Although categorized under Italian Amari (Bitters), Fernet is its own bitter category and is most often listed under Elixir/Elisir in Italian liquor manuals when not simply called "Fernet." The extremely bitter (amarissimo is an apt description) concoction has conflicting data as to its origins. A recent Tempus Fugit discovery of an original Italian invoice and recipe attributed Fernet to a monk named Frate Angelico Fernet, who may have been responsible for the origin of many herbal tonics and elixirs. Fernet is a historical French Burgundy surname — pronounced "Fair-Nay" and underwent many spelling transformations. It was most likely created to counteract the effects of cholera and malaria, but went on to be used for everything from a laxative to a hangover cure. Today there are still several Italian Fernet producers (with the largest making so much of the world's production that some actually believe Fernet is a brand name), but most is made in tiny quantities for local rural Italian consumption. The various known recipes most typically share ingredients such as aloe, saffron, quinquina, gentian, anise, angelica, mint and myrhh. This latter ingredient (along with saffron) seems to define and create the backbone of the best Fernet. 44% ABV.
Tempus Fugit Fernet Del Frate Angelico Alcohol by Volume
The alcohol by volume of Tempus Fugit Fernet Del Frate Angelico is between 16% - 40%, and changes based on the production method or location where it is sold.
About the ingredients
Fernet: Fernet is an Italian type of amaro, a bitter, aromatic spirit. Fernet is made from a number of herbs and spices which vary according to the brand, but usually include myrrh, rhubarb, chamomile, cardamom, aloe, and especially saffron, with a base of distilled grape spirits. Fernet is usually served as a digestif after a meal but may also be served with coffee and espresso or mixed into coffee and espresso drinks. It typically contains 45% alcohol by volume. It may be served at room temperature or with ice. The Italian liqueur has a cult following in the international bartending community and is immensely popular in Argentina. The South American country consumes more than 75% of all fernet produced globally and, due to the product's popularity, also has Fratelli Branca's only distillery outside of Italy. As it is traditionally mixed with Coke, fernet has also contributed in making Argentina one of the biggest consumers of Coca-Cola in the world. Fernet and Coke (Spanish: fernet con coca) is so ubiquitous in Argentina that it has been described as "the country's unofficial drink".