Cracking the Code: What Is a Brass Monkey Drink?

let’s dive into the intriguing world of mixology and explore What is a brass monkey drink? This iconic beverage has a history as rich as its flavor, and we’re here to uncover its secrets. So, grab a seat and get ready to quench your curiosity about this classic cocktail. 

A Brass Monkey drink is a classic and straightforward cocktail known for its simplicity and refreshing taste. This cocktail typically consists of three main ingredients: beer, orange juice, and vodka. The preparation involves layering the components, with beer forming the base layer, followed by a middle layer of vodka, and a top layer of orange juice. 

The combination of the maltiness of the beer, the citrusy sweetness of the orange juice, and the added kick from the vodka creates a well-balanced and flavorful beverage. The Brass Monkey gained pop culture recognition through the Beastie Boys’ song of the same name, which helped propel its popularity in the 1980s. Whether enjoyed for its taste or its cultural references, the Brass Monkey remains a popular choice among cocktail enthusiasts.

Brass monkey liquor bottle

Brass monkey liquor bottle


A Brass Monkey liquor bottle is not a specific brand of liquor but rather a term used to refer to a style of cocktail or a unique bottle holder used to serve said cocktail. Here, I’ll provide comprehensive information on both aspects:

  1. The Brass Monkey Cocktail:
  • Origin: The Brass Monkey cocktail is believed to have originated in the United States, possibly in the 1960s or 1970s. It gained popularity as a party drink and is often associated with beach culture.
  • Ingredients: The classic Brass Monkey cocktail typically consists of three simple ingredients:
    • 1 part dark rum
    • 1 part vodka
    • 2 parts orange juice
  • Preparation: To make a Brass Monkey cocktail, you typically combine the dark rum, vodka, and orange juice in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake well and strain the mixture into a highball glass filled with ice cubes.
  • Variations: Some variations of the Brass Monkey cocktail might use different types of rum, flavored vodka, or even orange liqueurs like triple sec or Cointreau to add complexity to the drink.
  • Serving: The cocktail is typically served in a highball glass or a tumbler and garnished with a slice of orange or a maraschino cherry.
  1. Brass Monkey Liquor Bottle Holder:
  • Appearance: The Brass Monkey liquor bottle holder is a decorative and functional accessory used for serving cocktails, particularly the Brass Monkey cocktail. It often features a monkey-shaped design made of brass or other metals.
  • Purpose: The Brass Monkey liquor bottle holder serves both an aesthetic and practical purpose. It adds a touch of whimsy and style to the presentation of the cocktail while also serving as a holder for the liquor bottles used in making the drink.
  • Design: These bottle holders are crafted with attention to detail and may come in various designs, from realistic monkey figurines to more abstract or artistic representations.
  • Materials: While brass is a common material for these bottle holders, they can also be made from other metals like copper or stainless steel. Some may even incorporate other materials such as wood or glass.
  • Collector’s Items: Some Brass Monkey liquor bottle holders have become collector’s items due to their unique designs and associations with a particular era of cocktail culture.
  • Usage: To use a Brass Monkey liquor bottle holder, you place your liquor bottles (usually rum, vodka, and orange juice) inside the holder. The bottles are typically arranged to mimic the appearance of the cocktail’s ingredients. The holder adds an element of fun and visual appeal to the cocktail presentation.

Brass monkey drink 40

The term “Brass Monkey” typically refers to two different things: a cocktail and a colloquial expression. Let’s explore both aspects:

  1. Brass Monkey Cocktail:

The Brass Monkey cocktail is a simple and refreshing mixed drink known for its fruity and citrusy flavors. It’s often served as a party or summer drink, and its primary ingredients are beer and citrus juices, usually orange juice. There are variations of the Brass Monkey cocktail, but the most common recipe is as follows:


  • 1 can (12 oz) of beer (usually malt liquor)
  • 4 oz of orange juice (preferably fresh)
  • 4 oz of orange liqueur (such as Triple Sec or Grand Marnier)
  • Ice cubes (optional)


  • Start by chilling your beer, orange juice, and orange liqueur in the refrigerator.
  • If you prefer your Brass Monkey cold and with ice, fill a highball glass with ice cubes.
  • Pour the beer into the glass, filling it about halfway.
  • Slowly add the orange juice to the beer. Pour it gently to avoid excessive foaming.
  • Top off the drink with the orange liqueur.
  • Give it a gentle stir to combine the ingredients.
  • Optionally, garnish with an orange slice or twist for added flair.
  • Serve immediately and enjoy!

