Fernet Branca gets a lot of attention in the craft cocktail scene, especially among bartenders. Less known is its sweeter, mintier brother–Branca Menta. Made with Fernet Branca as its base, Branca Menta retains that herbal character, but brings an added dimension of bright spearmint and menthol sweetness that works particularly well during the holidays.
So below, we’ve got three easy ways that Branca Menta can make your holiday drinks a bit more festive.
Traditionally, eggnog is spiked with brandy or rum, but I had a suspicion that minty Branca Menta would be a nice touch. I was pleasantly surprised–not only did the Branca Menta add an almost candy cane-like flavor to the eggnog, but the complexity of the Fernet base doesn’t overwhelm or confuse the palate.
Add Branca Menta to your favorite eggnog recipe, or try ours. Either way, I recommend scaling back the Branca Menta to just 1/2 an ounce to start, and adding more as desired.
BRANCA MENTA HOT CHOCOLATE
The sweetness and mint/menthol flavor of Branca Menta is reminiscent of Peppermint Schnapps, and it works just as well (if not better, in my opinion) in a cup of hot chocolate. I added an ounce to my hot chocolate and found that the Branca Menta adds an underlying herbal note and complexity that creates a more savory and interesting mix.
Add 3/4 oz of Branca Menta to an eight ounce cup of your favorite hot chocolate. Feel free to add more to taste.
BRANCA MENTA AND COLA
Mixing Fernet Branca and Cola is extremely popular in Argentina–and it’s just generally delicious–but here we’re using Branca Menta. The result is a bright cola with a slight herbal complexity, along with the bright minty flavor that I’d come to expect. I can see why Fernet Branca and cola is so popular, and subbing in Branca Menta makes a great festive alternative for the holidays.
I’ve seen a ratio of 3:1 Cola to Branca Menta, but that was a bit strong for my taste. I’d start with a ratio of 4:1 and add more if desired.
Julia Tunstall is the co-creator of A Bar Above. Find her writing and recipes at A Bar Above.com or check out the Mixology Talk Podcast for cocktail tips, tricks and banter.