Carpano Antica Formula is a vermouth that can trace its ancestry back to the 18th century; many claim it’s the original Italian sweet vermouth. Claims aside, it is easily one of the best, boldest, and most nuanced versions, all without being weighty. Fernet Branca is another tempest of flavor, an amaro with spice and smoke to spare, herbal with focused flavors of mint, camphor, and eucalyptus.
The lime juice serves merely to brighten the cocktail, and the soda water provides room for the Carpano and Fernet to fully explore their own depth. The use of amaro and vermouth as a base means you won’t be falling down after just one, so this is a perfect cocktail for after you’ve over-indulged and are looking to rebound into a long night, though feel free to enjoy one before dinner as an apertif. Unapologetic, brazen, captivating and absolutely delicious -- you’d do well to make one tonight. —Erik Lombardo
Carpano Antica Formula
freshly squeezed lime juice
ginger syrup (see note below)
Soda water (optional)
Crystallized ginger (optional)
In This Recipe
To make the ginger syrup: Juice ginger (we start with about 8 ounces of peeled ginger, but it's up to you) and combine equal parts ginger juice and sugar. Shake until all sugar is dissolved, and store in the refrigerator up to a week.
Combine all of the ingredients in a shaker, add ice, and shake for 5 to 10 seconds. Strain into a Hiball glass over ice and top with soda. Garnish with crystallized ginger if you like.