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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

Milan in New York: An Italian Holiday Celebration with Campari

We’re long overdue in writing this post because of a family loss, but we’re pleased we can finally share it with you because we had a wonderful night celebrating with Campari America and pretending we were at Il Camparino, a historic bar in the heart of Milan that gave birth to the tradition of the aperitif. Since we couldn’t exactly jet set out to Milan, Campari brought their delicious Italian cocktails to New York with their interpretation of the iconic Camparino bar.

For one week, Campari transformed part of the upper east side bar, Seamstress NY, into Camparino in Galleria, offering featured cocktails, guest bartenders, and daily specialty cocktails. The featured cocktails included Cakewalk, created by Pam Wiznitzer, and a create your own Campari & Soda. Monday’s specialty cocktail and guest bartender was the A Rosso December cocktail, created by Fabio Raffaelli of Casa Apicii/Bar Fortuna; Tuesday’s specialty cocktail and guest bartender was the Red Velvet Swing, created by Leo Robitschek of The NoMad; Wednesday’s specialty cocktail and guest bartender was the Fireside Delight, created by Enzo Cangemi, also of Casa Apicii/Bar Fortuna; and Thursday’s specialty cocktail and guest bartender was the Winter Vacation, created by Victoria Canty of Caffe Dante. We decided to check out Tuesday’s guest bartender and specialty cocktail.

Our first cocktail was the Cakewalk by Pam Wiznitzer (featured above), which contained Campari Vanilla Syrup, Strawberry Puree, Fresh Lemon Juice, Cognac, Orange Bitters, and served with a slice of Italian holiday Panettone bread. Our next Camparino adventure was the Red Velvet Swing by guest bartender, Leo Robitschek.

A definite favorite of the evening, this delicious cocktail with a very interesting historical inspiration, contained Campari, Aperol, Cinzano 1757, Simple Syrup, Fresh Lemon Juice, Pisco, and Egg White. The Red Velvet Swing was inspired by the true story of Evelyn Nesbit Shaw, whose husband, Harry Kendall Thaw, murdered architect Stanford White in an attempt to avenge his wife. White was known to have a green room in his 24th street apt where a large, red velvet swing was suspended from the ceiling by ropes.

Next, we created our own Campari Soda from a choice of artisanal sodas: Grapefruit, Blood Orange, Lemon, and Strawberry. We decided to go with Campari and Strawberry Soda and enjoy refuge from the cold, rainy night. If you ever find yourself in Milan, we highly recommend you pay a visit to Camparino, b ut if you’re like us and can’t afford the trip, head over to Seamstress NY for a few Campari cocktails.