How to Make a Brass Monkey Drink

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This brass monkey drink is perfect for those who are looking for a simple tropical flavor cocktail. It’s easy to make and perfect for sipping year-round.

Brass monkeys have always been one of my favorite cocktails. I remember the first time I had one at a party and how delicious it was. I was hooked from that moment on.

For those of you who haven’t had the pleasure of trying a brass monkey, it is an orange juice cocktail that is usually served in a highball glass. The recipe for a brass monkey is very simple: dark rum, vodka, and orange juice.

Brass monkey drink in a glass with orange sliced and a cocktail umbrella.

It’s the perfect drink for summertime or any time you need a little pick-me-up. If you’re looking for something a little different, try adding a splash of grenadine or triple sec. I guarantee you’ll love it!

Why we love this drink:

  • It’s super easy to make.
  • It only requires a few ingredients.
  • It’s perfect for summertime or anytime and is easy to whip up.

History of The Brass Monkey Cocktail

The Brass Monkey cocktail has a long and storied history dating back to the 1970s. The Heublein Company was the first to commercially produce the premixed cocktail, and it quickly gained popularity in the 1980s after the release of the Beastie Boys’ song of the same name.

Although it was widely believed that the Beastie Boys were referencing a different drink made from malt liquor and orange juice, Mike D has since confirmed that the Heublein cocktail is, in fact, the one mentioned in the song. Over the years, the recipe for Brass Monkey has varied somewhat, but it typically includes a mixture of rum, vodka, and orange juice.

It’s sometimes referred to as a “poor man’s mimosa” due to its similar flavor profile, and it remains a popular choice for brunch cocktails to this day. Thanks to its history and delicious taste, the Brass Monkey is a timeless classic that is sure to be enjoyed for many years to come.

brass monkey cocktail in two glasses

What is a Brass Monkey Drink?

The Brass Monkey drink recipe is a cocktail that was originally created in the 1970s. It is made with orange juice, vodka, and dark rum. The drink has a tropical flavor and is perfect for sipping year-round.

How to Make a Brass Monkey Drink

Here’s everything you need to know to create your own brass monkey drink!


Here are the tools you’ll need to make this drink.

  • Cocktail Shaker
  • Cocktail Jigger
  • Citrus Squeezer
  • Glass
Rum, orange juice, and vodka in small bowls.


Full recipe in the recipe card at the bottom of the post.

Orange Juice – Use fresh-squeezed orange juice when making this cocktail. Orange juice is high in Vitamin C and has a sweet, citrusy flavor. There are several types of oranges you can use. Blood orange will give the drink a pink color.

Vodka – A type of alcoholic beverage that is made from grain or potatoes. It is typically distilled multiple times to create a smooth, flavorless spirit

Dark Rum – A type of alcoholic beverage that is made from molasses or sugarcane juice. It is typically aged in oak barrels for a minimum of two years. Dark rum has a deep amber color and a rich, molasses-like flavor.

Pouring a rum cocktail into a glass filled with ice.


Combine all ingredients in a shaker filled with ice cubes.

Shake well and strain into a hurricane glass or Collins glass.

Garnish with an orange slice or cherry, if desired.

Brass Monkey Drink Ratio

The perfect brass monkey drink ratio is two parts orange juice to one part vodka and 1/2 ounce dark rum. This will give you the perfect balance of sweetness and booze.

Tips for Making This Cocktail

Here are some expert tips for making the best brass monkey cocktail:

  • Use fresh-squeezed orange juice for the best flavor.
  • If you don’t have dark rum, you can use light rum or white rum instead.
  • To make a non-alcoholic brass monkey, simply omit the rum and vodka.
  • For a sweeter drink, add a splash of grenadine or triple sec.
  • Garnish with an orange slice or cherry to add a festive touch.
Orange cocktail recipe with orange slice and umbrella.

Brass Monkey Drink Variations

If you’re looking for something a little different try any of these variations below:

  • Add a splash of grenadine or triple sec. I guarantee you’ll love it!
  • You can also add 1/2 ounce simple syrup to sweeten the cocktail.
  • Give it some fresh lemon juice.
  • Use grapefruit juice instead of orange juice.

