Fernet has a reputation for harshness. But while sipping it neat might indeed be too bitter for a first-timer, we suggest mixing it up in a Hanky Panky cocktail. Created in 1925 by head bartender Ada Coleman of the American Bar in London’s Savoy Hotel, it allows the gin’s and the vermouth’s sweetness to subdue Fernet’s overbearing flavor, resulting in a balanced libation that just might help you learn to love the spirit.
A smoky take on a Manhattan, the Rob Roy is made with Scotch whisky instead of rye. The variation was first created in 1894 at the Waldorf Astoria in New York for the premiere of Rob Roy, an operetta based on Scottish folk hero Rob Roy MacGregor. Like a Manhattan, the Rob Roy can be made dry (with dry vermouth in place of sweet) or perfect...