Hanky Panky Recipe

Fernet-Branca, Italian Vermouth, Dry Gin
Hanky Panky
Photo for Will Shenton

The Hanky Panky cocktail is a pre-Prohibition drink made with gin, sweet vermouth, and fernet. It's an exceedingly simple recipe, and draws on the early gin-and-vermouth framework of the Martini and Martinez.

The Hanky Panky was invented by famed Savoy Hotel bartender Ada "Coley" Coleman, who was quoted in 1925 with its origin story:

"The late Charles Hawtrey... was one of the best judges of cocktails that I knew. Some years ago, when he was overworking, he used to come into the bar and say, 'Coley, I am tired. Give me something with a bit of punch in it.' It was for him that I spent hours experimenting until I had invented a new cocktail. The next time he came in, I told him I had a new drink for him. He sipped it, and, draining the glass, he said, 'By Jove! That is the real hanky-panky!' And Hanky-Panky it has been called ever since."

Ingredients

1.5 oz dry gin
1.5 oz sweet vermouth
0.25 oz fernet
Orange twist

Preparation: How to make a Hanky Panky

  1. Add all ingredients to a mixing glass with ice and stir until chilled.
  2. Strain into a chilled coupe glass.
  3. Garnish with an orange twist and serve.
Hanky Panky