Patrick Spears / Supercall

Gin • Bitter
Hanky Panky

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Fernet has a reputation for harshness. But while sipping it neat might indeed be too bitter for a first-timer, we suggest mixing it up in a Hanky Panky cocktail. Created in 1925 by head bartender Ada Coleman of the American Bar in London’s Savoy Hotel, it allows the gin’s and the vermouth’s sweetness to subdue Fernet’s overbearing flavor, resulting in a balanced libation that just might help you learn to love the spirit.

The Essentials

Sweet Vermouth
Fernet Branca
Bar Spoon
The Details


1.5 oz Gin
1.5 oz Sweet Vermouth
2 dashes Fernet Branca
Orange twist, for garnish


  • Add ingredients to a mixing glass with ice and stir until cold.
  • Strain into a chilled coupe glass.
  • Express an orange peel over the drink and drop it in.
Scotch Bitter Easy
Rob Roy

A smoky take on a Manhattan, the Rob Roy is made with Scotch whisky instead of rye. The variation was first created in 1894 at the Waldorf Astoria in New York for the premiere of Rob Roy, an operetta based on Scottish folk hero Rob Roy MacGregor. Like a Manhattan, the Rob Roy can be made dry (with dry vermouth in place of sweet) or perfect...