part of remediating any unfaithful relationship is to come clean. a couple of weeks earlier, i returned to pearl to meet up with a couple of friends. while there, we came up with the bright idea of trying every apertif on the top shelf. enter lillet blanc, a sultry blend of white wine and citrus liqueurs. formulated by a monk, but brought to life by james bond in casino royale as a vesper, this drink almost made me forget about fernet. simply served over ice with a slice of orange, this drink was so easy, so smooth, so accessible–the opposite of everything i loved about fernet. i was hooked and started only ordering lillet when i went out…it appeared that the fernet era had to come to an end. the pivotal moment finally arrived a few days before union, at a fundraiser gala. due to a strange course of events, the bartender started serving me lillet in a children’s sippy cup. four or so sippies later, i had a killer excederin-esque headache and realized the error of my ways; this glorious affair had come to an end. fast forward to a birthday dinner at union, yet another ethan stowell establishment. our party decided to grab a pre-dinner drink and i was faced with a choice at the bar: lillet or fernet? out of habit, i ordered lillet, and the icy sweetness quickly reminded me of the never-ending brainsore i had endured the weekend before. they say there’s no pleasure without pain, and i quickly switched back over to my tried and true during the meal. i ended up learning a valuable lesson that night at union: while there is still a place in my drink repertoire for lillet, i’ve got the #1 spot reserved for fernet, which is a little rough around the edges, but will never hurt me.