Monkey Gland


Updated: 12/24/23

monkey gland
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The Monkey Gland has a unique blend of ingredients – gin, orange juice, grenadine, and absinthe. Created by Harry MacElhone, the owner of Harry’s New York Bar in Paris, France. However, its curious name is rooted in a pseudoscience idea that gained popularity during the era – the notion that grafting monkey testicle tissue into humans could enhance longevity, an idea propagated by the Russian doctor Serge Voronoff.

The Monkey Gland cocktail first made its appearance in print in MacElhone’s 1922 book, “Harry’s ABC of Mixing Cocktails”. This comprehensive guide to mixing drinks provided a glimpse into the flourishing cocktail culture of the time, and the Monkey Gland secured its place among the classics.

The most captivating aspect of the Monkey Gland cocktail is its name and the peculiar inspiration behind it. The term “Monkey Gland” is a direct reference to the pseudo-scientific theories of Dr. Serge Voronoff, a Russian-born French surgeon who gained notoriety for his experiments in the early 20th century. Voronoff believed in the rejuvenating powers of grafting monkey testicle tissue into humans, a concept he termed “organotherapy”

In the 1920s, when the cocktail was gaining popularity, Voronoff’s ideas were widely discussed and even embraced by some as a potential fountain of youth. The notion of transplanting animal organs to enhance human vitality reflected the spirit of experimentation and curiosity that characterized the era. While Voronoff’s theories have long been discredited, they left an indelible mark on popular culture and found an unexpected legacy in the name of a cocktail.

Monkey Gland Recipe

  1. 45 ml gin

  2. 45 ml fresh orange juice

  3. 1 tsp grenadine

  4. 1 dash absinthe

  5. Ice

  6. Garnish: orange slice or orange peel

monkey gland cocktail

How to Make the Monkey Gland

  1. Add the gin, fresh orange juice, absinthe, and grenadine into a cocktail shaker.

  2. Add ice and shake for 10-12 seconds, until chilled.

  3. Strain into a martini or coupe glass.

  4. Garnish with an orange slice or an orange peel.

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