My Fall Cocktail: The Hanky Panky

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Transitioning to the colder months requires a change in cocktails. I need a drink that has a little warmth to it, a good body, and just a subtle sweetness. The wonderfully named Hanky Panky compounds all these cozy things with just three simple ingredients. This cocktial is similar to a gin martini with a very important twist – a couple dashes of Fernet Branca.

The Hanky Panky was created by Ada Coleman, the head bartender from 1903- 1926 at the Savoy Hotel in London. Typically the drink is made with one part sweet vermouth to one part gin, with a couple dashes of Fernet Branca thrown in. You stir the spirits with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass, or coupe, and then squeeze an orange peel on the the drink and use it as a garnish.

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Fernet Branca is one of those things that people love or hate – and I absolutely love it. The spirit is a very bitter, herbal Italian liqueur that works by itself as a great digestif or adds a shock to a cocktail.

Do you have a favorite warming cocktail for the fall? Let us know in the comments.

(Image credits: James Herron)