Fernet-Branca was created in 1845 by Italian Bernando Branca, who shortly thereafter founded the Fratelli Branca Distillery in Milan. While the exact recipe is a closely guarded secret, the firm says the all-natural liqueur is made with over 40 herbs, spices, plants and roots obtained from 4 continents. Its partial list of ingredients includes aloe ferox, gentian, chamomile, angelica, chincona, Colombo root, Chinese rhubarb, myrrh, peppermint, saffron and eucalyptus. The liqueur contains no artificial flavors, colorants or additives and only a trace of sugar. Fernet-Branca is the quintessential bitter aperitif.
The dark reddish/brown liqueur has a satiny, aloe-enhanced body and a generous bouquet laced with spicy, floral and herbaceous aromas. Its brilliant array of aromatics is captivating and distinguishes Fernet-Branca from other amaros. The liqueur's smooth, cool entry quickly expands filling the mouth with a montage of flavor, a dry, expansive offering featuring eucalyptus, anise, dried herbs, currents, coffee, menthol and mint. The longer it is allowed to breathe, the more flavors come to the forefront. It's a distinct pleasure from start to lingering finish. Fernet-Branca is particularly refreshing if mixed with cola or Chinotto.