My shopping cart
Your cart is currently empty.Continue Shopping
The simple-yet-satisfying serum of the southern hemisphere. The cultural cocktail of the crafting class. The archetypal alcohol of Argentina.
The Fernet Con Coca.
I hope you’re ready for what we’re about to get into, because the Fernet Con Coca expects nothing less. Never has there been a drink so easy to make, yet so influential to an entire nation.
With every sweet, carbonated sip, you’ll find yourself wondering why you weren’t born in 1980s Argentina, a Fernet Con Coca in hand.
While we can’t turn back the hands of time and create a world in which you were in fact born in Argentina in the 1980s (unless you were born in Argentina in the 1980s) what we can do is learn all about the Fernet Con Coca, how to make it, what tools to use, and some fun facts about the wonderful liquor we know fondly as Fernet.
By the time we’re done here, the Fernet Con Coca will be like the Argentinian son you never had. What does that mean, you ask? Once you take a sip, you’ll know.
Let’s get started.
This cocktail goes by many names - Fernando, Fernandito, Fernacho, Fefi, Chabona, Ferloncho, Fercola, 70/30… the list goes on. And as we all know, anything that has that many nicknames is cool as hell. That’s just a fact.
It is generally agreed that the Fefi (that’s my favorite one) is an Argentinean drink that got its start specifically from Córdoba, a college town in Argentina known for fun festivals and beautiful architecture, in the early 1980s. However, like many cocktails we’ve covered here at Mixology & Craft, the origin story isn’t exactly clear.
Some sources say that this amazing beverage was created through an ad campaign - specifically one from Fratelli Branca (or Fratelli Branca Distillerie Srl), a distillery based in Milan, Italy. The same distillery that crafted, you guessed it, Fernet-Branca - a key ingredient in the Fernet Con Coca.
Others argue that the drink was actually invented as early as the 1970s by Oscar Becerra, a bartender/drummer/cool dude from Cruz del Eje.
The final theory is a bit of a mix of the theories: that the drink itself got started by college students from Córdoba, and was hoisted to country-wide fame through an ad campaign from Coca-Cola. As a former college student myself, I believe this theory makes the most sense, as college students are unhinged barbarians who will mix and match any type of liquor until they find something decent enough to tolerate.
According to this theory, the marketing director of Fratelli Branca noticed how much college students liked to mix coke and Fernet, and immediately saw dollar signs. Fratelli Branca and Coca-Cola then made an agreement to begin an ad campaign that would sweep through Argentina - that Fernet and coke belonged together, and that the result should be enjoyed with pals (this was done to try to convince people that the Fernet Con Coca wasn’t a weird, shady drink that people only drink behind closed doors in the privacy of their own home. Not sure why people felt that way. This is all that Wikipedia could tell me.)
Apparently that worked, because afterwards the Fernet Con Coca skyrocketed to success and eventually became Argentina’s drink of choice (behind wine and beer).
And thus, a cultural icon is born.
Let me start by saying that I deserve infinite praise for putting the recipe here and not at the very end to make you scroll through all the other stuff I wrote for this blog. You’re welcome.
This delicious drink is easy as hell to make, but looks sexy enough that your friends are going to be really impressed when you bust it out this summer. Also, I lied about needing tools earlier. You don’t need any for this amazing beverage.
Bar sets look awesome in any kitchen, and if you’re making a Fernet Con Coca, chances are you probably also like making other cocktails. If you do, be sure to check out our bartender kits - they’ve got literally everything you need for nearly any cocktail. Check ‘em out.
Alright, Here’s the recipe.
So simple, and so satisfying. Enjoy!
If you find yourself with a bottle of Fernet and aren’t quite sure what to do with it after you’ve made your Fernet Con Cocas, no sweat - we’ve got the answers to all your questions about this mysterious liqueur.
If coke isn’t your thing, here are some other great alternatives that mix well with Fernet and make for a super tasty cocktail:
I mean, yes, if you really want to. You can drink anything straight if you try hard enough. Fernet-Branca is a fun concoction of flavors - bitter, sweet, spicy, and herbaceous. It has an intense aroma, and is a fun but not-super-appealing dark brown color.
In short, you can totally drink it straight if you want - but it tastes better with coke or coffee.
According to chefs around the world, yes - which just blew my mind. I would like to note that this is not scientifically backed up, but apparently it can help you beat a nasty hangover if you mix it with ice and Crème de Menthe. Much like the strange aphrodisiac tonic from The Simpsons famous episode Grampa Vs. Sexual Inadequacy*, it isn’t clear how this mishmash of liquids helps you, but it does.**
*If you got this reference, you are old and/or watched The Simpsons seasons 1-8 (the good ones) religiously like me
**I’m sure there’s a science to why it helps you, but I cannot and will not be bothered to look it up
Also yes! While no alcohol should be consumed super regularly, Fernet-Branca can help ease nausea, promote digestion, reduce fever, and cure a lack of appetite. In fact, Fernet is often enjoyed after a meal to help your digestion, and is often served in coffee or espresso!
In short, Fernet is a weird-tasting but multi-beneficial beverage that not only tastes good in a Fernet Con Coca, it cures what ails ya. Wild!
Yes. It’s made from wine, and thus spoils like wine. You’ve got about 2 weeks to enjoy Fernet-Branca before it spoils, so drink up, baby!
One more thing to note - there are differing views on whether or not to put Fernet-Branca in the fridge, but the general consensus is that Fernet should be room temperature. But you can do whatever you want, I won’t stop you.
I hope you enjoyed this deep dive into Argentina’s favorite cocktail. If you’re looking for other recipes (or just general tips and advice), click on over to our blog - for any more of our kickass products, check out our website!
Contributing Writer: Aurora Detor