Fernando Cocktail Recipe

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Fernando Nutrition Facts





Alcohol %:40

Created by

Nic Polotnianko

I fell in love with the art of mixology 6 years ago. Since then, I've honed my skills, crafting a myriad of cocktail recipes, and sharing my passion with other enthusiasts.

Last Updated: January 7, 2024


The Fernando cocktail is a classic cocktail that originated in the 1920s. It was named after a famous bullfighter from Spain, Fernando Gomez. This cocktail is perfect for those who enjoy a strong, robust drink with a hint of sweetness.

  • Origin: 1920s
  • Inspiration: Named after a famous bullfighter
  • Perfect for: Those who enjoy strong, robust drinks

How Fernando Tastes?

The Fernando cocktail has a robust, strong taste with a hint of sweetness. The combination of the whiskey and vermouth gives it a rich, full-bodied flavor, while the cherry liqueur adds a touch of sweetness.

Interesting facts about Fernando

  • The Fernando cocktail was named after a famous bullfighter from Spain, Fernando Gomez.
  • It was first created in the 1920s.
  • The cocktail is known for its strong, robust flavor with a hint of sweetness.



Whiskey is the backbone of this cocktail, providing a robust and complex flavor profile with notes that can range from sweet to smoky, depending on the type used. Opting for a 2 oz pour is just enough to make this spirit shine without overpowering the other ingredients. Too much whiskey, and you'll overwhelm the delicate balance, too little and you might as well be drinking a flavored vermouth! Alternatives could be bourbon for a sweeter touch or rye for a spicier kick which would subtly shift the cocktail's character.

Emma Rose


Vermouth adds herbal and slightly bitter notes to the cocktail, creating a beautiful balance with the whiskey. The 1 oz measurement ensures that it complements without overshadowing the whiskey's lead role. Forget the vermouth, and the drink loses its nuanced edge, becoming just another whiskey-forward sip. As an alternative, you could use a different style of vermouth, such as a sweet red vermouth for a richer taste, or a dry vermouth for a more astringent profile.

Alex Green

Cherry Liqueur

The cherry liqueur provides a sweet and fruity contrast to the other ingredients, rounding out the drink and giving it depth. Half an ounce is perfect for a hint of cherry without turning the cocktail into cough syrup. Leave it out, and you miss out on the fruity harmony that makes the 'Fernando' special. If cherry liqueur isn't your thing or you don't have it on hand, consider a splash of raspberry or blackberry liqueur for a different berry twist.

Mary Mitkina

Lemon Twist

The lemon twist is more than just a pretty garnish. It provides a bright, aromatic kick that cuts through the richness of the other ingredients, offering a refreshing finish with each sip. Skip this, and the cocktail could feel one-dimensional. The zest's oils are expressive, so even a small twist goes a long way. No lemon? A grapefruit or orange twist could also do the trick, bringing their own unique citrus notes to the table.

Emma Rose

Recipe. How to make Fernando Drink

  1. Fill a mixing glass with ice.
  2. Add the whiskey, vermouth, and cherry liqueur.
  3. Stir well.
  4. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
  5. Garnish with a lemon twist.

Pro Tips

  • Use a high-quality whiskey for the best flavor.
  • Stir the cocktail well to ensure all the flavors are well combined.
  • Chill the cocktail glass before pouring the cocktail into it for the best experience.

Perfect Pairings


  • Charcuterie Board: The rich and smoky flavors of whiskey mixed with the sweet and slightly bitter vermouth and cherry liqueur can stand up to the robust flavors of cured meats and aged cheeses.
  • Dark Chocolate: The sweetness from the cherry liqueur would complement the bitterness of dark chocolate, creating a luxurious tasting experience.

Main Dishes

  • Grilled Steak: The body and complexity of the 'Fernando' can pair nicely with a juicy, hearty steak. The whiskey's warmth and cherry's sweetness complement the charred flavors from the grill.
  • Roasted Duck: The robust flavors of duck work well with the depth of the cocktail, and the cherry notes can complement a fruit sauce often served with duck.


  • Cheesecake: A creamy cheesecake could be a lovely contrast to the 'Fernando' with the zesty lemon twist cutting through the richness.
  • Fruit Tarts: Pairing this cocktail with a fruit tart could highlight the cherry notes in the drink while the acidity from the fruits keeps the palate refreshed.

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What you could change in Fernando

  • Whiskey can be substituted with bourbon or rye.
  • Vermouth can be substituted with any other sweet vermouth.
  • Cherry liqueur can be substituted with any other sweet liqueur.

Explore all drinks starting with F here

And of course - twists🍹

Smoky Fernando

  • Substitute the whiskey with a peated Scotch whisky.
  • Add a bar spoon of honey.
  • Follow the original recipe for others.

The smokiness of the Scotch whisky combined with the subtle sweetness of honey will give the 'Fernando' a warm and inviting twist. It's for those who love a touch of campfire in their glass.

Spiced Fernando

  • Use rye whiskey instead of traditional whiskey.
  • Add a dash of orange bitters.
  • Replace the lemon twist with an orange peel.

This twist will have a spicier bite from the rye, with the orange bitters and peel enhancing the fruity notes, giving the cocktail a zesty and lively profile ideal for spicing up your evening.

Berry Fernando

  • Replace cherry liqueur with blackberry liqueur.
  • Use a floral gin instead of whiskey.
  • Garnish with fresh blackberries.

Transforming 'Fernando' into a summery delight, the blackberry liqueur and gin introduce a lighter, more floral character, with fresh berries adding to the drink's visual appeal and overall refreshment factor.

In case you forgot basics how to make Fernando

Place your chosen strainer on top of the shaker or mixing glass, ensuring a secure fit. Pour the cocktail into a glass through the strainer, which will catch solid ingredients and ice. If double straining, hold the fine mesh strainer between the shaker and the glass.

Learn everything on how to strain

Insert the spoon into the glass until it touches the bottom. Keep the back of the spoon against the inside wall of the glass, and stir in a smooth, circular motion. The goal is to swirl the ice and ingredients together without churning or splashing.

Learn everything on how to stir

Garnishing a bar drink depends on the type of garnish and the cocktail. Generally, it involves preparing the garnish (like cutting a citrus wheel or picking a sprig of mint), and then adding it to the drink in a visually appealing way (like perching it on the rim or floating it on top).

Learn everything on garnishing

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Frequently Asked Questions on Fernando

What type of whiskey works best for the Fernando cocktail?

The Fernando cocktail works best with a whiskey that has a robust, full-bodied flavor such as a single malt or rye whiskey. However, the type of whiskey used can be varied to suit personal taste preferences.

Can I use a different type of fruit liqueur in the Fernando cocktail?

While cherry liqueur is traditionally used in the Fernando cocktail, you can experiment with other fruit liqueurs. However, doing so may alter the overall flavor profile of the cocktail.

What does a lemon twist do to the flavor of the Fernando cocktail?

The lemon twist in the Fernando cocktail serves as a garnish and gives a subtle citrus aroma which complements the robust flavor of the whiskey and cherry liqueur.

Can I prepare a non-alcoholic version of the Fernando cocktail?

Yes, you could use non-alcoholic substitutes for whiskey and cherry liqueur to prepare a non-alcoholic version of the Fernando cocktail. However, the taste will not be the same as the original.

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