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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

Holiday Gift Guide: The Gift of Holiday Spirits

As fans of delicious cocktails and spirits that entice us, it’s natural that we should do a holiday gift guide of the most giftable liqueurs and spirits. Giving the gift of holiday spirits during the season of celebration is a given. Whether you’re a fan of rum, vodka, tequila, or liqueurs, we’ve got a list of alcohol brands everyone will be beyond thankful to receive this holiday. From such brands as Punzoné Organic, Fernet-Branca, Crystal Head Vodka, Templeton Rye, Zaya Gran Reserva (okay, it’s really our wishlist of what we want), we’re getting you and yours in the holiday spirit with the gift of holiday spirits.

PUNZONE ORGANIC 

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They say variety is the spice of life, so here’s a variety of holiday gift sets from Punzoné Organic. Whether you want to gift all three spirit varietals in an ultimate gift set, the ultra-premium Punzoné vodka, Punzoné “Blood Orange” Originale, or the Punzoné “Sicilian” Lemoncino. Select from these four newly crafted baskets and spend the holidays with these organic spirits. The Ultimate Punzoné Gift Basket, which features all three spirits, comes packaged in an oversized silver embossed ice bucket and includes Punzoné Organic Vodka, Punzoné Originale, Punzoné Lemoncino, and a variety of sweet and savory crackers, cheese spread, cookies, chocolates and more.

FERNET-BRANCA 170TH ANNIVERSARY 

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Know someone who prefers their cocktails to have a distinctive flavor? Then gift them a bottle of Fernet-Branca, a bitter, herbal Italian liqueur, founded in 1845, that features a variety of 27 herbs and spices sourced from four continents. This dark, oily alcoholic drink is said to boasts health benefits and is usually enjoyed after a meal as a digestive aid. It is also said to make an excellent hangover cure when mixed with coffee. This year marks Fernet-Branca’s 170th Anniversary and the brand is honoring the spirit with the above festively decorated tins, which retails for $29.99 each, and can be found wherever wines and spirits are sold.

CRYSTAL HEAD VODKA

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Know someone who is a Vodka fan? and maybe a bit of a badass? Make their holiday with the skull-shaped Crystal Head Vodka gift set. There’s much to love about this ultra premium vodka: Crystal Head’s pure, clean and smooth taste, its lack of additives, glycerol, citrus oils, and sugars, that fact that it’s quadrupled distilled, and triple filtered through Herkimer Diamonds, it’s awesome packaging, and of course its founder, Actor Dan Aykroyd. The Crystal Head Vodka Gift Set features the iconic skull-shaped bottle and a silver Boston cocktail shaker decorated with the Crystal Head Vodka bottle. The gift set retails for $49.99, and available where wines and spirits are sold.

TEMPLETON RYE WHISKEY

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We very recently highlighted this Templeton, Iowa-based Rye Whiskey, so we know you’re familiar with the subtle Christmas notes, and the caramel, butterscotch and toffee flavors of this herbal grain-like whiskey that is aged at least 4 years in charred white American Oak barrels. This festive gift set features a 750ml bottle of Templeton Rye Whiskey and a wide mouth, no funnel Flask, the perfect gift for any whiskey lover. get this gift set for $39.99 wherever wines and spirits are sold.

ZAYA GRAN RESERVA

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We recently discovered, and wrote about this Trinidadian rum and fell in love at the first sip of the decadent Zaya Gran Reserva sipping rum that boasts a blend of 12 aged rums. This divine dark amber-hued rum, with its smooth and sultry full-body, will soothe your soul after any stressful day. This wonderful holiday gift set comes with the delicious rum, and two Zaya-branded rock glasses, and is affordably priced at $34.99, get it wherever wines and spirits are sold.

We promise the cocktail lover on your holiday gift list will love receiving all of these as gifts. You can’t go wrong with when giving the gift of holiday spirits. what are you favorite spirits and liqueurs to enjoy during the holiday season?