Brass Monkey (cocktail)
|Served||On the rocks; poured over ice|
|Standard drinkware||Highball glass|
|Commonly used ingredients|
|Preparation||Stir together and serve over ice.|
Brass Monkey is a name given to a number of different cocktail recipes. As with many lesser-known cocktails that are named after colloquial expressions, there are widely differing recipes that share the same name.
The premixed cocktail labeled Brass Monkey was produced by the Heublein Company in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s. Heublein pre-mixed bottled cocktails were fairly inexpensive and provided a portable alternative to regular mixed drinks. Heublein was based in Stamford, Connecticut, and had production facilities in the Hartford, Connecticut area. The Brass Monkey cocktail was available in bottles from half pint up to 750 mL. At the time that the Brass Monkey cocktail was produced, liquor stores carried mostly beer, wine, and hard alcohol; there were very few premixed alternatives.
The drink was named by Steve Doniger, an advertising executive, after an alleged World War II spy named H. E. Rasske. The ad campaign was created by Allan Kaufman, who crafted a series of stories about the alleged spy using an old photo of his father as the image of Rasske.
Sales and popularity of Heublein's Brass Monkey spirit cocktail increased in the 1980s after the release of the Beastie Boys' song of the same name. It was widely and incorrectly believed that the Beastie Boys were referring to a different drink made from a 40-ounce container of malt liquor mixed with orange juice. However, Mike D has publicly confirmed that the premixed Heublein cocktail was their muse.
In 1982, the R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company acquired Heublein Inc. for $1.4 billion. RJR Nabisco sold the division to Grand Metropolitan in 1987. Grand Metropolitan merged with Guinness to form Diageo in 1997.
After several years of absence from the market the Brass Monkey premixed cocktail has recently been re-released as The Club Brass Monkey. Produced by The Club Distilling Company of Stamford Ct., Brass Monkey is currently sold in liquor stores along with other premixed alcoholic beverages under the name The Club Cocktails owned by Diageo.
- Scan of a 1971 magazine advertisement for Heublein's Brass Monkey bottled cocktail
- Adweek April 6th 1987
- "Happy Hour History: The Brass Monkey". Retrieved 2016-07-13.
- "Studio 360: Sideshow Podcast: 40 Ounces of Trouble: Mike D Sets the Record Straight". Retrieved 2016-08-19.