A use for Fernet Branca: The Columbus Road

If these four bottles intrigue you, read on.

The First Avenue is one of my favorite drinks, and a great excuse to keep sherry around the house:
  • 1 1/2 oz oloroso or other good quality sweet sherry
  • 1/2 oz Cointreau
  • 3/4 oz soda water
  • Stir the above in a rocks glass half-filled with ice
  • Top with a spoonful (about 1/4 oz) Campari
I was drinking one last night, made using Rivesaltes Ambre (on the left in the photo) instead of sherry. Whereas sherry is made in Jerez, Spain, the Rivesaltes Ambre is a French fortified wine made similarly. It was good as usual, but halfway through, it struck me that this was one drink that might tolerate the addition of the hangover cure deterrent Fernet Branca.

I tried it. It worked. It was, in fact, incomparably more complex than the original drink. But: DO NOT OVERDO THE FERNET BRANCA. It is very powerful. You'd think you were drinking sherry out of an ashtray.

So I give you the Columbus Road, named for the location of the Velvet Tango Room, the only place in town I can imagine being served one of these:
  • 1 1/4 oz oloroso or other good quality sweet sherry
  • almost 1/2 oz Cointreau
  • 1 oz soda water
  • 1/4 oz Fernet Branca
  • Stir the above in a rocks glass half-filled with ice
  • Top with a spoonful (about 1/4 oz) Campari
Enjoy!