Fernandito: Easy 2-Ingredient Cocktail [Ultimate Guide]

What is a Fernandito?

Fernandito (fernet con coca, fernet & coke) is a classic cocktail from Argentina, combining the herbal complexity of Fernet Branca, an Italian bitter amaro liqueur, with the sweet fizz of Coca-Cola. This mixed drink is known for its deep color, effervescent texture, and bold herbaceous flavor profile, balanced by the sweetness of cola. Generally served over ice, in a highball glass garnished with a lime wedge, it is a refreshing and visually appealing beverage suitable for various occasions.

Name & Nicknames

Rather than being tied to a specific person, the name of the “Fernandito” cocktail is believed to be the colloquial or affectionate diminutive of the name Fernando. In Spanish, adding “-ito” to a name is a common way to denote familiarity or affection.

The Fernandito cocktail also has a variety of other names and nicknames, reflecting its popularity and cultural significance in Argentina and beyond. This cocktail is commonly referred to as:

  • Fernet con coca
  • Fernet & Coke
  • Fernando
  • Fernucho
  • Fernuco
  • Fernacho
  • Ferloncho
  • Fercola
  • Fefi
  • Chabona
  • Morocho
  • 70/30
  • Bladis
  • Fernando Bladis


The Fernandito cocktail is elegantly simple, comprising just two ingredients: Fernet, typically 45-60 ml (1.5 – 2 oz) of Fernet Branca, and Coca-Cola, which usually complements the Fernet in a 1:2 ratio.

  1. Fernet (Fernet Branca): 45-60 ml (1.5-2 oz)
  2. Cola (Coca-Cola): to taste, usually double the amount of Fernet

Best Ingredients

The ideal Fernandito cocktail combines Fernet Branca, an Italian amaro known for its complex bitterness, with the sweet effervescence of Coca-Cola. This duo creates a perfectly balanced beverage.

  1. Fernet Branca: This Italian amaro liqueur, known for its complex and bitter flavor profile, is the classic key ingredient.
  2. Coca-Cola: The sweetness and carbonation of Coca-Cola perfectly complement the bitterness of Fernet Branca, creating a balanced and refreshing cocktail.

Ingredient Substitutes

For a Fernandito cocktail, substitutes can enhance or slightly alter the original flavor. Replace Fernet Branca with a similar bitter amaro like Cynar for a comparable herbal bitterness. If Coca-Cola is not available, any coke brand will suffice. Try a craft cola with unique flavor notes. For a different twist, sparkling water or tonic water can be used, though this changes the classic taste.

  • Fernet Branca Substitute: Use another brand of Fernet or a similar bitter amaro like Cynar. These alternatives offer a similar herbal bitterness, though the flavor profile may vary slightly.
  • Coca-Cola Substitute: Any cola works well as a substitute for Coca-Cola. Alternatively, for a less sweet option, soda water or tonic water can be used, though this significantly alters the traditional taste of the cocktail.

Ingredient Proportions

While the classic ratio in a Fernandito is 1 part fernet to 2 parts cola, this can be adjusted to suit individual tastes. Some prefer a stronger herbal flavor, while others might lean towards a sweeter, more cola-dominated blend. For example, the drink is sometimes called “70/30“, referring to the ratio of cola vs. fernet.

  • Classic: 1 part fernet to 2 parts cola
  • Adjustable to personal preference

Flavor Profile

The dark and effervescent Fernandito cocktail has a herbaceous bitter-sweet taste, where the Fernet brings a bitter, herbal flavor, which is balanced by the sweet, caramel-like notes of the fizzy cola. The cocktail is both refreshing and robust.

Tasting Notes:

  • Fernet: Bitter, herbal
  • Cola: Sweet, caramel-like, effervescent
  • Overall: Refreshing, robust, and complex

Tools & Equipment

Crafting a Fernandito cocktail requires basic bar tools. A highball glass is ideal for serving, while a measuring jigger ensures accurate proportions of Fernet and cola. A bar spoon or stirrer is useful for mixing the drink gently, preserving its carbonation and texture.

