Simple Drinks: Fernet and Coke


[Photographs: Liz Clayman]

Get the Recipe

It was February, cold and snowy in the Northeast where I went to college—but not for me. I was in Argentina, 'studying': dancing every night, smoking cigarillos, and sipping on Fernet con Coca. Every night was balmy with tangos playing and mosquito haloed light bulbs on a string. As winter drags on now, there is comfort knowing that those memories are only a sip away.

This recipe is so simple that you only need remember the the name. The Fernet is bitter and aromatic—some say it's black licorice-like. While it's not always everyone's favorite straight, the bittersweet, mentholy stuff enhances the spice inherent in Coca Cola, adding intrigue to the mix like tangling legs of tango dancers.

It's a mildly fizzy, sweet highball that's much easier to drink down than you might expect. If you enjoy a Cuba Libre—that's a rum and Coke with lime—there is a good chance you'll like this combination too. I've always mixed the Coke and Fernet 2 to 1, but feel free to play with the ratios to arrive at a concoction to your taste.