We’re all for debunking junk science here at VinePair, and when it comes to an upset stomach, sometimes the best way to go is Tums or Alka Seltzer. But if we can bring you a cure that involves alcohol, we’re going to do it. The next time you feel like your innards are ready to bust out of your skin like vengeful zombies, have a shot of fernet.
Fernet is an amaro, and like many products in its class it was originally used for medicinal purposes — everything ranging from menstrual cramps to hangovers. Of course, because early fernets contained opiates, it’s no wonder they made an ailing body feel better. Although fernet no longer containing potent drugs it still makes for an excellent tummy ache remedy. In fact, even the anti-alcohol forces who gave us Prohibition opted not to outlaw the herbal liqueur, given how amazing it is at alleviating stomach pain.
So what gives fernet its panacea powers? Well, it’s not entirely clear, because fernet recipes vary from brand to brand, with some brands (like the popular Fernet Branca) keeping their mixtures a secret. Often, dozens of spices are used to make the liqueur, which kind of tastes like minty licorice. Whatever the combination is, there’s something magical happening, because fernet has a weird charm to it. You might hate it at first, but it grows on you, like a quirky coworker or sushi.
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To rid yourself of a stomach ache, shoot back some good ol’ room temperature fernet. Or, if you’re feeling slightly more cautious, chase the liqueur with ginger ale, or mix it with chilled Coke. Either way, expect to feel better soon.
Header image via Gabriel Amadeus / Flickr