The Monkey Gland Cocktail


thanks to Darcy o’neill at Art of Drink for this 1923 article


From The Monkey Gland: A Curious Story at

“Have you ever had a Monkey Gland? If not, add it to your list. This classic cocktail is a gentle mix of gin, orange juice and grenadine, with just a splash of anise liqueur. Now that absinthe is back in the U.S. the Monkey Gland is even better (although any of the substitutes were excellent as well). Most recipes call for the splash to be added to the shaker with everything else, but I prefer something a little more subtle. So I usually take that splash straight to the glass, give it a good swirl to coat the inside and dump the rest. From there it’s just a matter of shaking up everything else and adding it into the glass. This produces a well-balanced, fruity cocktail with the delicious hint of juniper and anise. The aroma is just plain yummy!”  vorodrink2

From The Webtender Wiki

The Monkey Gland is a Cocktail which consists of Gin, Fresh Orange Juice, Absinthe, and Grenadine Syrup.

Created by

The “Monkey Gland” was created in April 1923 by Frank Meier, at the Ritz Hotel, Paris.

or The “Monkey Gland” was created before 1923 by Harry MacElhone in Paris.

Historical References

“The Washington Post”, 29th April 1923

New Cocktail in Paris Is the Monkey Gland

“Preparing for a busy tourist season, Frank, the noted concocter behind the bar of the Ritz. has devised a new series of powerful cocktails, favorite of which is known as the “monkey gland, or , as it is popularly called, the “McCormick.”

Like Frank’s “soixante-quinze” gloom raiser, the monkey gland requires absinthe to be perfect, but its amateurs have found anise a substitute with a sufficient kick.

For the benefit of friends over in America who have not exhausted their cellars, here is the recipe: half and half gin and orange juice, a dash of absinthe, and a dash of raspberry or other sweet juice. Mix well with ice and serve only with a doctor handy. Inside half an hour the other day Frank purveyed forty of these, to the exclusion of Manhattans and Martinis.”

“The COSHOCTON TRIBUNE”, 18th May 1923

“MONKEY GLAND” IS POPULAR IN PARIS New Cocktail Is So-Called Because It Has “Wallop;” “Side-car” is Another

PARIS, May 18.–“A monkey gland in a hurry!”

That’s the latest order in Paris bars, not in the hospitals. A “monkey gland” is a new cocktail which has what veteran bar hounds call an “awful wallop.” It was invented by a famous Paris bartender particularly to attract the attention of newly arrived American tourists. The ingredients consist of one-half gin, one-half orange juice, a dash of absinthe and a dash of grenadine, all well shaken together with plenty of ice.

Barflies and Cocktails, by Harry and Wynn, 1927

Monkey Gland Cocktail

  • 1 dash of Absinthe,
  • 1 teaspoonful of Grenadine,
  • 1/2 Orange Juice,
  • 1/2 Gordon Gin.

Shake well, and strain into cocktail glass.

(Invented by the Author, and deriving its name from Voronoff’s experiments in rejuvenation.)

The Savoy Cocktail Book, by Harry Craddock, 1930

  • 3 Dashes Pernod.
  • 3 Dashes Grenadine.
  • 1/3 Orange Juice.
  • 2/3 Dry Gin.

Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

The Artistry of Mixing Drinks, by Frank Meier, 1933

“In shaker: a dash of anis “Pernod fils”, a dash of grenadine, half orange juice, half gin; shake well and serve.”

The Official Mixer’s Manual, by Patrick Gavin Duffy, 1934

  • 3 dashes Benedictine
  • 3 dashes Grenadine
  • 1/3 Orange Juice
  • 2/3 Dry Gin
  • Stir well with ice and strain.

Harry MacElhone, ABC of Mixing Drinks

The editions which definitely have the Monkey Gland are the 8th (no earlier than 1928), 10th, and 11th; But which years are they from?

“1 dash absinthe, 1 teaspoonful of grenadine, 1/2 orange juice, 1/2 Nicholson’s Gin. Shake well and serve into cocktail glass. (Invented by the Author, and deriving its name from Voronoff’s experiments in rejuvenation.)”

Dale DeGroff, King Cocktail

  • 2 oz. Beefeater Gin
  • 1 1/2 oz. Orange Juice
  • 1 tsp. Grenadine
  • Splash of Ricard

Splash of Ricard in a mixing glass followed by all the rest of the ingredients. Shake with ice and Strain into a small cocktail glass. Garnish with an orange peel.

From Slakethirst the Online Drink Blog: “The Monkey Gland is not the product of a late 70’s fraternal organization’s party manual, but is an honest-to-god pedigreed tipple. Regan cites it as having first appeared in Craddock’s Savoy Cocktail Book of 1930, but its name hearkens to a practice begun a decade earlier, when, in 1920, Dr. Serge Voronoff began implanting slivers of freshly-vivisected monkey testicle into the scrota of elderly Frenchmen. Voronoff, who had studied the physiology of Middle-Eastern eunuchs, was convinced that testosterone was the key to a long and healthy life, and promoted his xenotransplantion procedure as a $5,000 fountain of youth. The public’s interest was piqued, and a drink was born. The Monkey Gland is the spiritual progenitor of today’s Liquid Viagra — wholly different concoctions, but each co-opting the name of a contemporary virility treatment to suggest a stiffening drink.I’ve not had a Liquid Viagra, but I suspect that the chief difference between it and the Monkey Gland is that the latter is actually palatable. Ratios for the Monkey Gland vary widely, but the ingredients remain largely the same (Benedictine in lieu of pastis is a common variant). Haigh calls for full teaspoon of pastis, which I find a bit heavy, so here I have reduced it to 1/2 tsp, but otherwise employ Doc’s ratios. 1/2 tsp. is still enough to make its presence felt, but those who favor licorice may wish to double-up.”

From CHOW: 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.”

Time for a Drink: Monkey Gland

20080215-cocktails-monkeygland.jpgIn 2008, if you’re an adult male who feels the need for a little, um, assistance in the intimacy department, you reach for one of the pharmaceuticals you see advertised during football games. In 1928, if you needed a little vavoom in the bedroom, you went to see Dr. Voronoff.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s