Last week, we talked about the European version of the Monkey Gland cocktail. Now let’s talk about the American version and what makes them different. Please know that you can order either version in a good cocktail bar; you’ll just need to specify which modifying liqueur you’d like used, absinthe or Benedictine.
While the European version of the Monkey Gland features absinthe (something that was legal and available in England at the time it was created in 1930), the Monkey Gland had to wait a few years for Prohibition to end before being able to be made to the United States. With Prohibition ending in late 1933, it took the publication of Patrick Gavin Duffy’s “Mixers Guide” for American bartenders to have their own version of the Monkey Gland.
Interestingly though, although Prohibition had ended, absinthe was still banned in the US. Because of the absinthe ban, Duffy was forced to look to another liqueur to substitute for absinthe, and his choice was Benedictine. Benedictine is an odd choice to replace absinthe, being much sweeter, and while it does have some herbal tones, it lacks the anise flavor that is dominant in absinthe. It isn’t known why Duffy made this substitution (perhaps it was the choice of local bartenders at the time), but whatever the reason, Benedictine came into use in the Monkey Gland. This makes the cocktail noticeably sweeter, but also perhaps more approachable. Feel free to experiment with the proportions of this drink to suit your tastes. Don’t hesitate to substitute vodka for gin if you’d prefer, and playing with both versions of the Monkey Gland can make for an interesting cocktail party if nothing else.
The Monkey Gland Cocktail (American Version)
Makes one cocktail.
- 2 ounces gin
- 1 ounces orange juice
- ¼ ounce grenadine
- ¼ ounce Benedictine liqueur
- Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker.
- Add ice, and shake vigorously for 30 seconds.
- Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.