A Hanky Panky cocktail is a pre-prohibition drink made with just three ingredients: gin, sweet vermouth and Fernet-Branca. It's easy to make at home!
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The Hanky Panky is a simple, yet flavorful, gin-based cocktail that's fun to say and fun to serve! We know that gin and sweet vermouth go well together, but when a bit of Fernet-Branca is added, it kicks things up a notch.
A Hanky Panky tastes lightly sweet, but the sweetness is toned down by the bold, bitter herbal flavors in the Fernet-Branca. Add the botanical quality of gin and you've got a complex, aromatic cocktail that is well balanced but far from boring.
The Hanky Panky cocktail was created by Ada (Coley) Coleman, head bartender at the American Bar in the Savoy Hotel in London. She created it for actor Sir Charles Hawtrey, who requested, "something with a bit of punch in it." After hours of experimenting, she presented this new concoction to him. Upon tasting the drink, Hawtrey exclaimed, "By jove! That is the real hanky panky!" The name stuck.
- Gin: I like Hendricks, but choose your favorite brand.
- Sweet vermouth: There are endless choices! Dolin and Noilly Prat are widely available, but try some small-batch producers when you can.
- Fernet-Branca: This Italian amaro is an herbal liqueur made of 27 different ingredients. It has an herbaceous, anise-like flavor.
How to make it
Pour gin, vermouth and two dashes of Fernet-Branca over ice in a cocktail shaker or small pitcher. Stir quickly until mixture is chilled.
Strain into coupe glasses and garnish with orange twist.
Try these gin-based cocktails for more flavor and fun!
- The Negroni is a close cousin to the Hanky Panky made with gin, sweet vermouth and Campari.
- A Bee's Knees is the epitome of freshness, combining gin with fresh lemon juice and honey.
Hanky Panky Cocktail
- 1 ½ oz gin
- 1 ½ oz sweet vermouth
- 2 dashes Fernet-Branca
- Pour gin, vermouth and two dashes of Fernet-Branca over ice in a cocktail shaker or small pitcher. Stir quickly until mixture is chilled.
- Strain into coupe glasses and garnish with orange twist.