The Brass Monkey cocktail is known for its sweet and tangy taste, which results from the combination of the malt liquor, fresh orange juice, and orange liqueur. It’s a simple but flavorful drink that can be adjusted to suit your taste preferences by varying the proportions of the ingredients.

  1. Colloquial Expression “Cold as a Brass Monkey:

Apart from the cocktail, “Brass Monkey” is also used as a colloquial expression, often as part of the phrase “cold as a brass monkey.” This phrase is used to describe extremely cold weather or conditions. The origin of this expression is a subject of debate, but it’s commonly believed to have originated from maritime or naval slang. It may refer to the contraction of metal in cold temperatures, causing things made of brass to shrink and potentially fall apart.

In popular culture, the Beastie Boys released a song titled “Brass Monkey” in the 1980s, and while the song is not directly related to the cocktail or the expression, it helped popularize the term in some contexts.

Brass monkey drink beastie

The “Brass Monkey” is a drink that gained notoriety through the Beastie Boys and their song of the same name. It’s important to note that the Brass Monkey drink associated with the Beastie Boys is different from the traditional Brass Monkey cocktail mentioned in the previous response. Here’s comprehensive information on the “Brass Monkey” drink as popularized by the Beastie Boys:

  1. Origin and Popularity:
  • The Beastie Boys, a renowned American hip-hop group, popularized the Brass Monkey drink through their song titled “Brass Monkey.” The song is from their debut album “Licensed to Ill,” released in 1986.
  • The lyrics of the song prominently feature the Brass Monkey drink, and the track itself became one of the Beastie Boys’ signature hits.
  1. What is the Beastie Boys’ Brass Monkey Drink:
  • In the context of the Beastie Boys song, the Brass Monkey refers to a specific cocktail or mixed drink.
  • The lyrics describe it as a combination of three main ingredients: beer, orange juice, and a malt liquor, typically in a 40-ounce bottle.
  1. How to Make the Beastie Boys’ Brass Monkey:
  • While the song doesn’t provide precise measurements, fans of the Beastie Boys have attempted to recreate the Brass Monkey drink as described in the lyrics.
  • The general consensus for making the Beastie Boys’ Brass Monkey involves the following steps:
    • Start with a 40-ounce bottle of malt liquor (e.g., Olde English 800 or Colt 45).
    • Drink or pour out a portion of the malt liquor to create space in the bottle.
    • Fill the bottle halfway with orange juice.
    • Tightly seal the bottle and shake it vigorously to mix the contents.
  1. Cultural Impact:
  • The Beastie Boys’ song “Brass Monkey” and the associated drink have become iconic in pop culture, particularly within the hip-hop and party scenes.
  • The song’s catchy chorus and references to the Brass Monkey drink have made it a party anthem over the years.
  1. Responsible Consumption:
  • It’s essential to consume alcoholic beverages responsibly. The Beastie Boys’ Brass Monkey drink is known for its potency due to the combination of malt liquor and orange juice. Please drink it responsibly and be aware of your alcohol tolerance.
  1. Variations:
  • Some people have created variations of the Beastie Boys’ Brass Monkey by using different types of beer or flavored malt beverages. However, the traditional version sticks to malt liquor and orange juice.

