I’m bored, so I’m taking random cocktail recipes from The Savoy Cocktail Book (1930), giving them a try, and modifying/improving them if I think it’s necessary, and reporting my findings here.
- ¼ Fernet-Branca
- ¼ Italian (sweet vermouth)
- ½ dry gin
There is a note beneath the recipe: “One of the best ‘morning-after’ cocktails ever invented. Fernet-Branca, an Italian vegetable extract, is a marvellous [sic] headache cure.”
But what if you used one of the other amaros/bitters?
I randomly chose Vecchio Amaro Del Capo, which I think I bought because it appeared in some recipe I wanted to try, but with which I am not overly familiar — and it worked. It’s slightly sweet, not overly bitter, and way better than the mentholated cough syrup known as Fernet-Branca.
Vecchio Amaro Cocktail
- ¾ oz Vecchio Amaro Del Capo
- ¾ oz Italian (sweet vermouth)
- 1 ½ oz dry gin
Much better, and worth repeating. I may make further adjustments to its balance, play with the gin involved, etc. If so, I’ll report back.
SAVOY VARIATIONS SCORECARD:
- Savoy: 1
- Dale: 2
- Sink: 3
 Personally, I think it’s one of those in-group things; they all take a shot of Fernet-Branca as a gesture of solidarity, and then they grimace as they clink shot glasses.
 You may very well like Fernet-Branca. If so, I will say that the original recipe will probably delight you. Plus, what is wrong with you?