Sex on the Beach, Monkey Glands, and other cocktails

Adios, Motherfucker, Blue Balls, Suck, Bang, and Blow, and Mountain Dew Me. What’s in a name—indeed! But these are but a few of the hundreds of cocktails out there that have one ingredient in common: sex. I don’t think I’m alone in this, but even the word “cocktail” can rouse a small titter from the sixth-grader in me. Leave it to George Carlin to expound upon the word: “Women want cock, men want tail.” Naughtily named cocktails have been around for quite some time, though. The Angel’s Tit was a prohibition drink, so-named because the creamy white cocktail, topped with a cherry in exactly the right place, resembled—well, you get the idea. But the drink that started the ball rolling, so to speak, was Sex on the Beach.

Sex on the Beach is just one of many generic cocktails whose sole link is a reference to “doing it.” Unlike the Angel’s Tit, the final product of Sex on the Beach and the myriad other sexually oriented cocktails generally have no visual association to the name: the Blow Job, the Leg Spreader? Sex is often associated with cocktails, though I doubt if this shrewd observation will overthrow Freud or Kinsey as experts in the field. Appropriately, Sex on the Beach and many its offspring of sexually allusive drinks are usually called “Shooters.”

Sex sells, and these drinks are particularly formulated with the libido in mind. Some of the wildly inventive names are meant to titillate, while others are just blatant forays into potty talk. I cannot imagine Winston Churchill or James Bond sidling up to the bar at the club and requesting a Bald Pussy or a Tony’s Screaming Weenie. They are clearly fraught with double entendre—“I’d like a Screaming Orgasm, if you please.” And as it is with real sex, these drinks come with their risks. These generally sweet, but seriously potent potables literally go down so easily that multiple Orgasms will often lay the young toper out prone for the wrong reason. Not everyone wants Sex on the Beach. Joseph Scott and Donald Bain in The World’s Best Bartender’s Guide give the recipe for the variant Sleazy Sex on the Beach as follows, “Add 1 ounce of Grand Marnier, but only if you’re feeling particularly wasteful and have little respect for Grand Marnier.”

For my money, the most clever—and remotely palatable—of all these drinks is a gin-based cocktail blended with orange juice, grenadine, and Pernod: the Monkey Gland. Few classic cocktails of such appealing character have such odious names. In fact, I can’t think of any. Martini, Manhattan, Monkey Gland? Case closed. Harry MacElhone, owner of Harry’s New York Bar in Paris, is credited with mixing the first Monkey Gland in the 1920s. The claim is backed up in the ABC of Mixing Cocktails by none other than Harry MacElhorne. The sonorous sobriquet was inspired by the work of Serge Voronoff, a Russian who experimented with the sexual organs of monkeys for rejuvenation. The verdict is not in on the procedures with the naughty bits of monkeys, but the bygone fashionable drink is a reliable rejuvenator.

Angel’s Tit
1/4 ounce white crème de cacao
1/4 ounce maraschino liqueur
1/4 ounce half and half
Maraschino cherry for garnish
Layer equal parts white crème de cacao, maraschino liqueur, light cream. Pour the white crème de cacao into a cordial or cocktail glass. Float the maraschino liqueur on top. Float the half and half on top. Garnish with a maraschino cherry.

Sex on the Beach
2 ounces vodka
2 ounces peach schnapps
3 ounces orange juice or grapefruit juice
2 ounces cranberry juice
Pour all the ingredients into a highball glass with ice and stir.
Absolut Sex. 1 ounce Absolut Kurant vodka, 1 ounce Midori melon liqueur, 1 ounce cranberry juice, 1 ounce sprite.
After Sex. 2 ounces vodka, 1 ounce crème de banana
Orgasm. 1 ounce amaretto, 1 ounce Kahlúa, 1 ounce Bailey’s Irish Cream
Screaming Orgasm. 1 ounce vodka, 1 ounce Kahlúa, 1 ounce Bailey’s Irish Cream

Monkey Gland
2 ounces gin
1 1/2 ounce fresh orange juice
2 dashes grenadine
2 dashes Pernod or Bénédictine
Shake very well with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with an orange peel.