What is a brass monkey drink made of

What is a brass monkey drink made of


The Brass Monkey cocktail is a simple and refreshing mixed drink typically made with just three ingredients: orange juice, dark rum, and vodka. It’s known for its sweet and tangy flavor, making it a popular choice for those who enjoy fruity cocktails. Here’s how to make a Brass Monkey cocktail:

  • 2 ounces dark rum
  • 2 ounces vodka
  • 4 ounces orange juice
  • Ice cubes
  • Orange slice or cherry for garnish (optional)


  • Fill a cocktail shaker with ice.
  • Add the dark rum and vodka to the shaker.
  • Pour in the orange juice.
  • Shake the mixture vigorously until well combined and chilled.
  • Strain the cocktail into a highball or Collins glass filled with ice.
  • Garnish with an orange slice or cherry, if desired.
  • Serve immediately and enjoy your Brass Monkey cocktail.
  • This cocktail is known for its simplicity and its ability to be customized to suit your taste. Some variations may include additional ingredients like grenadine syrup or simple syrup for added sweetness.

Colloquial “Brass Monkey” Beer Drink:
The term “Brass Monkey” is also used colloquially to describe a method of serving beer. In this context, it refers to a way of enjoying very cold beer, usually when the temperature is well below freezing. This method is more about the presentation and temperature of the beer than a specific recipe. Here’s how it works:

  • A “Brass Monkey” involves taking a bottle of beer, often malt liquor, and leaving it outside in extremely cold weather until it begins to freeze. The alcohol in the beer has a lower freezing point than water, so it becomes slushy while the water in the beer freezes solid.
  • Once the beer has reached the desired slushy consistency, the top part of the bottle is removed, leaving only the frozen portion of the beer.
  • What’s left is a concentrated, high-alcohol, and very cold beer slush, which is typically consumed directly from the bottle or with a straw.
  • It’s important to note that the term “Brass Monkey” in this context is more about the method of preparation and not a specific recipe. This practice is not commonly seen today and is more of a historical curiosity.

Is a Brass Monkey alcoholic?

Whether a Brass Monkey is alcoholic or not depends on the context in which the term is used. There are two common interpretations:

  1. Brass Monkey Cocktail (Alcoholic): The Brass Monkey cocktail is indeed an alcoholic drink. It is a mixed cocktail made by combining dark rum, vodka, and orange juice. Both dark rum and vodka are spirits with high alcohol content, and when mixed together in this cocktail, it creates an alcoholic beverage. 

The alcohol content in a Brass Monkey cocktail can vary depending on the specific brands of alcohol and the proportions used, but it typically has a moderate to strong alcoholic kick. It is essential to drink responsibly and be mindful of your alcohol consumption when enjoying this cocktail.

  1. Colloquial “Brass Monkey” Beer Drink (Alcoholic): The colloquial term “Brass Monkey” can also refer to a method of serving beer, but in this context, it is also alcoholic. The practice involves freezing beer, often malt liquor, until it reaches a slushy consistency. 

Since this method uses beer, which contains alcohol, the resulting Brass Monkey drink is alcoholic. It is important to note that this method is more about serving beer in a unique, very cold way rather than creating a new alcoholic beverage.

In both interpretations, a Brass Monkey is an alcoholic drink. The level of alcohol content may vary depending on the specific recipe or method used, but alcohol is a key component in both instances. As with any alcoholic beverage, it’s crucial to consume it responsibly and be aware of your alcohol tolerance.

Where did the Brass Monkey drink originate?

The origin of the Brass Monkey cocktail is a bit elusive, as its history is not as well-documented or widely known as some other classic cocktails. There are several theories and stories about the cocktail’s origin, but none of them are definitive. Here are a few theories and possible origins of the Brass Monkey drink:

  1. 1980s Hip-Hop Culture: One of the most popular theories attributes the creation of the Brass Monkey cocktail to the hip-hop culture of the 1980s. It is said to have been a popular drink among rap artists and their fans during this era. The Beastie Boys, a prominent hip-hop group, even released a song titled “Brass Monkey” in 1986, which contributed to the drink’s popularity. In the song, they describe the Brass Monkey as a mix of orange juice and malt liquor.
  2. Pre-Packaged Version: Some believe that the Brass Monkey originated as a pre-packaged, ready-to-drink cocktail. This version was reportedly a blend of orange juice and malt liquor sold in convenience stores and gained popularity due to its convenience.
  3. Evolution of Malt Liquor Cocktails: Another theory is that the Brass Monkey is part of a broader category of cocktails made with malt liquor. Malt liquor, often with higher alcohol content, was sometimes mixed with fruit juices to create inexpensive and potent drinks. The Brass Monkey could be seen as a variation of these malt liquor-based cocktails.
  4. Unknown Origin: Despite various theories and anecdotes, there is no single, well-documented origin of the Brass Monkey cocktail. It may have emerged organically in various places and times, with different recipes and variations.

