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How to Make a Monkey Gland Cocktail: Monkey Gland Recipe

Written by MasterClass

Last updated: Apr 13, 2020 • 1 min read

The Monkey Gland cocktail consists of a rather simple blend of ingredients: dry gin, fresh orange juice, grenadine, and absinthe. This classic gin cocktail with a provocative name has an alluring, pinkish-orange color and slight anise flavor.



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The History of the Monkey Gland Cocktail

In the 1920s, owner and bartender of Harry’s New York Bar in Paris Harry MacElhone invented the Monkey Gland cocktail. MacElhone named the cocktail after the work of French surgeon Serge Voronoff, who claimed his grafting procedure of monkey glands to human reproductive organs increased life expectancy. Though Voronoff’s claims were eventually debunked, the Monkey Gland’s popularity as a cocktail endures.

Monkey Gland Cocktail Recipe

1 cocktail
Prep Time
4 min
Total Time
4 min


Since absinthe was illegal in the United States throughout most of the twentieth century, many American bartenders substituted Bénédictine liqueur in its place.

  • A dash of absinthe
  • 2 ounces gin
  • 1 ounce fresh orange juice
  • ¼ ounce grenadine
  • Orange peel twist
  1. Coat the inside of a chilled cocktail glass, like a coupe or Martini glass, with a dash of absinthe and pour out any surplus liquid.
  2. Pour the gin, orange juice, and grenadine into a cocktail shaker with ice cubes and shake until chilled.
  3. Use a cocktail strainer to pour the drink into your absinthe-coated glass.
  4. Garnish with an orange peel twist.

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