All About Fernet with Brad Thomas Parsons - Context Travel

All About Fernet with Brad Thomas Parsons


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Join James Beard Award-winning author Brad Thomas Parsons to learn more about Fernet, the somewhat mysterious sub-category of Italian amaro known for its elevated alcohol content and distinctive flavor profile that has become known as a ‘bartender’s handshake’ in the bar and restaurant industry.

This spirited deep-dive will kick off with a brief introduction to the amaro category and then tackle the tricky topic of what exactly makes a Fernet a Fernet. We’ll then spend time learning more about Fernet-Branca, ‘Italy’s gift to the world’ and one of the most iconic amaro brands beyond Italy that’s been family-owned and operated since 1845. Originally used as an anti-choleric to help spark the appetites of dehydrated patients, Fernet-Branca was prescribed in hospitals and sold in pharmacies in Italy up through the 1930s, and since then has sparked a cult-like following among bartenders who collect as many creative Fernet-Branca tattoos as they do collectible challenge coins.

You’ll also learn more about the history, tasting notes, and known ingredients of other Fernet brands made in Italy, the Czech Republic, Mexico, Switzerland, and the United States, and end our time together with a demonstration and discussion of several inspired cocktails featuring Fernet.

Led by writer and author Brad Thomas Parsons, an expert on bitters, amaro, and cocktails, this interactive seminar will help increase your understanding and appreciation of amaro and Fernet along with inspired ways to use this bitter liqueur in cocktails and mixed drinks.

Featured Cocktails

Toronto

  • Rye or Canadian Whiskey
  • Fernet-Branca (or other fernet)
  • Demerara Syrup (1:1 | Demerara Sugar: Water)
  • Angostura Bitters
  • Orange Twist (for Garnish)
  • Glass: Coupe or Double Old-Fashioned

San Francisco Treat

  • Fernet-Branca
  • Averna
  • Blanc or Bianco Vermouth
  • Orange Twist (for Garnish)
  • Glass: Double Old-Fashioned

Eeyore's Requiem

  • Campari (or Red Aperitivo Bitter)
  • Blanc or Bianco Vermoth
  • Gin (preferably London Dry Gin)
  • Cynar
  • Fernet-Branca (or other fernet)
  • Orange Bitters
  • 3 Orange Twists (for Garnish)
  • Glass: Double Old-Fashioned

Flip Ya For Real

  • Fernet-Vallet (or other fernet)
  • Ancho Ryes Ancho Chile Liqueur
  • Demerara syrup (1:1 | Demerara Sugar: Water)
  • 1 Whole Egg
  • Freshly Grated Cinnamon (for Garnish)
  • Glass: Coupe or Nick & Nora

Tools

  • Jigger (for measuring)
  • Mixing Glass
  • Cocktail Shaker
  • Fine Strainer
  • Barspoon
  • Knife
  • Vegetable peeler
  • Ice (standard size for mixing and serving, large ice cube for serving optional; freeze ahead in a Ziploc bag)

Brad Thomas Parsons is the author of Bitters: A Spirited History of a Classic Cure-All (winner of the James Beard and IACP Cookbook Awards), Amaro: The Spirited World of Bittersweet, Herbal Liqueurs, Distillery Cats: Profiles in Courage of the World's Most Spirited Mousers, and Last Call: Bartenders on Their Final Drink and the Wisdom and Rituals of Closing Time (James Beard Book Award Finalist, Tales Spirited Award winner). Parsons received an MFA in writing from Columbia University, and his work has appeared in Bon Appétit, Lucky Peach, Food & Wine, Travel + Leisure, Imbibe, PUNCH, TASTE, and more. Parsons has collaborated and consulted on writing and editing, digital marketing and social media, content creation, promotional events, and special projects with major companies and brands including Gruppo Campari, Campari America, Amaro Lucano, Amaro Nonino, Angostura Limited, Moët Hennessy, West Elm, Distill Ventures, Carrot Creative, Hanna Lee Communications, and Slow Food. He has conducted spirited talks, tastings, seminars, and masterclasses on bitters, amari, and cocktails at bars, restaurants, and venues across the United States and in Italy.

This conversation is suitable for adults over 21 years old

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

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