March 5, 2015 – The Republic Steakhouse
3/4 oz. Punt e Mes
3/4 oz. Fernet Branca
1/4 oz. crème de menthe (green)
Stir in a mixing glass filled with ice. Strain into a cocktail glass.
We used white crème de menthe instead of green. I kind of thought this would be horrible, but it really was quite good. Slightly bitter, in a good way, and of course, minty from the double mint liqueurs. I’m not sure if I was actually tasting it, but I got a very clear impression of dark chocolate, like drinking a dark Andés mint. I didn’t complain though. I’m definitely having this after dinner some night in the future.
Punt e Mes is an Italian vermouth. The story goes (from the manufacturer’s website) that back in 1870 a stock broker, caught up in a debate with a few colleagues at Bottega Carpano, ordered a vermouth laced with half a dose of quina (also known as “balsam of Peru”) liqueur using a Piedmont dialect expression: “punt e mes”, roughly translatable as “point and a half”. Later on, this name with such a peculiar origin entered common usage thanks to the weird habit of regular Carpano customers to order Punt e Mes only with a gesture of a raised thumb to mean “a point” and a mid-air straight horizontal hand movement to mean “a half”. When the waiter saw that, he immediately knew the client wanted a Punt e Mes.
Punt e Mes has a golden orange color with topaz tones and aromas reminiscent of herbs, with hints of quina, toffee and cloves.
Fernet Branca is made by the same distillery. Its secret formula, passed down from father to son in the Branca family, includes 27 herbs from four continents and year-long rest in oak barrels. The main flavor component is spearmint (everytime I taste it, I think that I won’t have to brush my teeth for a week there’s so much mint), with balancing flavors of fruit and herbs and a nice bitterness.
Na zdraví! (Czech)