Let me start by saying that, as a rule, I can do without pieces of TV fluff. Show me golf. That’s why I logged on. But like everything in life, there are occasional rule breakers.
Friday, during the broadcast on NBC of the second round of 122n/a US Open at the Country Club in Brookline, Massachusetts, director Tommy Roy chose to cut the action for a pre-produced play. Maybe you used it as a chance to get up from the La-Z-Boy and refill your drink, grab a pre-dinner snack, or stop in instead. If you did, you missed a fun feature that gave viewers a different lens on why, aside from being one of America’s great classic courses, it wouldn’t suck at be a member of the Country Club.
Longtime NBC essayist Jimmy Roberts told me something I didn’t know, Fernando’s story.
It’s a refreshing cocktail named after bartender Fernando Figueroa, the creator of the drink some 30 years ago, who used to replace summer and, funny enough, didn’t drink.
“He made his concoction, which he’s figured out by the smell ever since,” Roberts explained.
I love it when a club has a signature drink or dish — think turtle soup at Pine Valley or chilled lobster lunch at the National Golf Links of America — and the Fernando is held in such high esteem that the pro shop sells a Fernando hat, which fans of the capped drink have made known all over town.
The beloved drink is a combination of two rums. “It’s a light rum with a sweet and sour mix, a bit of egg white mixed in, simple syrup and soda water all at the same time, topped with a dark rum. Mix and voila,” Fernando said.
Members love it. “People come to the club and ask for a Fernando and we have no idea how they heard about the Fernando,” a TCC staff member noted in the report.
It gives a whole new meaning to Fernando-mania. On an average summer weekend, Fernando mixes 300 of his signature drinks a day.
While the clip isn’t available on social media, here’s a report from an NBC Boston affiliate on the drink:
Great day in Brookline at the Country Club as we prepare for the @usopengolf.@NBC10Bostonit is @MelodyNBCBoston has the story of a drink there. Not just any drink. It’s “The Fernando” and while it sounds fabulous, it’s more about the man who invented it. I recommend watching! pic.twitter.com/nWF05DpY8z
— Raul Martinez (@RaulNBCBoston) June 16, 2022
Sometimes these quirky features can make me want to shout on set to educate myself on golfers, show me more shots and not waste my time, but this slice of club life, especially on Fridays when there were loads of golf yet to play, was a hit for me.
Kudos to Roberts, who took a sip of a freshly made Fernando at the end of the segment and smiled and said, “I love my job.”