My usual go-to cocktails fall in the "highly alcoholic" arena because that's typically what I'm looking for, but sometimes you want to start out a little mellower. Unfortunately, it can be hard to find a drink that is lower in alcohol without being sweet or tasting watered down. This combination of fernet, rosemary honey, and lemon does a great job of whetting the palate without making you feel like your missing out.
I came across this combination at a.kitchen + bar in Philly where my friend I used to work with at the Nordic Food Lab is now cheffing. The food and a.kitchen is delicious, but a little intense, so starting with this light herbal aperitif was definitely the way to go (before drinking wine, of course). We requested the recipe and have had a fun time recreating the drink at home using foraged rosemary that is beginning to flower, making for an even more appealing garnish.
- 1.5 oz Fernet Branca
- 0.75 oz rosemary honey syrup (see below)
- 0.5 oz lemon juice
- 0.25 oz ginger syrup
- Sparkling water
- Fresh rosemary sprigs for garnish
Shake all ingredients apart from sparkling water and rosemary garnish, double strain, then top with sparkling water to fill glass (adjust water according to taste). Garnish with rosemary.
To make honey-rosemary syrup (you might as well make a batch of it for future drinks!):
- Simmer 2 parts honey to 1 part water with 1 rosemary spring for about 10 minutes. Remove from heat, cool, then remove rosemary.