The lack of a clear and universally accepted origin story for the Brass Monkey cocktail has contributed to its mystique and charm. It remains a nostalgic and somewhat enigmatic part of cocktail culture, particularly among those who remember its popularity in the 1980s.

It’s important to note that the Brass Monkey cocktail should not be confused with the colloquial term “Brass Monkey” used to describe a method of serving extremely cold beer, which is unrelated to the cocktail’s history.

Are there different variations of the Brass Monkey?

Are there different variations of the Brass Monkey?

Yes, there are several variations of the Brass Monkey cocktail. While the classic Brass Monkey is made with orange juice, dark rum, and vodka, cocktail enthusiasts and bartenders often experiment with ingredients to create unique twists on this drink. Here are some popular variations of the Brass Monkey:

  • Fruit Infusions:
      • Some variations incorporate additional fruit flavors by adding fruit-infused spirits or liqueurs. For example, you can make a “Tropical Brass Monkey” by adding a splash of pineapple juice or using coconut rum.
    • Sweeteners:
      • To add sweetness and depth to the cocktail, you can include sweeteners like grenadine syrup, simple syrup, or honey. A “Sweet Brass Monkey” might feature a drizzle of honey to balance the tartness of the orange juice.
  • Flavored Vodkas:
      • Experimenting with different flavored vodkas can yield interesting results. For instance, using vanilla vodka or citrus-infused vodka can enhance the overall flavor profile.
  • Spices and Bitters:
      • To give the Brass Monkey a more complex and spicy character, you can introduce aromatic bitters like Angostura or use spices like cinnamon or nutmeg for garnish.
    • Garnishes:
      • The choice of garnish can also make a difference. Try garnishing your Brass Monkey with a citrus twist, a maraschino cherry, or a sprig of mint for added aroma and visual appeal.
  • Frozen Variations:
      • Some variations turn the Brass Monkey into a frozen cocktail by blending the ingredients with ice. This creates a slushy, refreshing version of the drink.
  • Beer-Based Variation:
      • In some regions, people refer to a “Brass Monkey” as a mixture of beer and orange juice. This is quite different from the classic cocktail but is a variation in its own right.
  • Non-Alcoholic Versions:
      • For those who prefer non-alcoholic options, you can make a virgin Brass Monkey by omitting the alcohol and using orange juice as the primary ingredient, mixed with soda or ginger ale for fizz.
  • Whiskey Variation:
    • In some regions, particularly in Scotland, a “Whiskey Brass Monkey” is made by mixing whiskey, orange juice, and a splash of ginger ale or ginger beer.
  • Spiked Coffee Variation:
    • A warm variation of the Brass Monkey can be created by adding dark rum and vodka to hot coffee and then adding a shot of orange liqueur, creating a “Brass Monkey Coffee.”

Remember that these variations allow for creativity and personal preference, so feel free to experiment with different ingredients and proportions to find your favorite version of the Brass Monkey cocktail. Just be sure to enjoy responsibly, especially when trying variations with higher alcohol content.

What does a Brass Monkey taste like?


A Brass Monkey cocktail is known for its unique and refreshing taste, which combines sweet, tangy, and slightly bitter flavors. The specific taste can vary depending on the proportions of the ingredients and any additional variations or ingredients used. Here’s a breakdown of the typical flavors you can expect from a Brass Monkey:

  1. Orange Juice: The primary flavor in a Brass Monkey comes from the orange juice. It provides a sweet and tangy citrus taste, which is both refreshing and thirst-quenching. The level of sweetness can vary depending on the type of orange juice used, whether it’s freshly squeezed or from concentrate, and whether any sweeteners are added.
  2. Dark Rum: Dark rum adds depth and complexity to the cocktail. It contributes a rich, molasses-like sweetness and a hint of caramel or toffee notes. The rum’s warmth and complexity balance the bright acidity of the orange juice.
  3. Vodka: Vodka in the Brass Monkey typically serves as a neutral spirit, adding alcohol content without significantly altering the overall flavor profile. It helps to mellow out the sweetness of the orange juice and rum, making the cocktail smoother.
  4. Additional Variations: Depending on any variations or additional ingredients used, the taste can vary. For example, if you add a splash of pineapple juice, it can introduce tropical and fruity notes. Sweeteners like grenadine syrup or honey can enhance the sweetness, while bitters or spices can add complexity and a hint of bitterness.

Is there a preferred glassware for serving a Brass Monkey?

Is there a preferred glassware for serving a Brass Monkey?

There isn’t a strict rule for the type of glassware used to serve a Brass Monkey cocktail, but there are some common choices that enhance the presentation and drinking experience. The choice of glassware often depends on personal preference and the style you want to achieve. Here are some glassware options that are commonly used for serving a Brass Monkey:

  1. Highball Glass:
  • A highball glass is a classic choice for serving a Brass Monkey. It’s a tall, slender glass that typically holds around 8 to 12 ounces of liquid. Highball glasses are well-suited for cocktails with a significant amount of mixer, like the Brass Monkey, as they provide enough space for ice and garnishes while allowing you to appreciate the drink’s color and clarity.
  1. Collins Glass:
  • A Collins glass is another suitable option for serving a Brass Monkey. It is similar in shape to a highball glass but slightly taller and slimmer. Collins glasses also hold a good amount of liquid and are ideal for cocktails with a moderate volume of mixer.
  1. Tiki Mug:
  • Some enthusiasts prefer to serve Brass Monkey cocktails in tiki mugs, especially if they’re adding tropical or exotic variations to the drink. Tiki mugs come in various shapes and sizes and often have fun and festive designs that complement the cocktail’s fruity and refreshing qualities.
  1. Mason Jar:
  • For a more rustic or informal presentation, you can serve a Brass Monkey in a mason jar. Mason jars provide a casual, down-to-earth feel and can hold a good amount of liquid and ice.
  1. Rocks Glass:
  • While less common, some people opt to serve Brass Monkey cocktails in rocks glasses, also known as old-fashioned glasses. These glasses are typically short and wide and are often used for serving spirit-forward cocktails. If you prefer a shorter, more concentrated drink, this could be a choice for you.
  1. Cocktail Goblet:
  • A cocktail goblet or hurricane glass can be an elegant option for serving Brass Monkey cocktails, especially if you’re garnishing the drink with elaborate fruit slices or cherries. These glasses have a distinctive shape that adds to the overall visual appeal of the drink.
  1. Tulip or Balloon Glass:
  • If you want to highlight the aroma of the cocktail and enhance the drinking experience, consider using a tulip or balloon-shaped glass. These glasses concentrate the aromas and are often used for cocktails that have complex flavor profiles.

Ultimately, the choice of glassware for serving a Brass Monkey is a matter of personal preference and style. You can choose a glass that suits the occasion, whether it’s a casual gathering, a tiki-themed party, or an elegant cocktail event. What’s most important is that the glassware allows you to enjoy the flavors and aromas of the cocktail to the fullest.


What is a brass monkey drink?

