This drink, created by Alex Cuper, the general manager and beverage director at El Che Steakhouse & Bar in Chicago, riffs on both a Whiskey & Coke and the Fernandito, the national drink of Argentina, which is made with Fernet-Branca and Coca-Cola.
“We decided to smash the two together into an awesome stirred brown cocktail,” says Cuper. “The smoked Fernet-Branca offers a toasty marshmallowlike flavor.”
The instructions below call for smoking the liqueur in a regular smoker, but if you don’t have one of those, you can instead use a smoking gun or smoke it on a grill with a smoker box.
2 ounces rye whiskey
1/2 ounce smoked Fernet-Branca*
1/4 ounce Coca-Cola syrup**
Add all ingredients into a mixing glass with ice and stir until well-chilled.
Strain into a rocks glass over fresh ice.
*Smoked Fernet-Branca: Add 375 mL Fernet-Branca (half of a 750 mL bottle) into a 9 x 13 metal cake pan. Heat a smoker to 250 degrees and place the dish inside the smoker for 60 to 90 minutes or until the liquid has reduced by half and has a smoky flavor. Allow to cool and add the rest of the bottle of (nonsmoked) Fernet-Branca in a 1:1 ratio.
**Coca-Cola syrup: Add 6 ounces Coca-Cola into a saucepan, bring to a boil and simmer until it’s reduced by 1/4 to 1/2 of the original amount and has a syruplike consistency. Will keep, refrigerated in a tightly sealed container, for up to 2 weeks.