Hi-Spirits Ireland has confirmed it is to begin distribution Fernet Branca in the Irish on-trade and off-trade, along with a range of other speciality drinks brands from Fratelli Branca Distillerie of Milan.

The new partnership is effective as of February 1st, and will see a significant increase in trade support for Fernet Branca, Brancamenta, Caffe Borghetti, Antica Formula, Punt e Mes and the Carpano vermouth range, including competitions, staff training, incentives and POS. It builds on the relationship established between the family-owned Italian distiller and Hi-Spirits’ Ireland’s sister company, Hi-Spirits UK.

Created in Milan in 1845 by Bernardino Branca, Fernet-Branca is a 39% ABV digestif amaro with a distinctive bitter flavour, still made to the closely guarded original recipe.

George Roberts, Hi-Spirits Ireland country manager, said: “Fernet-Branca and the Fratelli Branca Distillerie range are a wonderful addition to our established range of leading spirits brands. The resurgence of the cocktail culture is driving strong demand from consumers for drinks with genuine provenance and heritage.

“Fernet Branca has huge credibility amongst drinks trade professionals, and we’re looking forward to working with bars and retailers to raise its profile even further. We’ll be launching a new cocktail competition, and offering staff incentives including trips to the distillery, as well the opportunity to take part in the global Fernet Branca Barback Games, which are being held London in 2018.

“We’re setting up a programme of staff training which will include masterclasses with Fernet Branca world ambassador Nicola Olianas. We also have a great range of high quality POS available, including vintage posters.”

Dublin-based Hi-Spirits Ireland is a subsidiary of the USA-based Sazerac Company. It distributes a portfolio including Southern Comfort, Buffalo Trace bourbon, Fireball, Antica Sambuca, RedLeg rum and a range of premium spirits and liqueurs.

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