It’s Valentine’s Day, and that means love is in the air!

Forgive me, but I just couldn’t find a better Classic cocktail to commemorate Valentine’s than this one.

Yes, it’s a “Classic”

The Hanky Panky was invented in the early 19th century by Ada Coleman head bartender of the Savoy Hotel’s American Bar at the time. Since it pre-dates Prohibition, we can officially call it “a classic!”

No, It’s Not About Sex:

Here’s the cocktail’s story, told by Ada herself – as quoted by The People newspaper in 1925:

“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.” (Source)

So there you have it – it’s not about sex at all. I think I will start calling things “The Real Hanky Panky” from now on. Think it’ll catch on?

The Hanky Panky Cocktail:

So have a great Valentine’s Day – however you choose to celebrate – and may your day be “the real Hanky Panky” as well!

Hanky Panky

It’s Valentine’s Day – what better way to celebrate than with the classic Hanky Panky cocktail?
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Course: Drinks


  • 1 1/2 oz Gin
  • 1 1/2 oz Sweet Vermouth I used Carpano Antica Formula
  • 2 dashes Fernet Branca


  • Combine ingredients in a mixing glass, add ice, and stir.
  • Strain into a chilled coupe glass.
  • Garnish with a piece of orange peel.