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Hanky Panky

The Hanky Panky is a simple yet sophisticated gin-based cocktail that has stood the test of time. Despite its simplicity, the Hanky Panky remains a popular choice among cocktail enthusiasts to this day.

Boozy Classic Hanky Panky Cocktail with Gin and an Orange Garnish

If you’re curious about trying the Hanky Panky for yourself, you can easily make it at home with just a few ingredients. While the original recipe calls for equal parts gin and sweet vermouth, some modern variations use a higher proportion of gin to balance out the bitterness of the Fernet-Branca. Whether you prefer the classic recipe or a modern twist, the Hanky Panky is a timeless cocktail that’s sure to impress.


The Hanky Panky cocktail has a rich history dating back to the early 1900s. It was created by Ada “Coley” Coleman, who was the head bartender at The Savoy’s American Bar in London. Coleman was known for her creativity and enjoyed experimenting with new drinks. According to legend, the cocktail was created for actor Sir Charles Hawtrey, who was a regular at the bar and requested a drink with a bit of punch in it.

Hanky Panky gin, vermouth, Fernet cocktail with orange garnish against a dark moody black background

The original recipe for the Hanky Panky cocktail called for equal parts dry gin and Italian vermouth, along with a few dashes of Fernet Branca, an Italian amaro. The cocktail was then stirred with ice and strained into a chilled glass. The addition of Fernet Branca gave the cocktail a unique flavor profile that quickly became popular among patrons of The Savoy’s American Bar.

The Hanky Panky cocktail was featured in The Savoy Cocktail Book, which was written by Harry Craddock and published in 1930. The book was a collection of recipes from The Savoy’s American Bar and quickly became a hit among cocktail enthusiasts. It included recipes for classic cocktails such as the Martinez and the Punch, as well as original creations like the Hanky Panky.

See also  Sloe Gin Fizz

The Hanky Panky cocktail gained popularity not only in London but also in other parts of the world. It was even mentioned in London newspapers, which helped to spread its fame. The cocktail was also enjoyed by notable figures such as Mark Twain and the Prince of Wales.

How to Make It

Boozy Classic Hanky Panky Cocktail with Gin and an Orange Garnish

Hanky Panky

Yield: 1
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

Making a Hanky Panky cocktail is a straightforward process that requires a few essential ingredients and tools. Here's how you can make it:


  • 1 1/2 ounces of American gin
  • 1 1/2 ounces of sweet vermouth
  • 2 dashes of Fernet-Branca
  • 1 dash of orange juice
  • Orange peel, for garnish


  • Mixing glass
  • Bar spoon
  • Strainer
  • Cocktail glass


  1. Fill a mixing glass with ice.
  2. Add the gin, sweet vermouth, and Fernet-Branca to the mixing glass.
  3. Stir the ingredients in the mixing glass for about 30 seconds to chill and dilute the cocktail.
  4. Strain the cocktail into a chilled cocktail glass.
  5. Garnish the cocktail with an orange peel, expressing the citrus oil over the top of the drink to enhance the aroma.

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The Hanky Panky cocktail is a classic drink, but that doesn’t mean you can’t experiment with variations to give it your own unique twist. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

See also  Dry Martini

Spanish Hanky Panky

Swap out the gin for Spanish brandy and add a dash of orange bitters for a slightly sweeter take on the classic.

Mexican Hanky Panky

Use tequila instead of gin and add a splash of lime juice for a margarita-inspired twist.

Italian Hanky Panky

Substitute Aperol for Fernet-Branca and garnish with an orange slice for a refreshing Italian-inspired cocktail.

Hanky Panky
Please drink responsibly, be fully accountable with your alcohol consumption, and show others respect.

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Paul Kushner

Written by Paul Kushner

Founder and CEO of MyBartender. Graduated from Penn State University. He always had a deep interest in the restaurant and bar industry. His restaurant experience began in 1997 at the age of 14 as a bus boy. By the time he turned 17 he was serving tables, and by 19 he was bartending/bar managing 6-7 nights a week.

In 2012, after a decade and a half of learning all facets of the industry, Paul opened his first restaurant/bar. In 2015, a second location followed, the latter being featured on The Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.

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