What is Fernet Hunter

Broken Fernet Hunter Bottle in river

Fernet Hunter is a fresh take on a classic Italian bitter.

Fernet Hunter Bottle

Using a recipe that dates back to the early 1900’s, this aromatic spirit is made from a select combination of botanicals, including Arnica, Orrisroot, and Lavender, which are found in and around the Austrian town and forest of Brunnwald.

Leaves in the forest

These herbs and spices are handpicked and dried during the hunting season, hence the name Fernet Hunter. Utilizing a low-temperature infusion method, the true essence of each ingredient is extracted, which gives Fernet Hunter its unique character and balance.

Antlers hanging from wooden planks

Established in collaboration between father and son (Holzer and Holzer), Fernet Hunter combines centuries of experience in distilling and alcohol trade with a modern approach in bartending.

Fernet Hunter packaging

Fernet Hunter can be enjoyed in many ways, but it’s best consumed chilled - with soda, tea, or in cocktails.

Manger, deer in the background

Ingredients

Peaceful lake with pier

Arnica – Indigenous to mountainous regions, arnica is a herbaceous plant in the sunflower family. It’s roots and flowers are known for their medicinal properties and are used in Fernet Hunter to provide a distinct herbal undertone to the spirit.

Rock surrounded by gushing water

Orris Root – Found on the steep slopes of the Alps, orris root petals bring bittersweet notes and a violet-like aroma to Fernet Hunter. The root enhances the other herbs and spices used to make the spirit.

Broken Fernet Hunter bottle in river bed

Lavender — At home in the rocky soil of The Muehlviertel (upper Austria), lavender buds provide the aromatic quality to Fernet Hunter. Beyond the pleasant aromatics, the lavender also works as a tonic to settle the stomach when consumed after meals.

Upside down picture of Fernet Hunter bottle with lavender

Story

Moss covered tree near river

Fernet Hunter is created by Raphael Holzer and Neville Kotewall – two friends who met in Hong Kong and who share a passion for quality food and drink.

Blue rope on wooden planks

While they come from opposite backgrounds, both Raphael and Neville believe in the importance of craftsmanship and artisanal products and their place within food and beverage culture.

Dog about to jump in river

Raphael’s family history is embedded in alcohol production. His great grandfather, Oskar Holzer, was first introduced to the world of spirits with Fernet Stock in Trieste, Italy. Oskar helped build the Stock empire and guided the company through adversity at every turn, including relocating to Linz, Austria during the Second World War.

Traffic sign in forest

It was in Austria where his son, Guido Holzer, became an accomplished distiller at Stock and in the late 1960’s, Guido branched out on his own to start Holzer & Holzer.

Tree trunk with hole and moss

Guido’s son, Gilbert Holzer, eventually took over the business and continued the family craft of distilling in the Brunnwald Forest, 30 kilometers north of Linz.

Power poles covered with plants

This is where Raphael grew up, where his own passion for the spirit industry began, and where Fernet Hunter is currently produced today.

Drinks

Fernet Hunter is made with a unique combination of botanicals to produce a complex spirit that’s not only good on its own, but great in cocktails too. And when it comes to making cocktails with Fernet Hunter, simplicity is key. Due to the nature of this spirit, it’s best to use fresh and light ingredients to create perfectly balanced and refreshing cocktails for any occasion.

The Fernet Hunter Highball

  • 50 ml of Fernet Hunter
  • 2 sprigs of fresh mint
  • Soda water (using high quality soda water is key)
  • Solid ice

Pour Fernet Hunter into a pre-chilled 300 ml highball glass.
Fill the glass with ice to the rim.
Break the mint in the palm of your hand to release the oils and drop inside the glass.
Top up with the soda water and give the ice a quick lift with a bar spoon.

Maté Highball

  • 50 ml of Fernet Hunter
  • 1 bottle of Maté Sparkling Tea
  • Grapefruit peel
  • Solid ice

Pour Fernet Hunter into a pre-chilled 300 ml highball glass.
Fill the glass with ice to the rim.
Twist grapefruit peel over the glass to release the oils.
Top up with Maté Sparkling Tea and give the ice a quick lift with a bar spoon.

Fernet Ginger

  • 50 ml of Fernet Hunter
  • 2 slices of ginger
  • 1 bottle of ginger ale (non-alcoholic)
  • 10 ml lime juice
  • 1 lime peel
  • Solid ice

Place ginger slices into an empty 300 ml highball glass and gently muddle.
Pour Fernet Hunter and lime juice into the glass.
Stir everything together and add ice.
Top up with ginger ale.
Twist lime peel over the glass to release the oils and give the ice a quick lift with a bar spoon.

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Photographers:
Jürgen Grünwald,
Florian Voggeneder (Deer)