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The Toronto Cocktail

Posted on by Eric Burke

Unasked for, Fernet Branca’s PR firm sent me two free 50 mL bottles of their product. I thank them for the generosity even if it was forced upon me. 

There are times as a blogger that people send you things. If I’m asked, I always tell people that I do not accept samples for review. I did this for the PR firm that Fernet Branca uses. They sent a box anyway. In that box were two 50 mL bottles of Fernet Branca along with a keychain and something else that I can’t remember. 

I was convinced that I wouldn’t be saying anything about this on the blog. For one thing, it’s not whiskey. Secondly, they sent it to me even after I told them that I wouldn’t review it on the blog. I wasn’t upset, but I figured there was no ethical way I could say anything without it being something that I absolutely loved.

I was going to do a tasting for a review of Knob Creek Rye tonight. But, I got home from work and decided to make a drink. I looked into the cupboard, and noticed that small bottle of Fernet Branca that has been sitting there for a few months. I opened it and was intrigued. It tasted a bit like NyQuil. What on earth could this be used for? 

I looked online and found a seriouseats.com article that had a list of cocktails you could make with this darn thing. There was only one on the list that I had the ingredients to make and that was one called the Toronto. (Hmmm…I have friends in Toronto.) It has rye whiskey, Fernet Branca, bitters and simple syrup.

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And. It. Is. Fantastic. Baking spices and herbs with just a hint of menthol. In spite of myself, when these two little bottles are gone, I’ll be buying another. And very slowly (each drink only takes a quarter ounce) I’ll work my way through it. Here’s how I made it:

the Toronto Cocktail

2 oz Knob Creek Rye 
1/4 ounce Fernet Branca
1/4 ounce Simple Syrup
2 hard dashes Fee Brothers Aromatic Bitters

Then I just stirred that with ice and poured into a rocks glass (they recommend an up glass, but I wasn’t feeling that fancy).


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