Pronunciation: [FAYR-nay BRAHN-kah]
An extremely astringent, very brown Italian bitters. Long known as a digestif, Fernet Branca originated in Milan in the early 1800s. As with most such elixirs, Fernet Branca is made from a secret formula, but this one purportedly includes some 40 ingredients including rhubarb, chamomile and myrrh. Although many use this potable primarily as a hangover cure and stomach soother, Italians enjoy the 80 proof apéritif, either straight or on the rocks.
From The Food Lover's Companion, Fourth edition by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst. Copyright © 2007, 2001, 1995, 1990 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc.