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How to Make a Brass Monkey

'Brass Monkey'
Def Jam / Columbia

Ever wonder what exactly a Brass Monkey is? The Beastie Boys put the Monkey on the map with their 1987 hit of the same name, definitely alluding to the fact that it’s a drink — “I drink Brass Monkey and I rock well,” in one verse, “Cause I drink it anytime and anyplace” and “Monkey tastes def when you pour it on ice” in the second — but never quite explaining what it is. So, in honor of Beastie Boy Adam Yauch, who passed away Friday (May 4), we answer the age-old question: how do you make a Brass Monkey?

There are a handful of Brass Monkey recipes, some a little more upscale than others. Order one in a bar and (besides some blank stares) you’ll likely receive a cocktail consisting of gin, triple sec, tequila, orange juice, sour mix and grapefruit juice. But that concoction is most definitely not what the B-Boys pay tribute to in song. As any street-wise booze connoisseur will tell you, a true Brass Monkey consists of two simple ingredients: malt liquor (the cheaper, the better!) and orange juice. So, what’cha want is a Brass Monkey? Here’s how to make one:

1. Take a forty-ounce bottle of malt liquor (Olde English seems to be the preferred brand) and remove approximately one-fourth of the contents. Normally, you’re supposed to drink it (this may be the hardest part, as straight-up malt liquor is pretty potent and nasty stuff), but in this case we think it’s certainly acceptable to pour it out, in tribute to our fallen comrade Yauch.

2. Refill the missing malt liquor with the O.J. (Sunny Delight will work as well), screw the cap back on and then tip that sucker upside-down so the brew and juice mix up all nice and good. Do this slowly — you don’t want it to foam.

3. Drink up! And you may want to do it somewhat quickly, as forty ounces of beverage is a lot to drink and it gets warm — and more disgusting the warmer it gets. Don’t worry, though — since you are drinking in honor of Yauch, you can always tip out the end of it in tribute.

There you have it: a Brass Monkey. It may not be the most high-brow drink ever created, but it’s certainly the ultimate in Beastie Boy-infused brew. Cheers!

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