Underserved: Fernet About It at Osteria Morini


Underserved is a recurring Y&H feature highlighting the best cocktails you're not ordering.

What: Fernet About It with Fernet Branca, Green Chartreuse, Lazzaroni Maraschino (cherry liqueur), and lime

Where: Osteria Morini, 301 Water St. SE

Price: $13

What You Should Be Drinking

The Fernet About It is Osteria Morini’s take on a classic cocktail called The Last Word. It swaps in Fernet Branca for gin, leaving the cocktail without a common lead spirit. “Oh man, there’s no vodka, gin, rum, or whatever in here,” Bar Manager Kristi Green says, stepping into the shoes of her guests who shy away from it. Green’s even tried listing the drink on the menu in English, instead of the usual Italian, to encourage orders. The Green Chartreuse is responsible for the herbaceous outburst on your tongue, because its secret recipe combines 130 herbs and flowers like fennel, wormwood, and anise. “At any given time there are only two or three people in the world that know how to make it,” Green explains. Those people are Carthusian monks living in a monastery near Voiron, France.

Why You Should be Drinking It

Besides the opportunity to use a Goodfellas voice in public? The Fernet About It is a satisfying, harmonious sip. “You’d think the Fernet and Chartreuse would be in opposition, but it turns out bitter plus herbaceous equals gorgeous when citrus and maraschino are added,” Green says. She recommends ordering it at the start of a meal. Citrus gets your mouth salivating for a big board of charcuterie, and the complexity of the Green Chartreuse will prepare your palate for every possible flavor. Fans of Manhattans or negronis will dig it, says Green. “They’re not super similar flavors, but they hit the same marks.” Think of it like Pandora recommending a similar style of music, except in this case, Green says, all roads don’t lead to Daft Punk.

Photo by Laura Hayes