A “Brass Monkey” is a popular mixed drink, often enjoyed for its refreshing and fruity flavor. It’s a relatively simple cocktail to make and has a history that’s associated with both urban legend and popular culture. The Brass Monkey typically consists of three primary ingredients: beer, orange juice, and vodka. Here’s a comprehensive overview of the Brass Monkey drink:


  • Beer: The most common type of beer used in a Brass Monkey is malt liquor, a strong and relatively cheap beer. Brands like Colt 45, Olde English 800, and Mickey’s are frequently chosen for their high alcohol content and affordability. The beer’s maltiness and slight bitterness balance the sweetness of the other ingredients.
  • Orange Juice: Freshly squeezed orange juice is the best choice for a Brass Monkey, as it provides a natural sweetness and a vibrant citrus flavor. It’s important to use real orange juice rather than artificial or concentrate for the best taste.
  • Vodka: Vodka adds an additional kick of alcohol to the mix. It’s typically used in moderate amounts, and the choice of vodka brand is often a matter of personal preference.


  • Chill the Ingredients: Make sure all the ingredients are well-chilled before mixing the cocktail. Cold ingredients make for a more refreshing drink.
  • Layering: The traditional way to prepare a Brass Monkey is by layering the ingredients. Start with the beer as the bottom layer, followed by the vodka in the middle, and top it off with orange juice. The layering creates an aesthetically pleasing gradient effect.
  • Stir Gently: Some people prefer to stir the ingredients gently to mix them together before drinking. However, others enjoy sipping the drink as-is, allowing the layers to mix gradually as they consume it.

History and Pop Culture:

The Brass Monkey drink gained notoriety in the 1980s thanks to the popular hip-hop group the Beastie Boys. They released a song titled “Brass Monkey” on their debut album, “Licensed to Ill” in 1986. The song’s chorus repeatedly mentions the drink, which brought it into the mainstream consciousness. The Beastie Boys’ reference to the Brass Monkey helped elevate its popularity, especially among their fans.

There’s also an urban legend associated with the term “Brass Monkey.” According to some accounts, the phrase referred to a cannonball holder used on naval warships during the 18th and 19th centuries. The holder was supposedly made of brass and shaped like a monkey. In extremely cold weather conditions, it was rumored that the brass would contract more than the iron cannonballs, causing them to fall off the holder. While this story is often repeated, there’s limited historical evidence to support its accuracy.

Are there any popular garnishes for a Brass Monkey?

Are there any popular garnishes for a Brass Monkey?


Garnishes can enhance the presentation and flavor profile of a Brass Monkey cocktail, adding a touch of visual appeal and sometimes an additional layer of aroma or taste. While garnishes are not mandatory, they can elevate the overall drinking experience. Here are some popular garnishes for a Brass Monkey:

  1. Orange Slice: A classic and simple garnish for a Brass Monkey is an orange slice. It complements the citrusy flavor of the cocktail and adds a pop of color.
  2. Maraschino Cherry: A maraschino cherry, often skewered on a cocktail pick or placed on a cocktail stick, can provide a sweet and slightly tart contrast to the cocktail’s flavors. The bright red color also adds visual appeal.
  3. Citrus Twist: For an elegant touch, consider garnishing your Brass Monkey with a twist of citrus peel. Lemon or orange twists release essential oils as they are squeezed over the drink, imparting a subtle citrus aroma.
  4. Pineapple Wedge or Spear: If you’re going for a tropical variation of the Brass Monkey, such as adding pineapple juice, garnishing with a pineapple wedge or spear can enhance the overall theme and flavor.
  5. Mint Sprig: A sprig of fresh mint can add a touch of freshness and a pleasant herbal aroma to the cocktail. It’s a particularly good garnish if you’re serving a variation with herbal or botanical elements.
  6. Cinnamon Stick: For Brass Monkey variations that include spices like cinnamon, a cinnamon stick can be a fitting garnish. It reinforces the spiciness of the drink and can also be used as a stirrer.
  7. Umbrella or Tiki Garnish: If you’re going for a tiki-inspired Brass Monkey, consider using a cocktail umbrella, a paper parasol, or tiki-themed garnishes like mini surfboards, tropical fruit picks, or tiny cocktail flags.
  8. Edible Flowers: Edible flowers, such as orchids or violets, can add a touch of elegance and a subtle floral note to your Brass Monkey. Ensure that any flowers used are indeed edible and food-safe.
  9. Fruit Skewer: Create a mini fruit kebab with small pieces of orange, cherry, and pineapple on a cocktail pick. This not only looks appealing but also adds some variety to the garnish.
  10. Custom Garnishes: Depending on the theme of your event or personal preferences, you can get creative with custom garnishes, such as personalized cocktail stirrers, drink stirrers with humorous messages, or branded swizzle sticks.

