Cocktail boom boosts Fernet Branca

Sales of Italian liqueur Fernet Branca are increasing as consumer interest in authentic cocktails grows.

Hi-Spirits, UK distributor of the iconic Italian herbal liqueur, is working with bars to promote serves which spotlight the distinctive bitter flavour of Fernet Branca.  Off-trade sales are also increasing, with the brand listed by specialist retailers including Master of Malt and DrinkSupermarket.

Figures from CGA Strategy show that the number of pubs and bars serving cocktails increased by a third in 2013, with around 60% of consumers saying they like to start an evening out with a cocktail.

Dan Bolton, managing director of Hi-Spirits, said: “One interesting effect of the growth of cocktails is that it prompts the cocktail specialists to raise their game.

“When customers can get a well-made mojito in most mainstream bars, the premium operators have to work even harder to ensure their cocktail lists stand out. Fernet Branca, with its distinctive bitter flavour, is the backbone of mixed drinks you just won’t find in the mainstream high street bars.

“Our sales team has had training sessions with Fernet Branca brand ambassador Eduardo Branca and can now help bars appreciate authentic cocktails such as the Toronto and Hanky Panky. There’s also strong interest amongst home mixologists, who are looking for more unusual spirits to experiment with.”

Invented in Milan in 1845 by Bernardino Branca, Fernet Branca is a digestif amaro liqueur, still made to a closely-guarded recipe. At 39% ABV, it has an RSP of £23.50.

Along with Fernet Branca, other speciality drinks from Fratelli Branca Distillerie distributed in the UK by Hi-Spirits are:

  • Branca Menta, a distinctive 28% ABV mint-flavour liqueur, with a refreshing flavour profile, RSP £24.95;
  • Carpano Antica Formula – the original Italian vermouth, at 16.5% ABV. Created in 1786 and made with wines blended with carefully selected mountain herbs, RSP £32.95;
  • Carpano Punt e Mes, a 16% ABV classic dry red vermouth, ideal for Italian cocktails including the Negroni and Americano, RSP £10.95;
  • Borghetti Caffe – the original espresso coffee liqueur, made to the 1860 recipe, 25% ABV and a RSP of £18.95.

For more information, please contact Hi-Spirits on 01932 252 100, email or visit

For press information please contact John Porter at ShielPorter Communications on 07734 054389.