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!
- 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, Stir.
- Strain into a chilled coupe glass
- Garnish with a piece of orange peel