Hanky Panky: Recipe and Ingredients | Giovanni Ceccarelli

How to mix the Hanky Panky

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In this article we will mix the Hanky Panky, the famous drink invented by Ada Coleman.


  • 4cl London dry gin
  • 4cl Red vermouth
  • 2 dash Fernet


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How to mix the Hanky ​​Panky
Chill the mixin’ glass then pour gin, vermouth and fernet. Taste and, if you feel it necessary, correct the recipe according to your taste. Add ice, stir until you reach the desired temperature and dilution. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Twist an orange peel over the surface of the drink.


In the original recipe the Hanky Panky was shaken but I think that is better to stir this cocktail.

Some advice
The Hanky Panky has only 3 ingredients, two of which are italian: vermouth and fernet. I prefer a red vermouth not too spice and not too sweet. Carpano classico, Berto or Cocchi are my choices. However, you are free to try vermouth more spicy and aromatic.

As for the fernet you can use the classic Fernet Branca, Fernet contratto or the one produced by Carlo Quaglia.

History of the Hanky Panky
ada coleman cocktail engineeringAda ‘Coley’ Coleman was head bartender of the American Bar at the Savoy Hotel in London from 1903 to 1925.  Coley was a great lover of theatre and created the Hanky ​​Panky at the request of Sir Charles Hawtrey, Victorian actor.

In an interview published on The People in 1925, she said: “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. If you want to read the whole article on BarTales (page 14), click here.

A twist on the Hanky Panky
Discover the ‘Bitter end’, a twist on the classic Hanky Panky by Jonathan di Vincenzo. For the recipe, click here.

Happy mixing,

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