Fernet con coca

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oz ml cl
Glass: Rocks

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Combine the ingredients (except the Coca-Cola) in a chilled Rocks glass filled with ice and stir until the drink is sufficiently chilled. Top with the Coca-Cola.


Fernet con coca is an official IBA cocktail. See more two ingredient cocktails.

Fernet con coca origin story

Fernet was introduced to Argentina by Italians during the great European immigration wave to the country of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, a period in Argentine history characterized by vast economic growth and rapid social change. The popularity of fernet in Argentina is representative of the lasting influence Italian immigrants had in the broader consumer tastes and culture of the country. Over many years, fernet consumption expanded in an unprecedented way throughout the Argentine territory, although this process is still "confusing and poorly documented". In 1941, Fratelli Branca opened its first and only production plant outside Italy in the Buenos Aires neighborhood of Parque Patricios, which indicates that already at that time the fernet market in Argentina was considerable. Another underground plant was opened in 1982 in Tortuguitas, Buenos Aires Province. Before the combination with cola became widely popular in the 1990s and 2000s, fernet was traditionally consumed in the country as an apéritif and digestif, and was either drunk as an after-dinner shot, mixed with soda water or as part of a carajillo de fernet, in which some dashes of the bitter are added to a cup of coffee.

Although the exact origin of the cocktail is poorly-documented and "somewhat shrouded in mythmaking", it is generally agreed that it originated in Córdoba Province, and is heavily associated with its capital of the same name, Argentina's second most populous city. Some sources say that the cocktail already existed in the 1950s, as a "gentler" variation of the common combination of fernet and soda water, while others affirm that it was invented in the 1970s by Oscar "el Negro" Becerra, a drummer and bartender from Cruz del Eje, a city in the province's northwest. Another version suggests the drink was invented in Argentina's northern provinces. Fernet con coca began to grow in popularity in Córdoba city during the 1980s, in the period that followed Argentina's return to democracy. Although "theories swirl about who sparked fernet's explosion", most point to the city's large population of university students. By the end of the decade, Fratelli Branca's marketing director noticed the drink's growing popularity in Córdoba and launched a series of national advertising campaigns actively encouraging the combination with Coca-Cola, at first in an "implicit" agreement with The Coca-Cola Company and, between 1994 and 1997, as an official co-branding campaign. Fratelli Branca head of marketing since 1992 Hernán Mutti told Fortune in 2016: "We had to convince Argentina that this was the way to drink fernet: to be shared between friends. It was being drunk behind closed doors; it wasn't a friendly product." The company then "did everything to get people to try fernet and cola on any occasion", promoting the drink with samplings at bars and events and in popular seaside towns along the coastline of the Atlantic, targeting people under the age of 25. The tastings were accompanied by advertising connecting Fernet-Branca to distinctive national landscapes, like Patagonia's Perito Moreno glacier. The campaign is considered one of the most successful marketing strategies in the country's recent history, as it managed to "capture a still incipient consumption in a specific place in the country to popularize it and impose it in the daily life of Argentines."

In addition to the effective advertising campaign, the popularity of the drink has been linked to other coinciding phenomena: the diversification of the Argentine market for alcoholic beverages and the modernization of cuarteto, a style of popular music from Córdoba that expanded to Buenos Aires during the 1980s and 1990s, spearheaded by singer Rodrigo's success. Furthermore, between 1990 and 2010 the habits of Argentines were transformed as a result of a tumultuous political and economic life, with BBC Mundo's Daniel Pardo writing: "First came the splurge, opulence, and cheap dollar of Carlos Menem's presidency, then a terrible economic crisis in 2001 that triggered poverty, and then three left-wing governments that, in the midst of an export boom, enriched (or subsidized) the poor." Branca brand ambassador Nicola Olianas told the Spirits Business in 2017 that he "has obviously contemplated how to replicate the success in other markets, but wonders whether the conditions in Argentina were somehow unique, with the long-established distillery and the millions of emigré Italians." By the year 2000, consumption had already consolidated in cities such as Tucumán, Mendoza and Buenos Aires, and continued to grow despite the economic crisis of 2001. On the contrary, since 2002 fernet's production and marketing underwent intense transformations, establishing itself as "one of the most striking phenomena in the entire region", making way for women and young people as new consumers and cementing its popularity at bars, parties, asados and gatherings. In Buenos Aires alone, the drink's sales grew by 115% between 2001 and 2008. By 2012, 40 million liters of fernet were produced per year, twice as much as in 2007. According to a 2011 governmental report, fernet consumption in Argentina grew 251% during the 2000s, far ahead of beer's 60%. Another study reported that during the period of Néstor Kirchner and Cristina Fernández de Kirchner's presidencies—between 2004 and 2015—fernet consumption increased 405%, noting that "the kirchnerist decade could also be called 'the fernet decade'." Fernet production in Argentina has been falling consistently since 2015, as part of a widespread economic downturn that began during Mauricio Macri's presidency. Between 2015 and 2019, the Argentine production of fernet and bitters fell from 56.4 to 44.3 million annual liters.

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