Posted 8 months ago
These are three 1954 magazine advertisements for Fernet-Branca Bitters produced by Fratelli Branca & Co., Inc., New York, NY
--- Fernet Branca is a dark, syrupy alcoholic drink similar to an amaro, with a flavour that's best described as being a cross between medicine, crushed plants and bitter mud. The exact recipe of Fernet Branca is a secret but the producers, Fratelli Branca Distillerie, do say that it contains 27 different herbs and spices taken from four continents. Among the known ingredients are aloe, gentian root, rhubarb, gum myrrh, red cinchona bark, galanga and zedoary. The rumoured ingredients include saffron. Fratelli Branca Distillerie claim that the recipe has remained unchanged since its invention in 1845. According to the company, Fernet was created by the "self-taught apothecary" Bernardino Branca. The name "Fernet" belonged to a Doctor Fernet, a fictional Swede with whom Branca originally shared the credit for Fernet, presumably to add authority to claims of the drink's health benefits. The logo, featuring an eagle poised over a globe, was designed in 1893 by Leopoldo Metlicovitz. There were many, many health benefits claimed for Fernet Branca. A newspaper advertisement from 1865 claimed this "renowned liqueur" to be "febrifuge, vermifuge, tonic, invigorating, warming and anti-choleric", a drink which had furthermore helped the venerable Doctor Fernet (and several members of his family) to live for over a hundred years. It was also marketed as a cure for menstrual cramps. The drink's numerous medicinal claims came in handy during the American prohibition; as a medicine, Fernet Branca was still legal. Today, many people claim that Fernet is an excellent digestive aid and hangover cure.