Fernet Branca, a menthol-infused amaro, is a love-it-or-hate-it spirit that can be hard to approach if you’re new to it. The Toronto, from David Embury’s 1948 book The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks, is an excellent entrypoint, as it’s essentially an Old Fashioned with Fernet Branca (or your own favorite mint or menthol fernet) in place of bitters.
Naturally, you should use a Canadian whiskey here. Typically blended, Canadian whiskies are smooth and mellow. Some have a high rye content, lending a peppery flavor; you can sub in an American rye or bourbon, if you have no Canadian whiskey on hand.
You can build the ingredients in a glass in the order given, top with ice, and stir, Old Fashioned-style. Alternately, you can stir it with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail or coupe glass for a softer flavor. Either way, garnish with an orange twist.
- Toronto Cocktail at Imbibe