Fernet Branca is a bitter, aromatic spirit made from of over 40 herbs and spices, including myrrh, rhubarb, chamomile, cardamom and saffron, with a base of grape alcohol. The recipe is a secret, and was created by the young Maria Scala in 1845 in Milan. Scala's name became Maria Branca through marriage, and the product's name was born.
The Fernet Branca is still produced in Milan by the company Fratelli Branca, overseen by the Branca family. Fernet Branca is usually served as a digestif after a meal, but may also be enjoyed with coffee and espresso, or mixed into coffee and espresso drinks. It may be enjoyed neat at room temperature or with ice.