Monkey Gland

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The Monkey Gland is a classic cocktail consisting of gin, fresh orange juice, absinthe, and grenadine.

The original recipe called for absinthe, but because of lack of availability, pastis was often substituted. For the same reason, a second version of the cocktail was developed, using Benedictine instead of absinthe. The absinthe/pastis version became more common in England, while the Benedictine version was more common in America.

With anti-absinthe laws being relaxed around the world now, the original Monkey Gland can be enjoyed once more.


Created by

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


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Historical References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.

Bartender's Guide by Trader Vic, 1947

  • 1 oz. gin
  • 1/2 oz. orange juice
  • 3 dashes Benedictine
  • 3 dashes grenadine

Stir with cracked ice; strain into chilled cocktail glass.

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.

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