With roots in Chicago, Illinois, Letherbee Fernet is one of the first craft, American-made interpretations of the original Italian digestif. Smoother and more refined than other fernets we’ve tried, Letherbee is almost velvety on the palate, with heavy whiffs of cardamom and spearmint. This liqueur is extremely versatile. It can be enjoyed on its own or in a variety of cocktails, including bright, spicy sippers like the Kentucky Mule or even with Champagne.
This variation on the classic fernet recipe hails from Hidalgo, Mexico, where it’s been produced since the 1860s. Created by French expat Henri Vallet, Fernet-Vallet is one of the most unique fernets available (and the only one made in Mexico). Fernet-Vallet has an onslaught of bitterness, with a woodsy, cigar box smell and a flavor best reserved for die-hard fernet lovers.
This is the fernet that started it all. Created by Domenico Vittone in Milan, Italy, in 1842, it predates even Fernet-Branca and was first used as a medicinal elixir to aid digestion. Harnessing the healing properties of myrrh, the liqueur is macerated with more than 40 different herbs and botanicals. Staying true to its roots, Fernet Vittone has changed little over the past century and a half, and it’s one of the best fernets we’ve ever tasted. With a toned down bitterness that doesn’t bludgeon your palate, this fernet is complex and dense, with notes of cacao, candied mints, green tea and pine. Even after you’ve slurped it down, there’s a lasting silken texture on the palate accompanied by the cool burn of menthol and black licorice.