If you're into thinkin' and drinkin'

Episode 25: The Real Hanky Panky – The Hanky Panky


Was there ever any doubt that at some point in history there would be a cocktail with the name Hanky Panky, when cocktails so often have the reputation of leading to lascivious funny business? Whether the name was a reference to the cause, prevention, or embodiment of sexual activity, or completely unrelated is not totally clear. We explore the different uses of the term over time, and one of the stories behind the creation of the cocktail to see if we can nail down the intention of the name. We talk so much on this podcast about the bartenders that were cocktail legends and the gentlemanly profession that was slinging drinks. It has always been men though, so it was refreshing to have an episode where we get to feature a woman as the person behind the cocktail. Ada “Coley” Coleman is given credit for creating this cocktail for actor Sir Charles Hawtrey, in the early part of the 20th century. Ada Coleman comes up very infrequently in the bartender arena, despite the fact that she was the head bartender at the Savoy Hotel for about twenty years. In this episode we are talking women bartenders, diving into the history of barmaids in the 19th century. While other similar professions were gaining support for unionizing, a whole lot of people on every side of the political spectrum still had a problem with barmaids doing the same because they were women working in bars. So join us as we explore their fight for unionization and respect as professional laborers, as well as their struggle against laws trying to eliminate their livelihood. We even get to see this movement take on and beat a British MP by the name of Churchill. Don’t mess with the barmaids. The recipe is as follows:

  • 1 and ½ ounces of gin
  • 1 and ½ ounces of sweet vermouth
  • 2 dashes of Fernet Branca

Transition music: Cephalopod by Kevin MacLeod
Closing Music: Disappearing Trick by Asthmaboy

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