Monkey Gland Cocktail Drink

Monkey Gland

A shot of Gavin Wrigley looking to the camera in a dimly lit room
Written by Gavin Wrigley
Andrea
Tested by
Andrea Ottaiano

When the urge for a distinctive drink hits, the Monkey Gland cocktail is your answer! Its recipe blends exciting ingredients that are simple to make and serve.

Monkey Gland Recipe

Try out this Monkey Gland recipe! Mixing gin, orange juice, and a bit of absinthe, this drink is great for any get-together.

Prep time:

1 minute

Mixing time:

1 minute

Servings:

1

Calories:

152 kl

Ingredients

  • oz Gin
  • oz Fresh Orange Juice
  • 1 tsp of Grenadine
  • 1 tsp of Absinthe
  • Ice Cubes
  • Orange twist, for garnish, optional

Equipment

  • Cocktail Shaker
  • Cocktail Strainer and Fine-strainer
  • Coupe Glass
  • Measuring Jigger

Instructions

  • Chill the Glass: Set your coupe glass in the freezer or fill it with ice cubes to chill.
  • Combine Ingredients: In your cocktail shaker, pour in the grenadine, Absinthe, fresh orange juice, and Gin.
  • Shake: Add ice to the shaker and shake it until the outside feels cold.
  • Strain: Remove the ice from your chilled glass and fine-strain the cocktail into it.
  • Garnish: Add an orange twist for garnish.

Notes

Substitutes:

  • Gin: I've tried this with vodka when I ran out of gin; it gives a different, cleaner taste. For a unique twist, try a botanical, non-alcoholic spirit to replace gin directly.
  • Grenadine: If grenadine isn't available, a simple pomegranate or cherry syrup can be a good alternative. Remember, the aim is to give a touch of sweetness and a splash of color.
  • Absinthe: Pernod or pastis can be used. If those are also hard to find, a few fennel or anise seeds infused in vodka can replicate the licorice notes.

Making a Pitcher of Monkey Gland:

  • Scale: To serve 8, multiply all the ingredients by 8. This would mean 12 oz of gin, 12 oz of fresh orange juice, and 8 bar spoons of grenadine and absinthe.
  • Mix: Combine all the ingredients in a large pitcher with ice. Stir thoroughly.
  • Serve: Pour into individual chilled glasses, garnish, and serve.

Making it Non-Alcoholic:

  • Gin Substitute: Opt for a non-alcoholic gin substitute; they offer a comparable flavor without the alcohol.
  • Absinthe Substitute: A hint of non-alcoholic aniseed or licorice flavoring can replace the absinthe's distinct flavor.
  • Follow Steps: Using these non-alcoholic substitutes, go through the regular instructions.

Making it Vegan:

  • Check Your Ingredients: While the primary ingredients in this recipe are naturally vegan, some grenadines can contain animal byproducts. Use a vegan-certified grenadine, or make your own using pomegranate juice and sugar.
  • Serve as Usual: Once you've ensured your ingredients are vegan, follow the main recipe.

Nutrition Facts

Calories
152
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
0.1
g
0
%
Saturated Fat
 
0.01
g
0
%
Sodium
 
2
mg
0
%
Carbohydrates
 
8
g
3
%
Fiber
 
0.1
g
0
%
Sugar
 
6
g
7
%
Potassium
 
88
mg
3
%
Protein
 
0.3
g
1
%
Polyunsaturated Fat
 
0.02
g
Monounsaturated Fat
 
0.02
g
Vitamin A
 
85
IU
2
%
Vitamin C
 
21
mg
25
%
Calcium
 
5
mg
1
%
Iron
 
0.1
mg
1
%

 

Monkey Gland Cocktail Drink

Monkey Gland Recipe

Gavin Wrigley Written by Gavin Wrigley
Jump to Video
Try out this Monkey Gland recipe! Mixing gin, orange juice, and a bit of absinthe, this drink is great for any get-together.
Prep time: 1 minute
Mixing time: 1 minute
Servings: 1
Calories: 152

