The Hanky Panky – Happy Valentine’s Day!
What do you get when you combine gin, Italian vermouth and Fernet Branca? As the British actor Sir Charles Hawtrey remarked after he drained his first glass “By Jove! That is the real hanky-panky!” The name stuck. And luckily for those who imbibe, so did the drink.
This remarkable mix was devised by Ada Coleman. Known as “Coley,” she was head barman at The American Bar of London’s Savoy Hotel for the first quarter of the twentieth century. “American Bar”, by the way, signified an establishment that served American style cocktails along with wine and ale.
This drink is equal parts gin and Italian vermouth plus Fernet Branca, the herbaceous menthol big daddy of amari. Mind you, I am talking about a mere 2 dashes of Fernet, but even that amount is enough for the Fernet to sing. And sing it does in the loveliest harmony with gin and sweet vermouth.
Go on, order one. After all, isn’t Valentine’s Day the perfect time for a little Hanky Panky?
The Hanky Panky
Fill a cocktail shaker half way with ice. Add liquors, stir thirty seconds, and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Twist orange peel over glass to add orange oil to drink, and garnish with a fresh twist.
For more with Fernet Branca click here!
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