I was on a quest to add some more fernet drinks to my cocktail list and stumbled on a recipe for a Fernet Alexander. That recipe is not only in the Alexander family of drinks, it's similar in ingredients, ratios and taste to a Golden Cadillac. Where a Golden Cadillac is typically made with equals parts Galliano, crème de cacao and cream, the Fernet Alexander employs Fernet Branca, another herbal liqueur, in place of the Galliano.
Fernet is an Italian amaro and one of the more aggressively herbal liqueurs, definitely an acquired taste. Though typically served as a digestif, it can add some serious aromatic herbal essence to a cocktail if used judiciously. Usually made with the basic components of saffron, myrrh, rhubarb, chamomile, cardamom and aloe, the recipes vary from brand to brand and all are heavily guarded secrets. My personal favorite is Fernet Branca and over the last few years I have developed a fondness for it's bitter, minty licorice forward flavor, especially when mixed into the right cocktail.
Here I have replaced the white crème de cacao with dark crème de cacao, added a dash of orange and adjusted the ratios to create a fernet infused Golden Cadillac / Alexander which I've called a Fernet Cadillac.
3/4 Oz Fernet Branca
1-1/2 Oz Dark Crème de Cacao
1-1/4 Oz Half & Half
2 Dashes Angostura Orange Bitters
Dash of Sea Salt*
Garnish: Dusting of Dark Cocoa Powder, Orange Twist (express over top of cocktail)
Tools: Cocktail Shaker, Hawthorne Strainer
Chill the coupe in the freezer.
And the ingredients to an ice filled cocktail shaker and shake vigorously (to dissolve the salt) until well chilled.
Strain into cocktail glass, garnish and serve.
* Why the salt? Because it tames the very aggressive herbal nature of the Fernet a bit and it brings up the chocolate.