Ingredients
 

  • oz Gin
  • oz Fresh Orange Juice
  • 1 tsp of Grenadine
  • 1 tsp of Absinthe
  • Ice Cubes
  • Orange twist - for garnish, optional

Equipment

  • Cocktail Shaker
  • Cocktail Strainer and Fine-strainer
  • Coupe Glass
  • Measuring Jigger

Instructions

  • Chill the Glass: Set your coupe glass in the freezer or fill it with ice cubes to chill.
  • Combine Ingredients: In your cocktail shaker, pour in the grenadine, Absinthe, fresh orange juice, and Gin.
  • Shake: Add ice to the shaker and shake it until the outside feels cold.
  • Strain: Remove the ice from your chilled glass and fine-strain the cocktail into it.
  • Garnish: Add an orange twist for garnish.

Notes

Substitutes:

  • Gin: I've tried this with vodka when I ran out of gin; it gives a different, cleaner taste. For a unique twist, try a botanical, non-alcoholic spirit to replace gin directly.
  • Grenadine: If grenadine isn't available, a simple pomegranate or cherry syrup can be a good alternative. Remember, the aim is to give a touch of sweetness and a splash of color.
  • Absinthe: Pernod or pastis can be used. If those are also hard to find, a few fennel or anise seeds infused in vodka can replicate the licorice notes.

Making a Pitcher of Monkey Gland:

  • Scale: To serve 8, multiply all the ingredients by 8. This would mean 12 oz of gin, 12 oz of fresh orange juice, and 8 bar spoons of grenadine and absinthe.
  • Mix: Combine all the ingredients in a large pitcher with ice. Stir thoroughly.
  • Serve: Pour into individual chilled glasses, garnish, and serve.

Making it Non-Alcoholic:

  • Gin Substitute: Opt for a non-alcoholic gin substitute; they offer a comparable flavor without the alcohol.
  • Absinthe Substitute: A hint of non-alcoholic aniseed or licorice flavoring can replace the absinthe's distinct flavor.
  • Follow Steps: Using these non-alcoholic substitutes, go through the regular instructions.

Making it Vegan:

  • Check Your Ingredients: While the primary ingredients in this recipe are naturally vegan, some grenadines can contain animal byproducts. Use a vegan-certified grenadine, or make your own using pomegranate juice and sugar.
  • Serve as Usual: Once you've ensured your ingredients are vegan, follow the main recipe.

What is a Monkey Gland?

Monkey Gland is a gin cocktail incorporating fresh orange juice, grenadine, and a dash of absinthe. Historians trace its quirky name to the early 20th century, possibly drawing inspiration from a peculiar medical procedure. While its title might raise eyebrows, the drink has earned a spot in classic cocktail menus worldwide. People often seek the Monkey Gland for its unique blend of flavors. The International Bartender Association(IBA) officially categorize the drink as one of “The Unforgettables“.

A side shot of a Monkey Gland cocktail in a cocktail glass on a coaster placed on a white table surrounded by two otanges, a bar spoon, a shaker and a salmon cloth, in front of a turquoise wall.

What is a Monkey Gland made of – The ingredients

To put together a Monkey Gland, make sure you have the following:

  • Gin: The primary spirit in the cocktail, adding depth and botanical notes.
  • Fresh Orange Juice: Introduces a citrusy sweetness and brightens the flavor.
  • Grenadine: Adds a touch of sweetness and a hint of red color.
  • Absinthe: Gives the cocktail a subtle aniseed or licorice note, enhancing its complexity.
  • Ice Cubes: Chills the drink, refreshing and diluting it slightly for balance.
  • Orange twist (optional): Used for garnish, it provides an aromatic zest on the nose.

Gin, Absinthe, Grenadine and two oranges laid out on a white bar table

How do you make a Monkey Gland?

Become proficient in making a Monkey Gland with our straightforward steps:

1
<p>First, chill your chosen glass by placing it in the freezer or filling it with ice cubes for a few minutes.</p>

First, chill your chosen glass by placing it in the freezer or filling it with ice cubes for a few minutes.

2
<p>In a cocktail shaker, pour grenadine.</p>

In a cocktail shaker, pour grenadine.

