Guy Fieri's Favorite Alcohol Is An Italian Classic

If you're tired of the classic liquors like gin, vodka, and whiskey and want to try something new, you might want to take a leaf out of Guy Fieri's book. In an interview with Daily Beast, he revealed that his favorite liquor is the amaro Fernet-Branca.

Amaro is an Italian digestif (or, as the Italians say, a digestivo) that's made using dozens of different herbs. These herbs can vary depending on the brand you pick up, but a few you might find in the mix include saffron, camomile, and myrrh. As such, it has a bitter and earthy flavor with a touch of sweetness. It also has notes of black licorice and root beer. Additionally, you can get Fernet-Branca in a mint flavor if you want something with more of a menthol burn.

If those tasting notes don't tell you that Fernet-Branca isn't for the faint of heart, perhaps the alcohol content will; this drink clocks in at around 39% A.B.V. (although this can vary slightly depending on the brand). Pair that with its almost medicine-like flavor, and you've got a combination that explains why Fernet-Branca is a liquor that takes learning to love.

How to drink Fernet-Branca

Fernet-Branca is traditionally served as a digestif (also called a digestive). That means that it's typically enjoyed after a meal. The idea is that drinking the liquor can help boost your digestion thanks to the herbs in the drink.

Now, apart from when to drink Fernet-Branca, it also pays to know how to serve it. You can enjoy the digestif plain as a shot or served over ice if you prefer. Serving it over ice can be great for those who are just getting into the drink, as the ice will melt into your beverage and water it down, helping the flavors become more muted. Another way for the uninitiated to get used to the taste can be to follow it with a chaser such as ginger ale or ginger beer.

Guy Fieri also notes that he'll play around with the temperature of his liquor. He notes that he keeps a bottle in the freezer and the fridge and that he finds it tastes great both warm and cold. Storing this amaro liquor in the freezer can make for a smoother drinking experience without watering the beverage down and muting its flavors. You can experiment with the temperature yourself to figure out which serving method you like best.

What about Fernet-Branca cocktails?

If you've tried drinking Fernet-Branca straight and still aren't a fan, don't give up hope yet. There are plenty of cocktails you can make with this amaro that may make it a bit more palatable. One simple option to try is the Fernandito cocktail, which consists only of mixing Coca-Cola and Fernet-Branca.

If you want to get a bit fancier, you can make an Italian mule by combining it with lime juice and ginger beer. Or, if you're ready to get a bit more complicated, you might want to make the popular Hanky-Panky cocktail. This drink consists of gin, Fernet-Branca, and vermouth or Antica Formula. For those who love the herbal flavors of amaro and want to ramp them up, an Apotheke cocktail might be the right pick. This last cocktail consists of Creme de Menthe, vermouth, and Fernet-Branca. Whether you try one of these mixed drinks or enjoy Fernet-Branca on its own, give Guy Fieri's favorite liquor a whirl and see if you can stomach it.