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Fernet-Branca X Eataly’s The Great Bitter Bar Returns to NYC

As the saying goes, “everything old is new again”, and this perfectly describes Fernet-Branca X Eataly’s The Great Bitter Bar, a celebration of the 20s-inspired cocktail bar. We had the pleasure of attending the Fernet-Branca X Eataly’s The Great Bitter Bar’s return to New York, the final leg on the multi-city tour. We were in for a night full of vintage, apothecary cocktails (slightly modernized) created by the event’s mixologist, Kenyon Aubin Oster.

Everyone loves a great pop-up bar and Eataly USA brought the best of vintage cocktails and the amazing The Great Bitter Bar, across the U.S.! Cocktail lovers were able to follow the spirited “Grand Tour” to experience these exclusive signature cocktails created by Eataly and its bitter producers such as Fernet-Branca, who shares the values of tradition and quality as the eatery. Paired with some of Eataly’s most delicious pizzas, we enjoyed five amazing cocktails, Fernet-Branca-style.

Inspired by the roaring 20s and the Art Nouveau period, The Great Bitter Bar is a pop-up bar that will be hosted at all Eataly USA locations during the year. The menu is dedicated to vintage, apothecary cocktails with the iconic herbal flavors of Fernet-Branca, which has been crafted according to a secret family recipe in Milan since 1845. The Great Bitter Bar held its final pop-up bar experience in the Big Apple at Eataly NYC Downtown. The cocktails, pictured below, included the Ferneta-groni, the Toronto, Fernet Me Not, Fernet Cola, and the Milano 75.

While they were all unique and delicious in their own way, we had an absolute favorite. But first, let us tell you about each cocktail. We love Negroni (our Negroni Week activities prove that), so we love this more robust version which for lack of a better word, seemed more masculine than the classic Negroni; sweet cocktail fans will love the slight syrupy sweetness of the Toronto; love ginger beer? Then the Fernet Me Not is for you. We loved the refreshing effervescence and subtle sweetness of this cocktail; if you love a cocktail that really plays up the herbal-ness of Fernet-Branca, the Fernet Cola, made with the famed Italian cola, Mole Cola; lastly is the Milano 75, the Italian version of the French 75. This was our favorite cocktail by far; deliciousness in a glass and a cocktail we’d love to have again….soon.

The pop up launched at the beginning of this year at Eataly NYC Flatiron on January 29th and ran until February 11th. In Chicago, the bar made its Midwest debut from March 19th to April 1st; it was at Eataly in Boston from May 14th – 27th and Eataly L.A. took place from June 18th – June 30th.

Each location featured a specially crafted cocktail unique to that city. We thoroughly enjoyed the Ferneta-groni. The recipe for this not-so-classic take on the classic Negroni cocktail is below:

1 1/2oz of Malfy Gin Originale
1 1/2oz of Carpano Antica Formula
1 oz of Fernet-Branca
stirred, up

Portuguese wines

For Wine Enthusiasts: Why You’ll Enjoy the Vinho Verde Wine Experience

Hello, summertime! There are many things to celebrate during the month of June. For one thing, it’s the month that welcomes summer. It is also the month to celebrate National Rosé Day, National Bubbly Day, National Flip Flop Day, and much more ways to celebrate summer. Speaking of Rosé, we had the pleasure of celebrating National Rosé Day at the Vinho Verde Wine Experience. It was a day filled with wonderful Rosé and White wines from over 30 leading wineries in the Vinho Verde region of Portugal. (Fun fact: Did you know Rosé wine is the oldest known type of wine, dating back as far as 600 BC?)

While you may think ‘Verde’ refers to the color green, it actually refers to the wines being young wines; the Vinho  Verde wines are released 3-6 months after harvest. These wines are light to medium bodied, boast lower alcohol, are usually crisp, and feature a floral and fruity freshness. The day-long Vinho Verde Wine festival was broken down into three, 3-hr sessions. It featured sommeliers hosting information sessions about the Vinho Verde region; mixologists who created unique and distinctive Vinho Verde-based beverages at the Vinho Verde Cocktail Bar; live music; live artist painting by artist Christopher Ghiraldi throughout the event; a photo booth to capture memories;  complimentary food options from Ferris, Conmigo, New York Burger Co, Eataly NYC, Silly Chilly Dumplings, and MY/MO Mochi Ice Cream; and of course, unlimited wine tastings from such Portuguese vineyards as AB Valley Wines, Adega Ponte de Lima, Campelo, Aveleda, Quinta da Lixa, Manuel Costa & Filhos, and Adega de Monção.

The Vinho Verde region bases much of its winemaking on the unique use of blends from the several indigenous grape varietals the region is known for, such as like Loureiro, Trajadura, and the classic Alvarinho. Vinho Verde has produced wine for over 2,000 years, making it one of the oldest wine regions in Portugal and one of the largest wine regions in Europe.

Since it was National Rosé Day, we started off sampling the Rosé wines first, then some white wines. Our first Rosé was from the Adega Ponte de Lima vineyard. This crisp, salmon-colored wine boasts a delicate, slightly sweet with a rich wild red berry flavor. In fact, we enjoyed all the wines from this vineyard, they were all refreshing and crisp, perfect for the hot summer days. But there was more to enjoy at the Vinho Verde Wine experience.

We really enjoyed the wines from the Aveleda and Casal Garcia vineyards. These wines were very high on our lists. We loved it all, from the sweet and fresh white to effervescent sparkling, and the bright rosé. The young and refreshing Casal Garcia White has a very delicate and slightly fruity aroma making it a fresh, smooth and well-balanced wine. The Sweet Casal Garcia is sweet but not too much for an extremely hot day. We found it quite refreshing and versatile. The Casal Garcia rosé has a gentle and fruity aroma that gives it a gives it a smooth, delicate flavor. There were so many Vinho Verde Wine options per vineyard that we had to take a break to eat before we continued on our tasting journey.

After we were properly sated, we continued on to taste more Vinho Verde wines from Arca Nova, Casa das Hortas, Tapada do Marques, Casal de Ventozela, and many more.

As previously stated, Artist Christopher Ghiraldi was live painting throughout the event. The artwork was inspired by the Vinho Verde wine logo, which is wine swirling in a glass. Check out his work below:

As a wine enthusiast, the Vinho Verde Wine event was an experience to remember. We look forward to attending again next year. What are your thoughts on this wine experience fellow wine lovers? Is this something you’d enjoy attending?