidden Root Wildflower Pale Ale.

The Boynton Beach bartenders!

Our final stop took us to St. Petersburg’s by way of I-75, a.k.a Alligator Alley. (Because what’s a trip to Florida without any gators?) No cocktail competition on our final night—just lots of Fernetic and fun to be had.

Limited edition Forbidden Root/Fernet-Branca snifter

Huge thanks to our amazing distribution partner, Cavalier Distributing, as well as the Infinium crew who ensures the good people of Florida get their Fernet-Branca. And boy, do they love Fernet-Branca.

See ya later, gator.