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Tuesday 22 November 2011

The boy and his poison: The Hanky Panky

Let's talk Fernet Branca. With codeine, coca leaf and wormwood being just three of its alleged 47 ingredients, when drank neat I'd go so far as to say its the marmite of spirits. With one taste you're either going to instantly fall in love with it or promptly punch your bartender square in the face for violating your tastebuds. It's a contentious one, but as a huge fan and having noticed it even received a mention in the Domestic Sluttery book (albeit as a hangover cure) I thought a decent Fernet cocktail suggestion was well overdue.

If bitter drinks are your thing I highly recommend the San Franciscan tradition of "taking the train to Fernal Heights" (a chilled straight shot of the stuff with a ginger beer chaser) but to kindle your love affair with it I'm going instead start you off on an incredible cocktail I tried at Purl called the Hanky Panky. With its origins in the Savoy Cocktail Book it's often described as a twist on a sweet martini but I prefer to think of it as a pimped up negroni and lets face it, who doesn't like a bit of hanky panky.

You'll need:
  • 1.5oz gin
  • 1.5oz italian vermouth
  • 2 dashes of fernet branca

Shake it:
  • Pour your ingredients into a cocktail shaker full of ice
  • Shake hard for 10 seconds
  • Serve in a martini glass garnished with an orange peel twist.

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