Frenet Branca is gross. I have enough hair on my chest, thankyouverymuch. Blech!

When I was a kid, the Italians and children of Italians in my family would often drink the after-dinner cordials like Amaretto,  Frangelico or Sambuca. They’d call them “digestivos.”

Sometimes put in coffee or sometimes drank slowly from a shotglass.

As I got into my later teens they would give me the smallest of sips. “Have some, it’ll put hair on your chest. ”

And that’s all I wanted.  Bleck. Especially the black licorice-flavored Sambuca. So awful.  Isn’t black licorice the worst tasting flavor of licorice? Why would anyone liquify it, add alcohol and drink it after a meal?

As I got older,  into my twenties I started to barely bear it on its own,  much better in coffee, but still why?

The worst?  Frenet Branca.

Just the thought of it makes my bones shiver. Like drinking spinach-flavored black licorice in a bile/gasoline compound.

Why would anyone do this to themselves?

Ok, I admit… a month ago I tried to drink it with my only living actual Italian relative. And I also did it to honor my late uncle,  who first introduced me to it.

I re-learned that lesson the hard way.

And I hated myself in the process.

I noticed they’re trying a marketing campaign to make Frenet cool and hip. You can try, but I know better.


  1. “Have some, it’ll put hair on your chest. “ Flashback horror. My dad used this line all the time about various foods we didn’t want to eat, especially spicy ones. As a growing young girl forced to partake, I was always checking for chest hair. Whew !

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Gratu, we’ve enjoyed an Amaretto after a meal. I’m pretty sure I’ve had Sambuca but I don’t think I liked it. I don’t think I’ve tried this vile potion you’ve described so I’ll steer clear! But I don’t know how people drink Scotch, which to me tastes like I would imagine rancid lighter fluid would taste like.

    Liked by 1 person

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