The Monkey Gland is a gin-based cocktail blended with orange juice and enlivened by grenadine and Pernod. Few classic cocktails of such appealing character have such odious names. Harry MacElhone, owner of Harry’s New York Bar in Paris, is credited with mixing the first Monkey Gland in the 1920s. The sonorous sobriquet was inspired by the work of Serge Voronoff, a Russian who experimented with the sexual organs of monkeys for rejuvenation. The verdict is not in on the procedures with the naughty bits of monkeys, but the bygone fashionable drink is a reliable rejuvenator.
Order a Monkey Gland by its ingredients rather than its name. Older bartenders may have a flash of recognition, but younger ones will be clueless. Tell them it’s something you’ve been monkeying around with.
The original recipe for the Monkey Gland called for anisette, but both Pernod and Bénédictine have become common substitutions.
This recipe was featured as part of our New Year’s Eve Speakeasy Party.
by Jen Wheeler | I love learning about the genesis of odd food names (and words in general), so the recent revelation...