As we enter day three of the 2020 election, patience is running thin with some folks. All day we have watched as races get closer for both candidates. Tempers are rising as the tension of not knowing begins to weigh on us all. I have watched as people, on both sides, have lashed out at others, giving voice to their frustrations. There is a lot of stuff floating around today, including a higher than average dose of misinformation. I don’t blame folks, well, I sort of do, it is pretty easy to look up info and confirm your sources before sharing, but I get it. However this goes, the waiting is hard and it is easy to want to cling to shrinking hopes and share things which confirm your biases. It happens to everyone. Both sides are concerned that there could be something nefarious going on and I understand wanting to approach things with a healthy skepticism. Well, skepticism and Occam’s Razor. Just in case, won’t you join me now as we stand and make some Hanky Panky.

Yeah, I know, I just talked about Hanky Panky in a relatively tenuous connection to the current election count. Don’t get your knickers twisted and blow up the comments with a bunch of “who did what” tales. It’s a cheap segue into a good drink. I’m not here to sift through the stuff you saw online today. We don’t even have the unofficial tallies of Schrödinger’s vote yet, so we don’t know where which campaign is going to start contesting things on which grounds yet. Give it a rest, this is about drinking well, not drinking the Kool-Aid.

The, according to Hoyle or, I guess, Webster in this case, definition of Hanky Panky is “behavior, in particular sexual or legally dubious behavior, considered improper but not seriously so.” So clearly any attempt to mess with the integrity of our elections or tallying the votes would definitely go well beyond Hanky Panky. This drink originates in the early 1900’s, created by Ada Coleman at the Savoy Hotel’s American Bar in London. She created it specifically for the actor Sir Charles Hawtrey who asked for “something with a bit of a punch in it”. After his first sip he exclaimed “By Jove! That is the real hanky panky!”, allegedly, and the name stuck. In an interesting historical side note, the phrase first appears in print in 1841 in the first edition of the British magazine, Punch.

“Only a little hanky-panky, my lud. The people likes it; they loves to be cheated before their faces. One, two, three – presto – begone. I’ll show your ludship as pretty a trick of putting a piece of money in your eye and taking it out of your elbow, as you ever beheld.”

Punch, or the London Charivari – September, 1841

Does that have anything to do with Punch and Judy? I have no idea. It does all seem little too on the nose, though, doesn’t it? Sir Charles asks for something with punch, then describes it with a word coined a half a century earlier in Punch. I don’t know, it all seems a little too convenient if you ask me. Seems like there might be a little hanky panky going on. Obviously, I have no evidence, but maybe “they” should look into it. “They” will definitely be watching things…very closely. Anyway, the drink was a hit and pops up, expectedly, in Harry Craddock’s “The Savoy Cocktail Book” in 1930. There are some cool variations on this one, but we are going with the Savoy original version.

This is another stirred drink cause booze forward is what I am feeling this week, so grab your mixing pitcher and pop in 1 1/2 ounces of dry gin, I went with Corsair; 1 1/2 ounces of sweet vermouth and a heavy barspoon of Fernet-Branca. Add ice and stir to the beat of Leslie Odom Jr.’s “Wait For It”. Strain into a Nick & Nora, express an orange peel over the top and serve.

That is nice. I mean basically it is a sweet martini, which is not usually my thing, but the Fernet makes it work for me. It’s not something I am going to crave too often, and I am not sure I want to order this one out…who am I kidding, I am all about calling for a little more Hanky Panky, probably with raised eyebrows and obvious innuendo. Yeah, that’s something I would do…over and over. If you keep saying a thing it becomes the truth, right? No, that’s wrong, it is still a lie, but people will believe it, if you say it long enough loud enough and with passion. Nah, that’ll never work, people will see right through it. I’m still gonna order it, though. 

Who knows, by the time you read this it may all be settled, I doubt it, but who knows? The Shadow, allegedly. It takes time, when it is close, so it makes sense that in such divided times it takes a little longer. Honestly, it is not even actually taking longer, they always count for a few days, to give time for all of the mail-in votes postmarked to arrive, many from members of the armed forces deployed overseas or away from their home states. Usually, things are pretty clear by the end of the day which way things are going. My home state was called within an hour of the polls closing, because it was clear it was going red, but they still have not counted all of the votes. We are hovering just over 98% two days later. So I understand that in these last few states with seriously razor thin margins, they can’t make the call until they count them all. I get that and I am wiling to wait. Getting it right, matters, no matter who comes out on top. So, take your time, enjoy your drink. “Chop wood, carry water.” Like the man said “it is what it is” we just don’t know it yet. They say that all will be revealed in time and when it is, we will go forward from there, together. Stay safe, stay hydrated and stay sane, my friends.