  1. Highball glass for serving
  2. Measuring jigger for accurate proportions
  3. Bar spoon or stirrer for gentle mixing

Instructions for Preparation

Creating a Fernandito is straightforward:

  1. Ice: Fill a serving glass with ice.
  2. Measure the Fernet: Pour 2 oz (60 ml) of Fernet Branca into a highball glass.
  3. Add Cola: Top up with cola, typically twice the amount of fernet.
  4. Gentle Stir: Mix lightly with a bar spoon or stirrer to combine.
  5. Garnish (Optional): Decorate the glass rim with a lime wedge or drop it into the drink.

Stir or Shake

For a Fernandito, stirring is the preferred method. Shaking can overly dilute the drink and reduce the cola’s carbonation. Stirring gently blends the Fernet and cola, maintaining the ideal balance and effervescence.

  • Stir, don’t shake
  • Preserves carbonation and flavor balance

Ice (Chilling & Dilution)

Ice plays a crucial role in the Fernandito. It chills the drink and subtly dilutes the strong flavors of Fernet. Use large, good quality ice cubes that melt slowly to prevent over-dilution.

  • Quality large ice cubes for chilling and slight dilution
  • Prevents over-dilution

Scaling for a Group

To serve a group, scale the Fernandito ingredients proportionally. Mix in a larger pitcher or jug, maintaining the 1:2 Fernet to cola ratio. Serve in individual glasses with ice.

  •  Scale ingredients proportionally
  •  Mix in a pitcher, maintain 1:2 ratio

Troubleshooting (Biggest Mistakes)

Common mistakes include overpouring Fernet, leading to an overly bitter drink, or vigorous shaking, which can flatten the cola. Always measure accurately and stir gently to maintain the perfect balance and effervescence.


The presentation of a Fernandito is as important as its taste. A clean, clear highball glass showcases the drink’s rich color and effervescence. The drink’s simplicity lends itself to minimalistic yet elegant presentation, making it visually appealing.

Glassware (Classic & Alternative)

The classic glassware for serving a Fernandito is a double old-fashioned glass, providing a perfect balance between size and style for this cocktail. However, there are alternative options for those who prefer a different aesthetic or don’t have a double old-fashioned glass at hand. A highball glass is a popular alternative, offering a taller, slender appearance that enhances the visual appeal of the Fernandito. A Collins glass can also be used for a similar effect, presenting the dark and effervescent drink in a sophisticated and elongated form.

  • Classic: Double old-fashioned glass
  • Alternative: Highball or Collins glass

Garnish (Classic & Creative)

Traditionally, the Fernandito is presented with no garnish or decorated with a lime wedge, adding a fresh, citrusy aroma that complements its herbal and bitter flavors. For those who wish to experiment, there are several creative options. A slice, wedge or peel of a lemon or orange is an alternative that enhances the cocktail’s citrus notes. Other creative garnishes might include a sprig of mint for a refreshing aroma, or a skewered maraschino cherry for a touch of sweetness and color.

  • Classic: No garnish or lime wedge
  • Alternative: Wedge/slice/peel of lemon/orange
  • Creative: Mint sprig or maraschino cherry

Variations & Riffs

The Fernandito, with its blend of fernet and cola, is similar to a range of cocktails that explore similar flavor profiles. These variations offer an exploration of bitter, herbal, and sweet tones in different combinations:

  • Cuba Libre: Resembling the Fernandito, this classic swaps Fernet for rum, maintaining the sweet cola element.
  • Jägermeister & Cola: A modern, herbal twist on the Fernandito, using Jägermeister instead of Fernet.
  • Americano: Combining Campari, sweet vermouth, and soda water, this is a lighter, refreshing take with a bitter touch.
  • Negroni: A classic Italian cocktail, combining gin, Campari, and sweet vermouth, offering a similarly complex, bitter profile.
  • Manhattan: A whiskey-based cocktail with sweet vermouth and bitters, appealing to lovers of strong, herbal flavors.
  • Toronto: Fernet-Branca and Canadian whisky, sweetened with simple syrup, a close cousin in the bitter-sweet spectrum.
  • Black Russian: A simple yet profound mix of vodka and coffee liqueur, catering to those who appreciate a bolder, sweeter taste.

Explore the other easy 2-ingredient mixed drinks.

