My favourite nightcap is 30ml or so of Fernet, over ice, with a pinch of salt, but that drink signals the end of a good evening, not the start (or even the middle) of one. I want to be salty all night long — from beginning to the bitter end — so I decided to take that flavour profile and make it into a martini.
This drink, which we call the “Bitter Tears”, is essentially a very cold glass of gin flavoured with bitter, herbaceous Fernet (instead of vermouth) and a few drops of saline (use a ratio of 1/2 a teaspoon of Maldon dissolved in 1 teaspoon of water).
It is not a drink for everyone, but it is a drink for people like me — people who like intensely boozy and bitter beverages and really dry martinis. To make one, you will need:
- 75ml of gin
- 15ml Fernet-Branca
- 3 drops of saline
Add everything to a stirring class filled with ice and stir for quite some time (you want at least 60 stirs). Strain into a coupe glass, brace yourself and enjoy.