Continuing with our Classics series, I mixed up a Monkey Gland the other night. It’s a fine cocktail, probably more appropriate for spring but that didn’t stop me from consuming every last drop. It has its origins in the 1920s, first served at a New York style bar in Paris. It is an easy drink to make, and with the exception of the Absinthe (which really should be offered in smaller bottles), uses readily available ingredients.
As best I can tell, the Monkey Gland is one of the earliest cocktail names with a sexual reference. Back in the day there was a scientist who was experimenting with augmenting human male virility with monkey testicles. His market research was good but the technology didn’t work; nevertheless we can see the appeal of a cocktail that might serve the same purpose. The same bartender later created the Between the Sheets cocktail for those randy Parisians. Of course, the names have become progressively more explicit through the years. A generation or two ago we gained such modern classics as the Sex on the Beach, the Orgasm, and the Sloe Comfortable Screw. More recently … well, I’ll let you look for them yourself, this is a family cocktail blog. Here are the ingredients:
- 2 oz dry gin (Plymouth)
- 1 oz fresh squeezed orange juice
- 1/4 oz grenadine
- dash, spray, or rinse of absinthe (Pernod)
Mix the ingredients in a shaker over ice and shake vigorously for 20-30 seconds. If you rinse the absinthe, pour it in the chilled cocktail glass, swirl, and pour out the excess. Note, if you do not have absinthe, some bartenders substitute Benedictine. Strain ingredients into the glass and garnish with a slice of orange. Enjoy responsibly: call your doctor if the resulting woody lasts more than six hours.