Traveling in Italy, Liquid Riot owner Eric Michaud fell in love with Fernet-Branca. It wasn’t just the bitter, herbal taste of the Milanese liqueur, but the ritual sipping of it as a digestif. So he and brother/head distiller Ian Michaud worked out their own version. They won’t divulge their blend of 22 botanicals, including various roots and herbs, but Ian notes they’ve imparted more mint flavor. Fernet Michaud won high honors this year from the American Distilling Institute and similar appraisers of spirits. And it holds up great as a cocktail ingredient, like in Liquid Riot’s Fruit et Fernet, with house-made beer schnapps, strawberry preserves, lime juice, and maple syrup.