3
<p>Add Absinthe to the shaker.</p>

Add Absinthe to the shaker.

4
<p>Pour fresh orange juice into the shaker.</p>

Pour fresh orange juice into the shaker.

5
<p>And incorporate Gin to the mix.</p>

And incorporate Gin to the mix.

6
<p>Add ice to the shaker to help chill and mix the ingredients thoroughly.</p>

Add ice to the shaker to help chill and mix the ingredients thoroughly.

7
<p>Firmly shake the cocktail shaker until the outside feels cold, ensuring the ingredients blend well.</p>

Firmly shake the cocktail shaker until the outside feels cold, ensuring the ingredients blend well.

8
<p>Remove the ice from your chilled glass if you use that method to chill it.</p>

Remove the ice from your chilled glass if you use that method to chill it.

9
<p>Fine strain the shaken mixture into the glass, leaving out the ice.</p>

Fine strain the shaken mixture into the glass, leaving out the ice.

10
<p>For an aromatic touch, squeeze an orange peel over the glass.</p>

For an aromatic touch, squeeze an orange peel over the glass.

11
<p>Drop the orange twist into the drink.</p>

Drop the orange twist into the drink.

12
<p>Serve the Monkey Gland cocktail immediately and enjoy its unique blend of flavors.</p>

Serve the Monkey Gland cocktail immediately and enjoy its unique blend of flavors.

Best Gin for a Monkey Gland Cocktail

When crafting a stellar Monkey Gland, the choice of gin plays a pivotal role. Dive into gins with pronounced citrus or floral undertones to complement the drink’s orange and grenadine. Take Tanqueray, for instance. Its crispness and hints of juniper can add depth, while Beefeater, with its robust profile and citrusy backdrop, harmonizes beautifully with the cocktail’s fruity essence. Consider splurging on Hendrick’s if you want to elevate your Monkey Gland to a connoisseur’s delight. Its subtle rose and cucumber notes can introduce a refreshing twist. But if you’re asking for a go-to recommendation? Tanqueray hits the sweet spot between quality and accessibility, making it an ideal pick for your Monkey Gland endeavors.

A Monkey Gland cocktail, shot from above, in a cocktail glass on a coaster placed on a white table with a bar spoon on a side.

History and Origin

The Monkey Gland cocktail was created in the 1920s, a time when cocktail culture was really taking off, especially in places like Harry’s New York Bar in Paris. This is where Harry MacElhone, the bar’s owner, first made the drink. Its unusual name was inspired by the work of Dr. Serge Voronoff, a surgeon known for his odd experiments involving monkey glands.

The drink is a simple mix of gin, orange juice, a bit of grenadine for sweetness, and a splash of absinthe. It quickly became popular and was mentioned in many cocktail books and bars worldwide. The name “Monkey Gland” was a quirky choice that caught people’s attention, but it’s the unique taste that made it a classic. It’s a straightforward cocktail that reflects the creativity and spirit of the 1920s cocktail scene.

A Monkey Gland cocktail, shot from above, in a cocktail glass on white marmol table surrounded by a Gin bottle, an Absinthe bottle, a grenadine bottle and two oranges.

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FAQ

How many calories are typically in a Monkey Gland?
It usually contains around 150-180 calories, depending on the exact measurements and ingredient brands.
How strong is the Monkey Gland in terms of ABV and proof?
Depending on the gin's strength and ratio, it typically has an ABV of 20-25%, which translates to 40-50 proof.
Which alcohol is predominantly used in a Monkey Gland?
Gin is the primary alcoholic ingredient.
In which type of glass is a Monkey Gland typically served?
The cocktail is traditionally served in a cocktail or martini glass.
What does a Monkey Gland taste like?
The drink offers a harmonious blend of citrus from the orange juice, sweetness from the grenadine, botanical notes from the gin, and a subtle licorice hint from the absinthe.
What is the typical ratio of ingredients in a Monkey Gland?
The classic ratio is equal parts gin, orange juice, and a splash each of grenadine and absinthe.
How is the Monkey Gland served in terms of ice or presentation?
It's is typically shaken with ice and then strained, serving it "up" without ice in the glass.

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