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Acquiring a taste for the ‘bartenders’ handshake’

By Kevin Hopper

I like to continually challenge my palate by eating or drinking things that at first don’t go down well. But upon a second, third or in some cases a ninth taste, I begin to like it. Then, I eventually love it.

Uni, or sea urchin, is one such delicacy that I now adore (although it can’t really be found in Boise). Fernet-Branca is another.

Originally crafted in 1845 in Milan, Fernet-Branca is considered an amaro (Italian for bitter). Upon first taste, you are probably not going to like it, since it has most closely been compared to cough syrup. Bitter to be sure, Fernet exudes flavors of black licorice, tree bark, pine and strong herbs. Many people compare it to a far less sugary Jägermeister.

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