Fernet Del Frate

Although categorized under Italian Amari (Bitters), Fernet is its own bitter category and is most often listed under Elixir/Elisir in Italian liquor manuals when not simply called “Fernet.”

The extremely bitter (amarissimo is an apt description) concoction has conflicting data as to its origins. A recent Tempus Fugit discovery of an original Italian invoice and recipe attributed Fernet to a monk named Frate Angelico Fernet, who may have been responsible for the origin of many herbal tonics and elixirs. Fernet is a historical French Burgundy surname — pronounced “Fair-Nay” and underwent many spelling transformations. It was most likely created to counteract the effects of cholera and malaria, but went on to be used for everything from a laxative to a hangover cure. Today there are still several Italian Fernet producers (with the largest making so much of the world’s production that some actually believe Fernet is a brand name), but most is made in tiny quantities for local rural Italian consumption. The various known recipes most typically share ingredients such as aloe, saffron, quinquina, gentian, anise, angelica, mint and myrhh. This latter ingredient (along with saffron) seems to define and create the backbone of the best Fernet. 44% ABV


Follows a historic recipe, which was purchased in 1930 from a long-
closed Italian distillery. Fernet is a cl assification of a bitter Amaro.


Deep colored, almost black, with golden reflections from the expensive addition of fine saffron, there is no additional coloring added. The saffron aromas mix with lightly mentholated and medicinal notes. The bitterness is immediately detected on the first sip, but evolves with light mint, menthol flavors that are surprisingly balanced and a subtle sweetness carries the finish on for a long while, as the bitterness becomes surprisingly engaging. This amazing liqueur can be sipped on its own, but shines in skillfully-made cocktails, especially the Employees Only and the Toronto. Tempting to take straight as a shot, if one stops to savor it, Fernet del Frate will instantly become the go-to sipper for the first and the last drink of the night.

Rich with spiced and herb aceous aromas, medium to h eavy bodied, and
an explosion of flavors leading to a bitter, dry fini sh that lingers.

It is made in micro-batches by hand at the Matter Distillery in
Switzerland following an original, hand-written recipe.

Uses only the finest rare ingredients utilized in the legendary and
vintage Fernets: aloe, saffron, quinquina, gentian, anise, angelica, mint
and myrrh, among other herbs and spices.


44% ABV / 88 PROOF

The Brand

Tempus Fugit Spirits is dedicated to the glory of the well-made cocktail.

The goal is to source and recreate rare spirits and liqueurs from the pages of history to satisfy the demands of the most discerning connoisseur. Along with the world’s finest absinthes, Tempus Fugit was determined to seek out fine rare spirits that were once staples in classic pre-Prohibition cocktails, which have been lost over time. In most cases, Tempus Fugit recreated these liqueurs in-house using historic 19th-century protocols, many cross-referenced in several languages, to arrive as close in taste to these forgotten spirits as is possible, or surpass them. From rare fruit, flower and plant liqueurs to bitters, Amari, Vermouths and Chanati, Tempus Fugit prides itself in finding out what’s missing from the back bar of the most discerning bartenders.