Back in the 1920s, there was a French surgeon by the name of Serge Voronoff who developed a procedure for grafting monkey testicle tissue (glands) onto the, um, “glands” of male humans.
Let’s not beat around the bush about how this cocktail got its name.
The aim was to enhance the men’s virility, bring back their lost youth, and promote longevity. Everyone heard about it, including Harry Mac Elhone, owner of Harry’s New York Bar in Paris.
So when Mac Elhone created this drink, circa 1923, he called it the Monkey Gland Cocktail—no doubt hoping that some of the surgery’s virile glory would rub off (so to speak). And you don’t need a medical professional to administer it.
The surgery didn’t work (you’re surprised, we know). Recipe: The Monkey Gland Cocktail The Monkey Gland is a bracing mixture of gin and freshly squeezed orange juice, livened up with a jolt of grenadine and a kiss of absinthe.
Grenadine adds sweetness to this drink, in addition to providing a nice pink tinge.
You should use real—i.e., pomegranate—grenadine, not the ersatz stuff that liquor stores usually stock.
Commercial brands (such as Rose’s) offer attractive fluorescent color (and the hue is oddly compelling, I admit), but they’re made primarily from artificial flavors.
You’re better off making your own Homemade Grenadine. The original recipe for this drink specified equal measures of gin and OJ.
That’s a nice ratio, but I prefer two parts gin to one part juice, so that’s what my recipe reflects. In the Notes, I offer an alternate recipe that substitutes Bénédictine for absinthe.
This recipe takes a few minutes to make, and serves one.
Ingredients Monkey Business “Say what you like about Serge Voronoff, he inspired a great drink,” said Mrs. “I’d even call it, well, rejuvenating.” “Makes me feel like a new man,” I said.