At the entrance to the males’s locker room at the Country Club in Brookline, Mass., the website of this week’s U.S. Open, a comfortable, 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 all 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 unbelievable 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 definitely has one in all 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 important victory — or drowning your sorrows after a nasty spherical — Fernando is the bartender you’d need pouring drinks.
But what makes him stand out shouldn’t be 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 non-public golf equipment in America, company will not be throwing again a lightweight beer or a tough seltzer. They’re indulging in a cocktail that they will 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 12 months’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 non-public 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 guests who have never been to the Country Club have heard about the Fernando,” mentioned Lyman Bullard, the membership’s president. “They want one as soon as they get off the course — or they don’t even wait that long.”
So how did the Fernando come to be? The man himself shouldn’t be secretive.
“I was the locker room attendant at the time,” he mentioned. “Dale Lewis was my manager and also the bartender. He needed to teach me how to make some drinks for when he wanted to take a break.”
At the time, the membership had a rum float that wasn’t highly regarded, so Fernando requested if he may create one thing higher.
“I started by taking away Bacardi and putting in Mount Gay rum. I added sour mix with egg whites and simple syrup. Then I shake it and put in soda water, which makes the bubbles come up like a cappuccino. I changed the dark rum floater from Goslings to Myers’s.”
He remembers the first two members who tasted it: Davis Rowley and George Carroll. “They said, ‘Fernando, this is great,’” he mentioned. “We’re going to make this drink famous.”
Reached in Delray Beach, Fla., the place he’s retired from actual property, Rowley confirmed the story. “We heavily promoted it,” he mentioned. “We would just egg everyone on to get a Fernando. For a while, someone 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 putting the head on it with the sour mix and the egg whites and drizzling the Myers’s on it — it’s a labor of love on his part. A couple of Fernandos are good, but after three, you may want to call an Uber.”
Alas, throughout U.S. Open week, the locker room is the non-public 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, nevertheless it’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 simply transfer out of hurt’s means earlier than the company arrive, Fernando will likely be on the first flooring of the predominant membership — serving up his signature cocktail for these with membership entry.
Membership has its privileges.
Recipe for The Fernando
Shake the substances 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 chunk of orange and a cherry to garnish.
As for the exact measurements, Fernando mentioned, “I eyeball it.”