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Monkey Gland – Thankfully Non-Glandular

Posted by Reese on 2009-09-13 @ 04:42pm

I don’t have a ton of experience consuming glands or their products.  I’ve eaten sweetbreads and I pretty much continuously consume the product of my salivary glands.  However, despite this limited experience, I think I can solidly say this drink tastes like no gland or gland product you’ll ever encounter.  Woohoo!  I liked this drink, both variations.  I started with the Benedictine variation.

Monkey Gland

It’s quite tasty.  Not overly sweet which is a good thing but be careful with the grenadine.  A heavy pour can easily make the drink too sweet.  I can’t say that the Benedictine adds a huge amount to the drink, but like any good supporting actor the drink would be incomplete without it.  It adds a subtle earthiness and herbal quality that really works very well.  Here’s the recipe I liked.

Monkey Gland (w/ Benedictine)
2 1/2 oz Gin
1 oz Orange Juice
1/4 oz Grenadine
1/4 oz Benedictine

I naturally progressed to the absinthe variant next.  Absinthe here, like in other cocktails we’ve covered, can quickly overcome the subtle flavors of the rest of the drink.  Go lightly and you won’t have a problem.  Again, be careful with your pour on the grenadine so it doesn’t get overly sweet.  I like this version as well.  I’m not sure that I can really say which is better.  The Benedictine and absinthe add completely different flavors to the drink.

Monkey Gland (w/ Absinthe)
2 1/2 oz Gin
1 oz Orange Juice
1/4 oz Grenadine
1/8 oz Absinthe (at most)

Monkey Gland

Overall this isn’t my favorite cocktail of all time, but it’s pretty good.  I’d certainly drink one in the future.  I went with Odwalla orange juice and my only change would be to seek out a slightly more sour juice for my next go.  For your choice of gins I think pretty much anything would work in this drink.  The orange juice has enough flavor of it’s own that it can stand up to some pretty boldly flavored gin.  I went with Plymouth and it worked very well.