Day 56 – Discovering the Argentine drink Fernet

Two sisters from The Netherlands, Amber and Eelke, moved into our dorm the other day and today is the last day of their trip.  Amber and Eelke are such fun loving girls, they really were a great pair. Their current trip had taken them from South East Asia all the way to South America and tomorrow they head back to the Netherlands. As it was their last night, they were determined to have a night of alcohol fueled fun.

One problem. With the local elections tomorrow, the government has banned the sale of alcohol. Can you imagine how the English would react if the government ever enforced such a rule?! There would be riots! Politics appears to be taken a lot more seriously in this country. Anyway, despite this, we were certain there would be ways around this.

So we all started the night secretly drinking fernet and coke in the dorm – me, John, Amber, Eelke and another Belgian girl from our dorm. Drinking your own alcohol inside the hostel is forbidden as they had a bar downstairs. Fernet is Argentina’s national drink. With an alcoholic percentage of around 45% it is a spirit commonly mixed with Coke. It has almost a liquorice taste and although I don’t like liquorice, it’s quite a nice tasting drink but quality can vary according to the price which can go from around £1.50 for a litre bottle to over £30.

After finishing a bottle of Fernet between us, we headed out, as the Dutch girls requested, for some steak! No complaints from us after eating the best steak of our lives the other night. We were told that if you buy food, we would get served alcohol at certain restaurants. So we went to a couple, making sure we asked if they served alcohol, before taking a table at a little restaurant nearby.

We all ordered steak apart from the Belgian girl who was a vegetarian (The Argentine’s think it is blasphemous to be a vegetarian. They just can’t understand) along with bottles of red wine. In our drunken state, in order to get some freebies, we claimed that it was Eelke’s birthday. They bought it and they came out with a slice of flan with a candle on top!


We struggled to find a place to go after the meal because it was the night before the elections and ended up heading back to the hostel. There, we found a lot of other travellers also having the same difficulty. Then suddenly word got round that a hostel round the corner had a bar/club serving alcohol. We all headed over together. It was a basement bar and there wasn’t many bodies in the room but with our group entering, it made the place look busy. In the corner was a guy who had thrown up everywhere, and was now passed out on the seat. Classy. We stayed for a few hours drinking and dancing but by about 3am, me and John decided to head back to the hostel to get some sleep (we’re such lightweights). The Dutch girls stayed.


Us in the basement bar with Eelke and Amber with other people from the hostel

About Julia Chan

I’m Julia and I've just returned from the adventure of my life. I went travelling around South America, the South Pacific and South East Asia for 12 months, and I'd do it all over again if I could! Julia on Google+
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