How to Make a Monkey Gland Cocktail
Whew. Thanksgiving madness has finally settled down. I have about a month's worth of leftovers squirreled away in my fridge, and my kitchen looks like a bomb went off in there. I don't know about you, but I could use a restorative tonic.
I'm not in the mood for a wildly complex potion, but I could go for at least a small dash of elegance. This leads me to a cocktail named for an old way to *ahem* restore youth and vigor: the Monkey Gland.
Back in the Roaring Twenties, Viagra wasn't even close to being invented yet. Back then (as now, some would argue), there were all sorts of aphrodisiacal remedies that promised much more than they delivered. One of these was to take the reproductive organs of a male monkey, and sew them into a guy whose spirit was willing but flesh was weak. Crazy, I know, but true.
In all likelihood, the name of the Monkey Gland stands tribute to the simple fact that us bartenders (also then, as now) can be quite the sophomoric bunch. After all, look at the ridiculous names of cocktails in your favorite dive bar.
You can play a little fast and loose with your Monkey Gland. In fact, it's had a little variation through the years. Back when absinthe became scarce due to the worldwide ban, Bénédictine was a common substitution. It's quite delicious in this drink, but I'm a big absinthe fan, so you can guess my opinion on the matter. Also, I imagine that this would be a marvelous brunch drink when made with extra orange juice, served in a tall glass over ice.
1-1/2 ounces London Dry gin
1-1/2 ounces fresh orange juice
1 teaspoon grenadine
1 teaspoon absinthe (or Bénédictine, if you wish)
Shake everything with ice in a shaker. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.