This is a very special episode of City Between, a podcast about the hidden and forgotten corners of New York City’s history.Today we are going hunting for a lost and forgotten bottling factory in Tribeca, a neighborhood on the Lower West Side of Manhattan. Though the factory is forgotten, its chief spirit it bottled is not. In fact it is still produced in its home city, Milan, Italy and has made a big come back in the United States in recent years. What I am talking about is nothing less than the the king of Amaro, Fernet Branca. Besides a visit to the old New York factory building, will also be doing a tasting of Fernet with my intrepid inbetweener companion, Damian. I’ll be discussing with him a trying time for Fernet Branca in the US in the 1940s, when the Federal Trade Commission pursued them for false advertising claims. I’ll be reading some of those old claims and ads to Damian as we try out their various drinking suggestions.
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Do not miss out on BT Parson’s excellent book: Amaro: The Spirited World of Bittersweet, Herbal Liqueurs, with Cocktails, Recipes, and Formulas.
Go and read wine writer Do Bianchi’s post about visiting the old Fernet factory in 2000 here.
Visit the Fernet Branca homepage.
Visit the Ear Inn on Spring Street.
Here’s the Google street view of 12-14 and 10 Desbrosses Street, the Fernet Branca addresses
Here is an additional photo of the Desbrosses Street buildings:
Watch a Fernet Branca commercial from Italy: