At the entrance to the males’s locker room at the Country Club in Brookline, Mass., the web site of this week’s U.S. Open, a comfy, dark-wood bar fills a nook, with chairs and tables and well-stuffed couches throughout.
Golf memorabilia adorns the partitions. To the proper of the bar hangs one in every of the most well-known clothes in golf historical past: the tan-collared burgundy golf shirt, with its oval and sq. images of previous Ryder Cup winners, worn by Team U.S.A. when it made an inconceivable Sunday comeback to win the 1999 Cup in Brookline.
But a bar is only a assortment of wooden and bottles with out a nice bartender. In this case, that room actually has one in every of the most well-known bartenders in all of golf: Fernando Figueroa, who has labored that room since Easter week 1990.
Fernando, who exists in golf by his first identify like Tiger or Rory, is an amiable presence. If you dream of celebrating an ideal victory — or drowning your sorrows after a foul spherical — Fernando is the bartender you’d need pouring drinks.
But what makes him stand out isn’t his genial persona, his presence and even his understanding look: it’s the cocktail he created — a rum-based concoction named, fittingly, The Fernando.
Drinking and golf go collectively like peanut butter and jelly. But at a lot of the most-storied personal golf equipment in America, visitors usually are not throwing again a light-weight beer or a tough seltzer. They’re indulging in a cocktail that they’ll solely get there.
At the National Golf Links of America in Southampton, N.Y., which has hosted the Walker Cup and can host the Curtis Cup in 2030, it’s the Southside, a rum-based libation finest sipped from the porch overlooking the 18th fairway and the water past.
Merion Golf Club, in Ardmore, Pa., host of this yr’s Curtis Cup and the 2030 U.S. Open, has the Pine Valley, an ice-choked drink of complicated origin: It bears the identify of the world’s top-ranked golf membership (Pine Valley Golf Club in New Jersey), however some say it was first made at Gulph Mills Golf Club, an exceedingly personal close by membership.
Farther south, Sea Island in Georgia has the Sea Island Iced Tea, an oceanside model of a Long Island Iced Tea whose pale pink hue belies the power of the alcohol in the glass. And Seminole Golf Club in Juno Beach, Fla., has the Honeysuckle, a frozen concoction that goes down simple after a spherical on the course, a Donald Ross-designed gem.
But none of those are Fernandos, with a popularity in golf that precedes it.
“So many visitors who’ve by no means been to the Country Club have heard about the Fernando,” mentioned Lyman Bullard, the membership’s president. “They need one as quickly as they get off the course — or they don’t even wait that lengthy.”
So how did the Fernando come to be? The man himself isn’t secretive.
“I used to be the locker room attendant at the time,” he mentioned. “Dale Lewis was my supervisor and likewise the bartender. He wanted to show me how one can make some drinks for when he needed to take a break.”
At the time, the membership had a rum float that wasn’t highly regarded, so Fernando requested if he might create one thing higher.
“I began by taking away Bacardi and placing in Mount Gay rum. I added bitter combine with egg whites and easy syrup. Then I shake it and put in soda water, which makes the bubbles come up like a cappuccino. I modified the darkish rum floater from Goslings to Myers’s.”
He remembers the first two members who tasted it: Davis Rowley and George Carroll. “They mentioned, ‘Fernando, that is nice,’” he mentioned. “We’re going to make this drink well-known.”
Reached in Delray Beach, Fla., the place he’s retired from actual property, Rowley confirmed the story. “We closely promoted it,” he mentioned. “We would simply egg everybody on to get a Fernando. For some time, somebody nicknamed me the Mayor of Fernandos.”
As for what makes the drink so nice, Rowley waxed poetic. “It’s the viscosity of the drink,” he mentioned. “The trick of placing the head on it with the bitter combine and the egg whites and drizzling the Myers’s on it — it’s a labor of affection on his half. A few Fernandos are good, however after three, chances are you’ll wish to name an Uber.”
Alas, throughout U.S. Open week, the locker room is the personal and unique protect of the gamers. No spectators, not even membership members, are allowed inside.
(Fans attending the match are in a position to order a Lemon Wedge, a cocktail that Dewar’s, a sponsor, created for the U.S. Open. It’s a summery spin on the basic highball, but it surely’s no Fernando.)
So will Fernando be mixing up post-round libations for, say, the defending champion, Jon Rahm? No likelihood.
Like a treasured household memento that you just transfer out of hurt’s approach earlier than the visitors arrive, Fernando will probably be on the first ground of the predominant membership — serving up his signature cocktail for these with membership entry.
Membership has its privileges.
Recipe for The Fernando
Shake the elements collectively and put it in a cup. Then, put soda water in and stir it at the identical time to create the foam.
Add a Myers’s Dark Rum floater and a bit of orange and a cherry to garnish.
As for the exact measurements, Fernando mentioned, “I eyeball it.”