The earthy allure of the Italian digestif Fernet Branca meets with the sweetness of a concentrated cola syrup and a refreshing spritz of seltzer in this refreshing cooler.
2 oz. Fernet Branca
2 oz. cola syrup
6 oz. club soda
Garnish: lime wheel
Combine all ingredients with ice, stir gently to combine and garnish.
4 cups water
5 2/3 cups white sugar
1/2 cup cut kola nut, cracked
2 tsp. citric acid
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup grated lime zest
3-4 drops of West Indian burnt sugar, optional (for color)
Sprinkle 2 Tbsp. of sugar over lime zest and rub in to release the oils. Set aside. In a saucepan, toast kola nuts on medium heat for about 2 minutes, or until aromatic, being careful not to burn them. Add the water and turn heat to high. Add the remaining ingredients to the pan, (except the West Indian sugar). Stir well to dissolve the white sugar. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Strain through cheesecloth into a jar or pitcher. (repeat as necessary to filter all solids). Add the burnt sugar 1-2 drops at a time until the desired color is reached.
Jason Mendenhall, The Wayland, New York City