A vertical shot of a glass of monkey gland cocktail on the table outdoors
The Strange Origins Of The Monkey Gland Cocktail
By Nico Danilovich
The Monkey Gland cocktail consists of a dash of absinthe, dry gin, grenadine, ice, orange juice, and a citrusy garnish like a twisted orange peel. The concoction tastes like licorice and features a brightly warm, pinkish hue — but drink enthusiasts may be curious to know where this strange cocktail comes from.
The origin of the drink can be pinpointed to an establishment called Harry's Bar, which originally operated in New York, but circa 1911, moved to Paris. There, the now-titular Harry MacElhone, a rather famous mixologist, was soon hired and later took over the joint and came up with the Monkey Gland idea during the 1920s.
MacElhone named the drink after the work of French surgeon Serge Voronoff, whose debunked 1920s theories claimed grafting monkey glands to human reproductive organs could extend people's life expectancy. Thankfully, people wised up to the sketchiness of his work by the 1940s due to science disproving Voronoff's hypotheses.