The Hanky Panky cocktail originated around 1925 at the Savoy hotel in London, it is a play on the Sweet Martini. This cocktail recipe is the creation of the head bartender, Ada ‘Coley’ Coleman who created it for a famous stage actor, Sir Charles Hawtrey. When Sir Charles asked for a drink with a little bit of a kick to it, the bartender gave him the drink she created, he drained the glass and exclaimed “By Jove! That is the real hanky-panky!”.
Who knows if that story is true or not, we are basing the Hanky Panky Cocktails history on a 100-year-old story told by a couple of drunks at a bar. Haha, it is a good drink though. So, for those of you that love a good botanical gin, Fernet Branca is going to push you over the edge with a botanical wallop to the head. Clutch your pearls Mother, this one’s a doozy.
Never Shake Gin Cocktails
Gin has an interesting similarity with red wine and aeration. I’ll use this as an example of why never to shake gin. We are all familiar with the practice of letting red wine ‘breathe’. Decanting red wine, swirling the wine in the glass, and exposing it to oxygen for a short time will soften the flavors. This allows some of the more volatile aromas to escape and release the more pleasant fruit and oak aromas in the wine. However, if allowed to breathe for too long the finer subtle qualities of the wine will not only disappear but eventually, the wine turns to vinegar.
Gin is very similar to red wine in this matter. Shaking gin accelerates the breathing process exponentially.
Gin has a complex mixture of aromas divided into three parts; top notes, middle notes, and base notes. With gin, the most desirable qualities are in the top note. All of the botanicals: juniper, pine, fruit, spice, and floral are top notes. Unfortunately, when gin has been agitated by shaking, the top notes are the first to go. Leaving only the less desirable middle and base notes. Bruising the gin won’t turn it to vinegar, but it will leave the gin dull and lifeless. All of the amazing botanicals that are so desirable lost to the inside of a cocktail shaker.
Here’s the Hanky Panky Cocktail recipe:
Hanky Panky cocktail
- 1 1/2 Ounces Gin
- 1 1/2 Ounces Sweet Vermouth
- 2 Dashes Fernet Branca
- 1 Orange Peel
- Combine all ingredients in a shaker over ice
- Stir well until ice cold
- Serve in a chilled Martini glass with an orange twist as garnish