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Fernet Stock Digestif Bitters (500ml)
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- ABV 40%
- Closure: Cork
The Fernet category has enjoyed considerable popularity of late. It was not always the case. Legend has it that bottles of Fernets gathering dust on back bars became the shot of choice for bartenders in need of a tonic. The product was largely ignored and sold so slowly, that the bar keeps knew they could tap into the bottles without their employers noticing too quickly. Inevitably, these habits would have to be transferred to their customers so they could resupply 'legitimately'.
Fernets are considered a relative of Amaro and herbal bitters, but are typically drier, more intensely aromatic, higher in alochol (around 40% for most) and quite often a lot more bitter. To better grasp it, think of sweet Vermouth at one end and Angostura bitters at the other. Fernets and Amaros sit in the middle, with the Fernets on the Angostura side.
Before they became commonplace in the bar scene, Fernets were for a long time consumed for their "medicinal properties" and were dispensed by apothecaries, each with their own recipe. It is no wonder there's still a plethora of Fernet brands (Branca being the most widespread).
Fernet Stock was first produced in 1927 by Lionello Stock, soon after his Czech distillery opened in the early 1920's as an offshoot of the main Italian operation in Trieste. The recipe, although not as complex as the Branca, contains no less than 14 different herbs and has never changed. This Fernet is slightly less dry and less bitter than the Branca standard.