A Ballsy Tale: The Monkey Gland Cocktail

Weeks ago, I wandered over to my favorite watering hole – a bar that served mainly classic cocktails from the 1920s and 30s. Many of my faves were there, along with others I’ve never heard of, but planned to try. Including this oneā€¦the Monkey Gland!

I mean, with a name like that, how could you NOT want to taste one, am I right?? I had a feeling it had one helluva backstory.

The Backstory

Dr. Serge Voronoff believed cells from the younger beasts would re-invigorate the older animals. He transplanted organs, tissue and bones from younger horses and sheep into older ones. That was followed with experiments on transplanting monkey thyroid glands into humans, to help them overcome thyroid deficiencies.

The idea being that monkeys shared enough biological similarities to humans, as required for transplants.

Next, Dr. Voronoff focused on the impact of testicles. According to his book “Life: a Study of the Means of Restoring Vital Energy and Prolonging Life” (available on Amazon.com), the sex gland “stimulates cerebral activity as well as muscular energy” as it “pours into the stream of the blood a species of vital fluid which restores the energy of all the cells, and spreads happiness.”

He started transplanting the testicles of executed criminals into millionaires. However, there were more rich men who wanted the testicles than there were dead criminals to supply them.

So he used monkey testicle tissue instead. The testicle grafting became so popular that a special reserve was set up in Africa just for capturing and holding monkeys for gland transfers.

And now… the cocktail!

Disclaimer:
No monkey parts were harmed in the making of this beverage.

The Monkey Gland
Courtesy of the Spruce Eats

1 dash absinthe
2 ounces gin
1 ounce freshly squeezed orange juice
1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons grenadine, to taste
Orange slice, or flamed orange peel, for garnish

Swirl a dash of absinthe in a chilled cocktail glass to coat it, then discard any excess liqueur.

In a cocktail shaker filled with ice cubes, pour the gin, orange juice, and grenadine.

Shake well.

Strain into the prepared glass.

Garnish with an orange slice or a flamed orange peel. Serve and enjoy. Cheers!

———————————————-

Sources:

https://www.thespruceeats.com/monkey-gland-cocktail-recipe-759322

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serge_Voronoff

https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/the-true-story-of-dr-voronoffs-plan-to-use-monkey-testicles-to-make-us-immortal

Photos by pexels

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