No Monkey Business: The Monkey Gland Cocktail
Dr. Serge Voronoff gained notoriety during the 1920s and 1930s for a longevity treatment that transplanted monkey testicles to the testicles of older men. The practice became a fad among elite upper classes in Europe and even in some football leagues in England. However, as is often the case with unproven medical remedies that people flock to when cajoled by friends — or nowadays when seen on social media — the results left much to be desired. At its height of popularity, though, the procedure inspired several songs and storylines, ashtrays shaped as monkey genitalia, and this cocktail from Harry’s New York Bar in Paris.
The Monkey Gland matches the naughtiness of its name with the shadowy use of absinthe. Orange juice and gin bring a sweetness to this nontraditional sour, and the use of grenadine gives the cocktail an alluring color.
We will always be suspect of pseudo-scientific claims, but appreciate experimentation behind the bar, especially when the results are so delicious.
The Monkey Gland
2 oz London Dry gin
1 oz fresh orange juice
¼ oz Grenadine
Dash of absinthe
Add the gin, orange juice, and Grenadine to a cocktail shaker. Add ice and shake well for 30 seconds or until frosted on the outside. Strain into an absinthe rinsed coupe. Garnish with an orange twist.