The hanky panky was created by Ada “Coley” Coleman at the American Bar in London’s Savoy Hotel somewhere between 1903 and 1923. One of Coley’s regulars was Sir Charles Henry Hawtrey (1858 to 1923), an actor and writer who, according to Coley, was “one of the best judges of cocktails I knew.” She worked up this drink for him and after drinking it down, he said, “By Jove! That is the real hanky-panky!” Coley retired in 1925 but her legacy lived on through this drink, thanks in part to its inclusion in Harry Craddock’s famous “The Savoy Cocktail Book,” printed in 1930.
1 1/2 ounces gin
1 1/2 ounces sweet vermouth
2 dashes Fernet-Branca
1 dash orange juice
Orange peel, for garnish
In a mixing glass filled with ice, pour the gin, sweet vermouth, and Fernet-Branca. Add a dash of orange juice if you like. Stir well, for at least 30 seconds.
Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
Twist an orange peel over the drink to express its oils, then lay it over the rim as a garnish. Serve and enjoy.
Yield: 1 servings