Greetings drunkards and drunkards in training. Please recall that June 4 is the day in 1946 that Juan Peron was installed as President of Argentina. As you know he also had a wife named Eva, who suddenly became the First Lady of Argentina, so today the Drink of the Day is the Eva Peron cocktail.
As the story goes, in 1944 Eva Duarte met Juan Peron and the following year she became Eva Peron. When Juan was elected President in 1946 she suddenly gained power and tremendous popular acclaim by speaking out for labor rights, running a charitable foundation, advocating for women’s suffrage and forming the Women’s Peronist Party. Though they were both polarizing figures leading a rather lavish lifestyle, Eva maintained huge popularity among the working poor of Argentina. She even planned to run for Vice President, but that dream was cut short by her declining health and death from cancer at the age of 33. The Argentine Congress named her the “Spiritual Leader of the Nation” and she was buried in a state funeral attended by over three million people.
But Juan and Eva Peron were not the only polarizing entities in Argentina. You see, Fernets are certainly some of the world’s most polarizing distilled spirits and more is consumed in Argentina than anywhere else. You may want to refer back to February 20 when we talked about Fernet Branca on Enzo Ferrari’s birthday, noting its vaguely sinister corporate logo and its use in various “bartender handshake” preparations. Fernet Branca is by far the dominant brand and the company even set up a distillery In Argentina to meet demand. To this day it remains the only Fernet Branca distillery outside Italy, with Argentina consuming about 75% of all Fernet Branca consumed worldwide.
Fernets were introduced into Argentina by Italians migrating there during the great immigration waves in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Fernet Branca is pretty much the national drink – ask for a Fernet con Cola in any Argentine watering hole and you’ll get Fernet Branca mixed with Coca Cola and served tall over ice. Going native, your correspondent did just that right here on a street corner in Buenos Aires.
Things come together for a June 4 Drink of the Day because the Eva Peron cocktail contains Fernet Branca. Sure, we usually use birthdays, but it was her husband’s election as President that really gave her the spotlight and that more than meets the exacting standards of our Editorial Board.
As usual, assembly is straightforward and only ordinary household supplies are used. Here’s how you do it:
Eva Peron Cocktail
- Collins Glass
- 1 oz Fernet Branca
- 1 oz sweet vermouth
- 1 oz Domaine de Canton Ginger Liqueur
- 1 oz Fresh lime juice
- Ginger beer to top
- Garnish: lime wheel
- Add Fernet Branca, sweet vermouth, Domaine de Canton and lime juice to your trusty shaker. (Remember, this is a drink with juice so we shake rather than stir.)
- Shake until frosty cold and strain into an ice filled Collins glass.
- Top with ginger beer and add lime wheel garnish.
- Queue up Evita on Netflix or the streaming service of your choice.
- Rinse and repeat.