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Hanky Panky

Hanky Panky Cocktail Getty images

The Hanky Panky cocktail is a gin martini, balanced between sweet and bitter with herbal flavours.

The Hanky Panky cocktail was invented by Ada Coleman, known as “Coley.” Coley was a famous female bartender in the 1920’s who worked at the 'American Bar' in London’s 'Savoy Hotel'. She invented this cocktail for a famous actor Sir Charles Hawtrey who requested for something ‘with a bit punch of a punch in it.’

Apparently when he first tasted it, he exclaimed “By Jove! This is the real hanky panky!” A very 1920’s way of saying, “Wow, this drink is good.”

Fernet Branca makes this martini sing. It is bitter, sweet, herbaceous and spicy having been flavoured with gentian, saffron, chamomile, bitter orange, herbs and spices. Each of these botanicals is macerated separately, blended together, then aged for twelve months in a barrel. Drinking Fernet is becoming increasingly popular and it adds intrigue to this cocktail. 

Ease of Making: Easy 

Glass Type: Coupe or Nick & Nora

Taste: Sweet, bitter and refreshing (can they be the same?)

Original Recipe:

  • 45ml Explorer’s Gin
  • 45ml Sweet vermouth
  • 5ml Fernet Branca
  • Orange peel for the twist

Method:

  • Add the gin, sweet vermouth, and Fernet-Branca in cocktail mixing glass
  • Fill the mixing glass with 1 handful ice
  • Stir continuously for 30 seconds
  • Strain into a glass. Garnish with an orange twist and serve

Variations:

  • Increase the Fernet Branca to 7ml
  • Add 2ml of fresh orange juice
  • Switch the orange twist for a Luxardo cherry
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