Fernando: US Open Country Club Signature Cocktail

At the entrance to the men’s locker room at this week’s US Open country club in Brooklyn, Massachusetts, a cozy dark wood bar occupies a corner with chairs, tables and plush couches around.

Golf memorabilia adorns the walls. Hanging to the right of the post is one of the most famous pieces of clothing in golf history: brown collar burgundy golf shirtwith his oval and square photographs of past Ryder Cup winners worn by Team USA when they made incredible sunday comeback win the 1999 Cup in Brooklyn.

But a bar is just a bunch of firewood and bottles without a good bartender. In this case, this room is definitely home to one of the most famous bartenders in all of golf: Fernando Figueroa, who has been working in this room since Easter week 1990.

Fernando, known in golf by his own name such as Tiger or Rory, is friendly. Whether you’re dreaming of celebrating a great victory or drowning your sorrows after a bad round, Fernando is the bartender you’d like to pour.

But what makes him stand out is not his genial personality, his presence, or even his knowing gaze: it’s the cocktail he created – a rum-based concoction, aptly named Fernando.

Drinking and golf go hand in hand, like peanut butter and jelly. But in many of America’s most famous private clubs, guests don’t turn down light beer or strong seltzer. They indulge in a cocktail that they can only get there.

At the National Golf Links of America Stadium in Southampton, New York, which hosted the 2030 Walker Cup and Curtis Cup, it’s Southside, a rum-based drink best sipped from a porch overlooking the 18th Fairway and the water beyond. him.

Merion Golf Club in Ardmore, Pennsylvania, host of the Curtis Cup and the 2030 US Open this year, has Pine Valley, an ice drink of unknown origin: it bears the name of the world’s best golf club (Pine Valley Golf Club in New York). Jersey), but some say it was first made at Gulph Mills Golf Club, an extremely private club nearby.

Further south, on Sea Island in Georgia, there is Sea Island iced tea, an oceanic version of Long Island iced tea, whose pale pink hue belies the strength of the glass. And the Seminole Golf Club in Juneau Beach, Florida has honeysuckle, a frozen concoction that’s easy to eat after a round on the course, a gem designed by Donald Ross.

But none of them are Fernandos, who is preceded by a reputation in golf.

“So many guests who have never been to the Country Club have heard of Fernando,” said Lyman Bullard, club president. “They want it as soon as they veer off course – or don’t even wait that long.”

So how did Fernando come about? The man himself is not hidden.

“At that time I was on duty in the locker room,” he said. “Dale Lewis was my manager and also the bartender. He needed to teach me how to make drinks when he wanted to take a break.”

At the time, the club had a rum buffet that wasn’t very popular, so Fernando asked if he could create something better.

“I started by removing Bacardi and adding Mount Gay rum. I added a sour mix with egg whites and sugar syrup. Then I shake it up and add sparkling water, which creates bubbles like a cappuccino. I changed the float of dark rum from Gosling to Myers.”

He remembers the first two contestants who tried it: Davis Rowley and George Carroll. “They said, ‘Fernando, this is great,'” he said. “We’re going to make this drink famous.”

Reached in Delray Beach, Florida, where he retired from real estate, Rowley confirmed the story. “We actively promoted it,” he said. “We would just beat everyone up to get Fernando. For a while, someone called me the mayor of Fernandos.”

As for what makes the drink so great, Rowley was poetic. “This is the viscosity of the drink,” he said. “The trick where he puts a sour mixture and egg whites head on him and sprinkles it with myers is his labor of love. A couple of Fernandos is fine, but after three you might want to call an Uber.”

Alas, during the week of the US Open, the dressing room is the private and exclusive prerogative of the players. Spectators, even club members, are not allowed inside.

(Fans attending the tournament can order a Lemon Wedge cocktail that sponsor Dewar’s made for the US Open. It’s a summer take on the classic highball, but it’s not Fernando.)

So won’t Fernando be mixing post-round libations with, say, defending champion John Rahm? No chance.

Like a treasured family memento that you put away from sin before guests arrive, Fernando will be on the first floor of the main club and serve his signature cocktail for those who have access to the club.

Membership has its perks.

Ingredients:

Mix ingredients and put in a bowl. Then pour in the sparkling water and stir it at the same time to form a foam.

Add a Myers’s Dark Rum float, orange wedge and cherry for garnish.

As for the exact dimensions, Fernando said: “I’m by eye.”