The Monkey Gland dates back to the 1920’s and is named after a particular sexual enhancement procedure performed on men where some monkey parts would be sewn onto some man parts… Yes this really happened but I would suggest you drink a Monkey Gland and stay clear of anyone that suggest the old time procedure.
The components of the Monkey Gland are really textbook for the era it was created. If you thumb through books like the Savoy Cocktail Book from Harry Craddock you see tons of gin recipes almost all complimented by some citrus juice. Absinthe was used much more heavily in the early 1900’s than it is today to add some herbal complexity. Grenadine was also used quite a lot (when it was actually pomegranate syrup) to add more fruit flavors and a great red or light pink color to a drink.
I really recommend making your own grenadine for this recipe. You can control the favors so much more and have it add a real pomegranate flavor instead of extreme sweetness. If you do not make your own at least buy some that has pomegranate in the recipe without any high fructose corn syrup or red dye.
You certainly need the Absinthe for this cocktail to really work. Absinthe makes a nice addition to your home bar and will allow you to make many old school drinks or add some herbal depth to your experiments. When a cocktail calls for absinthe there really is no good substitute and going ahead with the recipe without it gives a totally different result. Yes, absinthe is pretty pricy but unless you are drinking it straight it will last you for quite some time.
Pernod Absinthe is one of the standards but there are many craft distilleries that make solid products as well and often in smaller cheaper bottles. St George is one of my favorites because it comes in a tiny little bottle in the $20 range instead of the $75+ bottle of Pernod.
If you want to shake things up from the original ingredients, try subbing out the orange juice for clementine. It changes the drink by adding a touch more sweetness and clementine seems to be a lighter citrus flavor to me.
- 1 1/2 Oz Gin
- 1/2 Oz Grendadine
- 1 Oz Fresh Orange or Clementine Juice
- 1/4 Tsp Absinthe
- 3 Drops 20% Saline - (optional)
- Orange Peel
- Add all of the ingredients to your shaker tin.
- Add ice and shake for 12 seconds.
- Strain into a chilled cocktail glass or double strain to take out ice pieces.
- Express citrus oils over the drink and drop in as a garnish.