Experiment (Creating Your Own Riff)

Crafting your own Fernandito riff involves balancing the herbal bitterness of Fernet with creative ingredient swaps. Here’s how to experiment:

  • Change the Herbal Liqueur: Swap Fernet with other bitter or herbal liqueurs, like Jägermeister or Campari, for different flavor profiles.
  • Switch the Cola: Experiment with different types of cola or even try ginger ale or root beer for a unique twist.
  • Add Citrus or Sweet Elements: Introduce citrus juices, like lemon or lime, or a splash of simple syrup to adjust the sweet-bitter balance.
  • Experiment with Garnishes: Try garnishing with different citrus peels, herbs like mint or rosemary, or even a cinnamon stick for added aroma and flavor.

 Serving Occasions

The Fernandito, an effervescent blend of bitter and sweet, is an adaptable cocktail suitable for various occasions. It’s a perfect choice for evening social gatherings, offering a sophisticated yet relaxed vibe. The cocktail’s refreshing qualities make it a great choice for summer barbecues or outdoor events. Additionally, its bold flavor profile complements the lively atmosphere of parties or celebratory events.

  • Evening socials and gatherings
  • Summer barbecues and outdoor events
  • Parties and celebrations

Food Pairings

The fizzy, bitter-sweet Fernandito pairs well with a variety of foods. Its herbal and bitter notes complement rich, hearty dishes like grilled meats or savory barbecue. The sweetness from the cola makes it a good match for spicy cuisines, balancing the heat. For a lighter option, consider pairing with salty snacks or appetizers like olives, nuts, or charcuterie, which contrast nicely with the cocktail’s complex profile.

  • Hearty dishes: Grilled meats, barbecue
  • Spicy cuisines: Balances heat with sweetness
  • Light snacks: Olives, nuts, charcuterie


The Fernandito, a drink mixed from fernet and cola, is a cultural icon of Argentina. Its exact origins are debated, with some tracing it back to the 1950s, while others credit its creation to the 1970s. The drink surged in popularity in the 1980-1990s, propelled by a significant advertising campaign by Fratelli Branca (owner of the Fernet-Branca brand) and Coca-Cola in Argentina.

Fernandito and Fernet Branca were relatively unknown outside of Argentina and Europe until the early 2000s, when they then became popular in the United States.

Today, still emblematic of Argentine identity, Fernandito is enjoyed both nationwide and globally. In fact, it was officially recognized as an IBA (International Bartenders Association) cocktail in the the “new era drinks” category in 2020.

  • Origin: Debated; possibly since the 1950s in Córdoba, Argentina.
  • Popularity Surge: 1980s, boosted by Fratelli Branca’s marketing.
  • Cultural Significance: Considered Argentina’s unofficial national drink.
  • IBA: Listed by the International Bartenders Association in 2020


Fernandito Fernet & Coke Cocktail

Fernandito: Easy 2-Ingredient Cocktail

Fernandito is the unofficial drink of Argentina. An effervescent, bitter-sweet, classic mixed drink that combines two ingredients—the depth and complexity of Fernet Branca—an Italian amaro liqueur—and Cola—with its sweet and carbonated profile that complements the herbaceous bitterness of the Fernet. The cocktail is generally served over ice, in a double old-fashioned or highball glass, with a citrus garnish, making it a refreshing choice for various occasions. Also known as Fernet con Coca, Fernet & Coke, Fernando, Fercola and under many other nicknames.
Total Time 3 minutes
Print Recipe Pin Recipe


  • 1 Highball glass (or double old-fashioned glass)
  • 1 Measuring jigger
  • 1 Spoon or stirring stick


  • 2 oz Fernet Branca (or other fernet brand / bitter amaro liqueur)
  • 4 oz Coca-Cola (or other cola)
  • 1 wedge Lime (optional; for garnish)
  • Ice cubes


  • Fill a highball glass with ice cubes.
  • Pour Fernet Branca over the ice in the highball glass.
  • Slowly top up the drink with Coca-Cola (double the Fernet's amount or to taste).
  • Stir gently to mix the flavors.
  • Optionally, garnish with a lime wedge.


Serving: -2gCalories: 199kcalCarbohydrates: 28gProtein: 0.2gFat: 0.1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.01gSodium: 5mgPotassium: 21mgFiber: 1gSugar: 10gVitamin A: 9IUVitamin C: 5mgCalcium: 8mgIron: 0.2mg
Calories: 199kcal
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: Cocktail
Keyword: Coca-Cola, Fernet
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