That funky monkey. Get some legendary musicians to incorporate a cocktail throughout an entire song and people will never forget. Or will they just remember it wrong? The Beastie Boys didn’t give the exact recipe for this drink in the lyrics which has lead to a lot of confusion for fans and drinkers since. The reason there were no ingredients mentioned is because they probably didn’t know what was in this canned cocktail. Yes I said canned cocktail! Contrary to popular belief, they were not drinking a forty and filling it with OJ rum and vodka. The Brass Monkey is an actual canned/bottled beverage that the Beastie Boys drank, (safe to say they drank it a lot considering an entire song named after it.)
Cup by Ben Belgrad
The Heublein Company is responsible for this cocktail and its namesake. Bottling cocktails since the early 1900s Heublein products became so popular that they had to make their own distilleries at one point. Originally they only stuck to classic cocktails like Martinis and Manhattans until they made a couple of fun cocktails with equally fun names; Pink Squirrel, Hobo’s Wife and the most popular, Brass Monkey. Sadly, the original can is only a collectors item now and in the history books of extinct products. Heublein Company has since merged with other corporations and most of its product lines can be found within the Diageo Brand.
To get down to the brass tax of the ingredients, just imagine a rum spiked screwdriver. Vodka and OJ is okay but why not throw some rum in the mix to add some sweetness and a kick in the face. If you like to add some frothiness to the drink splash your favorite forty in there too. If you take this drink too seriously, you might be taking life too seriously. Also it looks like the Beastie Boys would use this to either get over a sickness or activate the illness according to these lyrics.
“Because I drink it anytime and anyplace
When it's time to get ill I pour it on my face
Monkey tastes Def when you pour it on ice
Come on… “
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Maggie Kimberl is one of the most respected and prolific writers in American whiskey, and her journey into the bourbon industry is one-of-a-kind.