Vodka Hanky Panky


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Vodka Hanky Panky_001

## Introduction

The Vodka Hanky Panky is a modern twist on a classic cocktail. It’s a blend of smooth vodka, aromatic sweet vermouth, and the unique bitter notes of Fernet-Branca. This drink is perfect for those who appreciate a cocktail with depth and complexity.

**Vodka** replaces gin in this version, offering a cleaner taste that allows the herbal and sweet flavors to shine. The Vodka Hanky Panky is a testament to the versatility of classic cocktails and their ability to evolve. Whether you’re a cocktail aficionado or new to the scene, this drink is sure to intrigue and satisfy.

## Key Facts About the Vodka Hanky Panky

– **Alcohol Content:** Approx. 22% ABV (44 proof)
– **Calories:** Approx. 180 kcal
– **Preferred Glass Type:** Chilled cocktail glass
– **Typical Garnish:** Orange peel

## Interesting Facts about the Vodka Hanky Panky

– The original Hanky Panky cocktail was created in the early 20th century by Ada Coleman, a legendary bartender at The Savoy in London.
– Fernet-Branca, a key ingredient, is an Italian amaro with a recipe dating back to 1845.
– The cocktail’s name is said to have come from a delighted patron who exclaimed, “By Jove! That is the real hanky-panky!”

Vodka Hanky Panky Cocktail

## Tasting Notes

The Vodka Hanky Panky offers a smooth, yet complex flavor profile. The vodka provides a clean canvas for the sweet vermouth and the bitter, herbal qualities of Fernet-Branca. It’s a cocktail that appeals to those who enjoy a balance of sweet and bitter.

This drink is perfect for a sophisticated evening or as a refined end to a meal. Its versatility makes it suitable for various occasions, from casual gatherings to formal events.

## History of the Vodka Hanky Panky

The Hanky Panky cocktail has a storied past, with its roots in the golden age of cocktails. The original gin-based version was a favorite among the elite in London’s high society. Over time, bartenders have experimented with the recipe, leading to the creation of the Vodka Hanky Panky.

The substitution of vodka for gin is a relatively recent innovation. It caters to modern palates that often prefer the subtler taste of vodka. The Vodka Hanky Panky maintains the integrity of the original while offering a new experience.

## Vodka Hanky Panky Ingredients

– **Vodka (1 1/2 oz or 45 ml):** The base spirit, vodka provides a neutral, clean taste that allows other flavors to come forward.
– **Sweet Vermouth (1 1/2 oz or 45 ml):** Adds a rich, herbal sweetness and depth to the cocktail.
– **Fernet-Branca (1/4 oz or 7 ml):** This herbal liqueur introduces a complex, bitter edge that is the hallmark of the Hanky Panky.

Did you know? The Vodka Hanky Panky is a testament to the adaptability of classic cocktails in the modern mixology landscape.

Ingredients for Vodka Hanky Panky

## Vodka Hanky Panky Method

### Preparing the Cocktail
– Start by filling a mixing glass with fresh ice to ensure proper dilution and chilling.
– Measure and pour the vodka, sweet vermouth, and Fernet-Branca over the ice.
– Stir the mixture for about 30 seconds until well-chilled, which integrates the flavors without over-diluting the drink.

### Straining and Serving
– Strain the chilled mixture into a pre-chilled cocktail glass to maintain the temperature.
– Garnish with an expressed orange peel to add a citrus aroma that complements the herbal notes.

## Serving Suggestion

The Vodka Hanky Panky is traditionally served in a chilled cocktail glass. The stem of the glass keeps the drink cool, while its wide brim allows the aromas to reach the nose, enhancing the tasting experience. The orange peel garnish is not just decorative; expressing the oils over the drink adds a fresh, citrusy note.