Blow Job
1/2 Bailey’s Irish Cream
1/2 ounce orgeat
Pour into a shot glass and top with a dash of whipped cream.

Recipe sources: Rob Chirico, Field Guide to Cocktails (Quirk 2005)

6 thoughts on “Sex on the Beach, Monkey Glands, and other cocktails

  1. Jake March 28, 2015 / 10:49 pm

    For wordplay that connects to the actual drink, there’s always the Slow Screw (sloe gin, vodka, and orange juice), which can also be Comfortable (with SoCo) and/or Against the Wall (with Galliano).

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Adrian Morgan March 29, 2015 / 3:16 am

    I have fantasised (not in the sexual sense of the word) about inventing a cocktail called “Sex with a Time Traveller”.

    You would need, I think, at least two ingredients associated with particular historical eras. The obvious choices are mead for the era of Beowulf and rum for the era of sailing ships and pirates.

    You would also need an ingredient with nuts in it, to represent the fact that you have to be nutty to be a time traveller. Frangelico, perhaps.

    Finally, if Doctor Who is your model, you would need, for preference, something blue.

    The concoction I’ve just described would be horrible and unbalanced I’m sure, but it would only be the first draft. Someone should work on this. I’d do it myself, but drink mixing is an expensive hobby if you have to buy your own bottles, which is why I tend to fantasise about it instead.

    (Incidentally, “sex with an alligator” has been invented, and includes midori, charnbord, raspberry vodka, squeeze of lime, sugar. I’ve not tried it myself.)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. rchirico221b March 29, 2015 / 3:46 pm

    Regarding otherworldly drinks, perhaps the most unusual is the Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster, a cocktail that has its origin in fiction. The original Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster was described by Douglas Adams in his Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. It was a potent drink invented by Zaphod Beeblebrox, and the effects have been likened to “having your brains smashed out with a slice of lemon wrapped round a large gold brick.” Bartenders who have attempted to reproduce this drink using more earthbound ingredients are dedicated to equaling Adams’s goal. My take:

    The original recipe calls for Arcturan Mega gin, Qualactin Hypermint extract, Algolian Suntiger, and sprinkle Zamphuor, but they do not seem to be readily available yet.

    1 1/2 ounces vodka
    1 1/2 ounces light rum
    1 1/2 ounces Southern Comfort
    1/2 ounces Bacardi 151-proof Rum
    6 ounces cranberry juice
    Shake vigorously with ice and strain into a chilled collins glass filled with ice. Garnish with lemon wedge and, in Adams’s words, “Drink … but … very carefully …”

    Liked by 1 person

  4. kyrleighde March 29, 2015 / 11:41 pm

    In my end we have seriously messed up combinations of elements that do not even blend wisely just to get ugly tastes of strong drinks; which are named after people by the way. An ounce of milk, a pint of tequila, another ounce of vodka and a little bit of tonic added with real mango and apple fruits. It’s crazy and very sellable.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. rchirico221b March 29, 2015 / 11:51 pm

    As for me, despite having written extensively about cocktails, and created cocktails, my own preferences are rather traditional and very limited (albeit all-too-ample). Gin and tonic? Martini (with gin of course)? There is not much more in my personal repertoire. I would rather eat bees than sample most of the new wave cocktails.


  6. Adrian Morgan March 30, 2015 / 12:33 am

    If we’re going to discuss cocktails in general and not just the ones with sexual names, here is the menu from the only cocktail party I’ve ever attended (privately hosted). It’s my source for the Sex with an Alligator. Personally, I found satisfaction in the Ferreira Roche (Creme de Coco, Frangelico, Baileys).

    I’ve not had the opportunity to invent a cocktail containing more than one alcoholic ingredient. But there’s an Australian honey liqueur called Island Sting, and couple of years ago I discovered that one part Island Sting, one part orange juice, and two parts coconut water is a good combination.

    When younger (18-ish), I created something involving whisky, sarsaparilla, and a squeeze of lemon. But later I disowned it.

    Another fantasy of mine is to invent a cocktail with mulberry juice as the challenge ingredient. But again, I can’t justify the cost of buying multiple bottles just to see what works. It would be affordable if I knew anyone local who was interested in splitting the costs and sharing the bottles, but I don’t.


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