2 oz Rye
1⁄2 oz Fernet Branca
1⁄2 oz Simple syrup
1 twst Lemon peel (as garnish)

Stir and strain down into a double-old fashioned glass. Express the lemon oil and wipe the peel along the glass rim before you drop it in.


This has been served to me with half as much Fernet and 1/4 oz more Rye which was also tasty, but the recipe here has more character and depth.


This may be based on Robert Vermeire's Fernet Cocktail in "Cocktails, How to Mix Them" (1922) - evidently, it was "much appreciated by the Canadians of Toronto."

Cocktail summary
Posted by Ethan on
Created by
David Embury
Is an
altered recipe
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4 stars
(38 ratings)
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From other users
  • Went with 1/4 oz simple syrup and it was perfect. — ★★★★★
  • Good drink. Fernet and rye is pretty smooth.
  • I replace the simple syrup with 2 Tsp maple syrup. Can replace the rye with Canadian whiskey.
  • I prefer less simple ( 1/4 oz) more Fernet (3/4 oz) and an orange peel garnish.
  • Go lighter on the syrup (Death & Co. say one spoonful).
  • Made with 2 oz Rittenhouse, 1/2 oz Fernet, 1/4 ounce rich (2:1) simple, 2 dashes Angostura bitters, orange peel. Maybe sightly less simple and a lemon peel next time.
  • Demerara syrup
  • I used a orange peel as garnish instead and it was great, I need to try lemon.
  • Had it at drink. Fernet is an acquired taste that I haven't yet acquired.
  • I like mine with 2/3 oz Fernet and 1/3 oz simple served up with orange or lemon twist.
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Instead of Fernet Branca I would suggest Luxardo Fernet, which has a commendable peppery character without the soapy aftertaste Branca has. A Toronto made with such has a much more pleasant impact IMHO.

Rob commented on 10/23/2012:

DrinkBoston's recipe is
2.25 Rye
.5 Fernet Branca
.25 Gomme syrup
2 dashes Angostura

Stir; cocktail glass; no garnish.

AmyJ commented on 10/25/2013:

The version from the Pourhouse in Vancouver, which I love, is 1 1/2oz American Rye, 1/2oz fernet, 1/4oz simple and dash Angostura. Very bold and tasty

Beautiful and elegant with Luxardo Fernet and Masterton's 10yo Rye. Lavish orange twist instead of lemon, and it works like a splash of Cointreau. A must-try for fernet-lovers.

Classic cocktail. A good variation is 2-2.5 ounces of rye(Michters), 1/2oz fernet branca, 1/2 branca-menta, 1/4 simple syrup. Dash of angostura and garnish with a grapefruit peel.


The branca-menta sweetens things up so you can go with even less syrup and the grapefruit/branca-menta combo just go great in any cocktail.

Suggested variants: Replace the Rye with Canadian whiskey;  replace the 1/2 oz simple syrup with 2 Tsp maple syrup. The maple syrup balances nicely with the Fernet. 

Reaching for the Fernet tonight I spotted my bottle of Zwack Unicum and thought 'why not?' A highly recommended experiment.