The Monkey Gland
Mix all ingredients in a glass.
Shake with ice and strain.
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One night too many years ago, Lars, Jack, Brian, and I sat around a table at the Kibitz Room at Canter’s Deli and invented a drink called the Fudge Monkey. In turn, we each pitched in an ingredient — Hershey’s Syrup and Creme de Banana were among them, if memory serves — and the only rule was that the ingredients had to be on hand so the drink could be made then and there. Obviously, the Kibitz Room wasn’t our first stop of the night, and the Fudge Monkey was born of a thick, drunken fog — one to which I will return it until the gang decrees its resurrection.
Fortunately, others have invented better monkey drinks. And, really, if this world needs anything, it’s more monkey drinks. I’ll go so far as to suggest that if everyone cozied up to a Monkey Gland, a Chim Chim, a Cornelius, or even a Fudge Monkey just once a week, we’d all be a lot happier, healthier, and a heck of a lot more fun. The Monkey Gland comes to us courtesy of Harry McElhone, publican of the inimitable Harry’s Bar in Paris, which also brought us the Sidecar.
The name stems from the once-popular treatment of transplanting monkey testicles into men to “rejuvenate” them. I’ll stick with the drink, thank you. This one is sweet and herbal — not for everyone, but if it’s up your alley, you’ll find yourself drinking them regularly. Personally, I’m a big fan. The Monkey Glad is a hallmark of ex-pat culture during Prohibition, when those who had the means left America to get a proper drink wherever they could find it. For many, that was at Harry’s. It’s a drink about thumbing your nose at Prohibition — at the idiotic constraints and extremist policies that sometimes plague our great nation — which makes it something to keep readily at hand whenever the political winds blow south.
This is a place where the Kübler really shines — bringing just the right herbal quality without overpowering the drink. For the Grenadine, make your own (see bottom of Hurricane post) or go with Fee’s American Beauty.
Personally, I like to enjoy a few Monkey Glands during a Planet of the Apes marathon. We can save the Fudge Monkeys for the Most Valuable Primate sequel.
Esoterica: I have to tip my hat to Ted Haigh, in whose Vintage Spirits & Forgotten Cocktails I first discovered the Monkey Gland. Congratulations to Ted on the new edition of his book and on winning “Best New Cocktail/Bartending Book” at this year’s Tales of the Cocktail.
Believe it or not, something cooler than Comic-Con was going on last week.