## Elevating the Vodka Hanky Panky

– **Chill Your Glass:** Store your cocktail glass in the freezer for at least an hour before serving to keep your drink colder for longer.
– **Quality Ingredients:** Use premium vodka and fresh vermouth to ensure the best flavor profile.
– **Stirring Technique:** Stir with a bar spoon between your fingers, not with the wrist, to prevent over-agitation and achieve the perfect dilution.

Elevating Vodka Hanky Panky

## Substitutions and Alternatives for the Vodka Hanky Panky

– If you’re out of sweet vermouth, try a dry vermouth for a less sweet, more astringent cocktail.
– For a non-alcoholic version, use non-alcoholic spirits and an amaro alternative.
– Similar cocktails include the Negroni or the Americano, which also feature bitter and sweet vermouth elements.

## Add a Twist

– **Infused Vodka:** Use a citrus or herb-infused vodka for an additional layer of flavor.
– **Vermouth Varieties:** Experiment with different types of vermouth to find your preferred sweetness and herbal notes.
– **Bitters:** Add a dash of orange or aromatic bitters to enhance the complexity of the drink.

## Preferred Liquors for the Vodka Hanky Panky

For the best Vodka Hanky Panky, opt for a high-quality vodka like Grey Goose or Belvedere. These brands offer the clean, refined taste that this cocktail deserves. When it comes to sweet vermouth, Carpano Antica Formula is a top choice for its rich, vanilla-forward profile.

## Similar Cocktails to the Vodka Hanky Panky

– **Martini:** If you enjoy the Vodka Hanky Panky, a classic Martini might also appeal to you with its vodka and vermouth base.
– **Manhattan:** A whiskey lover’s alternative, the Manhattan shares the sweet vermouth component with the Hanky Panky.
– **Boulevardier:** This is a whiskey-based cousin of the Negroni and shares the sweet vermouth and bitter elements.

## Food Pairings to go with the Vodka Hanky Panky

– Classic pairings like cheese and charcuterie complement the herbal and bitter notes of the cocktail.
– For a modern twist, try pairing with dark chocolate or candied nuts to contrast the drink’s complexity.
– Spicy appetizers can also balance the sweetness and bitterness, making for an engaging taste experience.

## Vodka Hanky Panky FAQs

– **Can I make a Vodka Hanky Panky in a shaker?** Stirring is recommended to prevent over-dilution and maintain clarity.
– **What if I don’t have Fernet-Branca?** Substitute with another amaro, but expect a different flavor profile.
– **Is it essential to use fresh ice?** Yes, fresh ice ensures better temperature control and dilution.
– **Can I use any type of vodka?** While any vodka will work, premium brands provide a cleaner taste.
– **How do I express an orange peel?** Twist the peel over the drink to release the oils, then rub it around the rim of the glass.

Vodka Hanky Panky_001

Vodka Hanky Panky

A twist on the classic Hanky Panky cocktail, the Vodka Hanky Panky substitutes gin with vodka for a smoother, more neutral taste, while maintaining the herbal notes from the Fernet-Branca and sweet vermouth.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
0 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Course Cocktail
Servings 1 cocktail
Calories 180 kcal


  • Mixing glass
  • Bar spoon
  • Strainer
  • Cocktail glass


  • 1 1/2 oz Vodka
  • 1 1/2 oz Sweet Vermouth
  • 1/4 oz Fernet-Branca
  • Orange peel for garnish


  • Fill a mixing glass with ice.
  • Pour the vodka, sweet vermouth, and Fernet-Branca over the ice.
  • Stir the ingredients together until well-chilled, about 30 seconds.
  • Strain the mixture into a chilled cocktail glass.
  • Express the oils of an orange peel over the drink and drop it in as a garnish.


For a traditional Hanky Panky, gin is used instead of vodka. Adjust the amount of Fernet-Branca if you prefer a less herbal note in your drink. Always use fresh ice for the best taste and dilution control.
Keyword Classic Cocktail, Fernet-Branca, Herbal Cocktail, Stirred Cocktail, sweet vermouth, Vodka Cocktail, Vodka Hanky Panky

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