Brass Monkey Cocktail Garnishes

There are several ways you can garnish this festive drink! The most common garnish for a brass monkey drink is an orange slice or cherry. Here are some more ideas:

  • Orange Zest

When to Serve a Brass Monkey Drink

The brass monkey drink is perfect for summertime or any time you need a little pick-me-up. Here are some occasions when we like to serve a brass monkey:


Pool Party 

Beach Bonfire 

Birthday Party it’s also perfect for a last-minute birthday party!

Carnival Party

Garden Party 

Tropical Party

Frequently Asked Questions

Is brass monkey a real drink?

Yes, the brass monkey is a real drink! The recipe is typically made with orange juice, vodka, and dark rum.

Can you still buy brass monkey liquor?

Yes, brass monkey liquor is still available for purchase. You can find it in most liquor stores.

What does a brass monkey taste like?

A brass monkey typically has a sweet and citrusy flavor. The drink is perfect for sipping year-round.

Who invented the brass monkey drink?

The brass monkey drink was invented by the Heublein Company in the 1970s.

Is there a difference between a brass monkey and a monkey wrench?

There is no difference between a brass monkey and a monkey wrench. They are both cocktails that were created in the 1970s.

tropical cocktail with orange slice and umbrella.

More Orange Juice Cocktails

Orange Juice and Rum – Also called a Cuba Libre, this drink is made with just orange juice and rum.

Orange Juice and Vodka – Also known as the Screwdriver is the most classic orange juice drink.

Cranberry Juice, Orange Juice, and Vodka – The Cosmopolitan is one of our favorite cocktails.

Perfect Mimosa – The most popular brunch cocktail of all time.

Tequila and Orange Juice – Has flavors similar to a margarita. Easy to make and refreshing.

Whiskey and Orange Jucie – If you’re a whiskey lover, this easy drink is for you!

More Rum Cocktails

If you love cocktails with rum, here are more of our favorite rum drinks:

Pina Colada – A classic pineapple and rum cocktail. Perfect for sipping on the beach.

Mojito – One of our favorite white rum cocktails, especially our frozen version! You can also make a mojito bar for a party!

Jungle Bird – One sip of a classic mai tai and you’re instantly transported to a tropical beach!

Rum Punch – A classic rum punch recipe made with a few fresh ingredients.

Also check out more great cocktail recipes our favorite brunch recipes, the best-mixed drinkstequila cocktails, gin cocktails, vodka cocktails, and cheap drinks to make at home!

Let us know what you think!

There you have it! Everything you need to know about the delicious and refreshing brass monkey drink. Whether you’re looking for a simple cocktail!

What do you think of the brass monkey drink? Leave a comment and review below!

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brass monkey cocktail

Brass Monkey Drink

An easy mixed drink recipe made with orange juice, vodka and rum.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Cocktail
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
0 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 1 cocktail
Calories: 124kcal
Author: Eden


  • 2 ounces orange juice
  • 1 ounce vodka
  • 1/2 ounce dark rum


  • Fill a cocktail shaker with ice and add all of the ingredients.
    rum, orange juice and vodka in a cocktail shaker
  • Shake for 20 seconds, then strain into a glass filled with ice.
    pouring a rum cocktail into a glass filled with ice
  • Garnish with an orange slice and cocktail umbrella.
    brass monkey cocktail


Add 1/2 ounce simple syrup to this recipe for a sweeter drink. We actually prefer it this way. 
Use fresh-squeezed orange juice. 


Calories: 124kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 0.4g | Fat: 0.1g | Saturated Fat: 0.01g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.02g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.02g | Sodium: 1mg | Potassium: 114mg | Fiber: 0.1g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 113IU | Vitamin C: 28mg | Calcium: 6mg | Iron: 0.1mg
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brass monkey cocktail recipe with title.
5 from 1 vote (1 rating without comment)

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