The Pallottola.

The Pallottola. (Meekah Hopkins, Baltimore Sun / January 7, 2014)

Pallottola (noun): Italian for "bullet"; a defense for the capricious weather conditions of this January in Baltimore; a drink featured on the brand new cocktail menu at Verde, the Neopolitan pizza restaurant in Canton.

Designed by bar manager Alec Franklin to ward off the winter blues, the Pallottola is a fun-to-say seasonal sipper created with a healthy dose of rye and Fernet Branca. In other words, this is a strong drink — with a mission. Franklin also wanted to showcase the small, family-owned restaurant's commitment to both local sourcing as well as its traditional Italian roots. "Our entire cocktail program focuses on classic Italian drinks with a twist," he explained. Here, the Pallottola fuses Virginia-based Catoctin Creek organic rye with the oh-so-trendy, oh-so "awesome on its own" Fernet, an Italian herbal liqueur. Brown sugar simple syrup and a blood orange and fresh thyme garnish round out the drink.

When paired with the aromatic bitterness of the Fernet and the rich sweetness of the brown sugar, the spice of the rye becomes an approachable drink for any palate, not just the brown liquor fan. Warm and smooth, this is a perfect little winter offering.

With Italian flavor to heat you up and a bad-ass name to wake you up, you really can't go wrong savoring a few "bullets" at Verde.

How to Make The Pallottola

2 oz. Catoctin Creek Roundstone Rye

1 oz. Fernet Branca

1/2 oz. brown sugar simple syrup

Mix; serve neat, garnished with blood orange wedge or twist and fresh thyme.

Where to Get The Pallottola

Verde

641 S. Montford Ave., Canton

410-522-1000

$11 regularly; $8 Monday-Thursday, 5-7 p.m.

verdepizza.com