Reading Lesley M.M. Blume’s Let’s Bring Back book series is like wading through the world’s most amazing antique store! Lesley is an expert in all types of old-fashioned curiosities, from quill pens to fainting couches. Her newest book, Let’s Bring Back: The Cocktail Edition, unearths the stories and recipes of lost vintage cocktails from ancient times through the 1960s.
We’re hosting a book signing with Lesley at our Brooklyn west elm Market store on Thursday, March 14th, and serving some of these long-forgotten libations. But if you can’t make it to the party, Lesley has generously shared a recipe for you to try on your own at home!
The Hanky Panky
“Invented in London by the Savoy Hotel bar’s earliest mistress— Ada Coleman—this cocktail was named by Sir Charles Hawtrey (a clever chap who just happened to be Noël Coward’s mentor). Ms. Coleman described the drink’s genesis to a newspaper in 1925:
Charles . . . 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. T he 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.
But we can assume that it re-earned its name many times over, thanks to all of the naughty behavior it has surely inspired in its devotees.” – Lesley M.M. Blume
- 1 ounce Italian vermouth
- 1 ounce dry gin
- 2 dashes Fernet-Branca
- 1 orange peel twist for garnish
- Ice cubes
Shake with ice and strain into a highball glass. Garnish with the orange peel twist.