London’s famed American bar, the Savoy, is now headed up by Ada “Coley” Coleman, among the first — and by far most widely respected — female bartenders of all time.

She is credited with the invention of the Hanky-Panky for actor Sir Charles Hawtrey at some point between the beginning of her tenure and the year of Hawtrey’s death, and is quoted in a 1925 interview as saying, “The late Charles Hawtrey…was one of the best judges of cocktails that I knew.

Some years ago, when he was over working, 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.”

Recipe for ‘Hanky Panky’

  • 3cl of Gin
  • 3cl of Sweet Vermouth
  • 2 dashes of Fernet Branca
  • Garnish of Orange Twist

Add all the ingredients into a mixing glass with ice and stir. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with an orange twist.