Remember that garnishes should complement the flavors of the cocktail and enhance the overall drinking experience. The choice of garnish can also reflect the style of the cocktail and the occasion, whether it’s a casual gathering, a tiki party, or a more formal event. Experiment with different garnishes to find the one that suits your Brass Monkey cocktail best.

What type of alcohol is typically used in a Brass Monkey?

A Brass Monkey cocktail typically contains two types of alcohol: dark rum and vodka. Here’s more information about the types of alcohol used in this classic cocktail:

  1. Dark Rum:
  • Dark rum is a key ingredient in a Brass Monkey cocktail. Dark rum is a type of rum that is aged longer than light or white rums, often in wooden barrels. This aging process imparts a rich, caramelized flavor to the rum, along with a darker color. The sweetness and depth of dark rum complement the fruity and tangy qualities of the orange juice in the cocktail.
  • Popular brands of dark rum that are often used in Brass Monkey cocktails include Captain Morgan, Myers’s Original Dark Rum, Gosling’s Black Seal Rum, and Kraken Black Spiced Rum.
  1. Vodka:
  • Vodka is another essential component of a Brass Monkey. Vodka is a neutral spirit that is known for its clean and odorless taste, allowing the other flavors in the cocktail, particularly the orange juice, to shine through. Vodka also contributes to the alcoholic content of the drink without imparting a strong flavor of its own.
  • Commonly used brands of vodka for a Brass Monkey include Absolut, Smirnoff, Grey Goose, and Tito’s, among others.

These two spirits, dark rum and vodka, work together to create the alcoholic base of the Brass Monkey cocktail. The combination of the rich, sweet notes from the dark rum and the neutral profile of the vodka, when mixed with the bright and tangy orange juice, results in a balanced and flavorful cocktail.

It’s worth noting that the specific brands and types of dark rum and vodka can vary based on personal preference and availability. Some bartenders and cocktail enthusiasts may choose to experiment with different brands or even flavored vodkas to create unique variations of the Brass Monkey cocktail. However, the classic recipe always includes these two types of alcohol.


  1. Q: What is a Brass Monkey drink?
    • A: A Brass Monkey is a cocktail made with equal parts dark rum, vodka, and orange juice. It’s known for its sweet and fruity flavor.
  2. Q: Where did the Brass Monkey drink originate?
    • A: The origin of the Brass Monkey drink is unclear, but it gained popularity in the 1980s, especially associated with the Beastie Boys song “Brass Monkey.”
  3. Q: Is there a specific way to serve a Brass Monkey?
    • A: While there’s no strict rule, the Brass Monkey is typically served over ice in a highball glass. Some variations may include additional ingredients like grenadine.
  4. Q: Does the Brass Monkey contain any non-traditional ingredients?
    • A: The traditional Brass Monkey recipe includes only dark rum, vodka, and orange juice. However, some variations might incorporate additional ingredients for added flavor.
  5. Q: What does a Brass Monkey taste like?
    • A: The Brass Monkey has a sweet and citrusy flavor due to the combination of dark rum, vodka, and orange juice. The result is a refreshing and easy-to-drink cocktail.


In a nutshell, a Brass Monkey drink is a delightful cocktail known for its sweet and tangy flavor. This classic concoction combines dark rum and vodka with the bright citrusy notes of orange juice. The result is a refreshing and slightly boozy beverage that’s perfect for a variety of occasions. 

Whether you’re sipping it on a hot summer day or enjoying it at a party, the Brass Monkey is a versatile and enjoyable cocktail. So, the next time you’re wondering, What is a Brass Monkey drink? you’ll know it’s a delicious blend of spirits and orange juice that’s both simple to make and satisfying to savor.