Jessica Tessendorf of The Barrelhouse Flat in Chicago, told us that this fall drink was a collaboration she created with bartender Mark Brinker. "Mark started off with the idea of Fernet and maple together, and we expanded from there," she said.
There's not a lot of prep required for the cocktail; many home bars will have the ingredients already in stock. Individually, the ingredients each remind us of fall to some degree, and together, they form a cohesive, cozy drink. The heart of it all is Pierre Ferrand 1840 Cognac. The cognac offers a powerful core, just right for warming you up when the days are cold. It's potent stuff, big enough to dance with the bold mentholated notes of Fernet Branca. You'll get Fernet's black licorice flavor coming through, which we quite enjoyed sipping in this context.
As for the small measures of maple syrup and apple cider vinegar, they're there to serve more as accents than anything else. The syrup adds just a touch of sweetness, and thickens the drink ever so slightly, while the vinegar brings a bit of acidity to the mix. Sprinkle some cinnamon on top to tie it all together, and, well, you have autumn in a glass. Make sure you get this one nice and cold, as that's when the flavor really shines.
Liquor samples for this series were provided for recipe testing.