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Here’s how to make the Brass Monkey drink! It’s a cocktail with dark rum, vodka and orange juice that inspired the song of the same name.

Brass Monkey drink

Looking for an easy rum drink with 1970’s vibes? The Brass Monkey drink has it all! This rum and OJ combo was a premixed cocktail back in the day, so popular it even inspired a song. It’s quick and simple to mix up, with a beautifully golden hue. Here’s how to make this retro classic!

What’s a Brass Monkey drink?

The Brass Monkey is a cocktail made with dark rum, vodka and orange juice, sold as a premixed cocktail in the 1970’s and 80’s. It was sold by the Heublein Company, which later dissolved in 1998. It’s not considered one of the greats, but the drink did inspire the 1980’s Beastie Boys song of the same name: and not the other way around! (We’re hoping it’s now stuck in your head. You’re welcome.)

What’s in a Brass Monkey? This drink is a a bit of a free-form cocktail: the ingredients and quantities can vary. But most recipes include the following ingredients:

  • Dark rum
  • Vodka
  • Orange juice
Brass Monkey

The Brass Monkey ratio

Many claim that the Brass Monkey is equal parts dark rum, vodka and orange juice. But taste that, and it’s pretty unremarkable. The flavors taste muddy and uninspired. For a more balanced drink, we suggest increasing the orange juice to this ratio:

  • 1 part dark rum
  • 1 part vodka
  • 2 parts orange juice

Variations: Rum Screwdriver and more

Taste a Brass Monkey made with the correct ratio, and it’s refreshing and easy to drink with a very subtle fruity finish from the rum. But in all honesty? It’s not one of our top choices when it comes to cocktails. It lacks complexity and doesn’t make the most of the dark rum. Here are some ideas for ways to vary this drink:

  • Rum and orange juice cocktail: This Rum and Orange Juice drink pairs rum and OJ with lime and grenadine: it’s a much more balanced and interesting drink
  • Rum Screwdriver: Pair 2 ounces rum and 4 ounces orange juice: it’s a more standard spin on the classic Screwdriver (less interesting but classic)
Brass monkey drink

More dark rum cocktails

There are so many tasty rum drinks to try! Dark rum is an aged rum with a dark brown color: it has a deep, caramel flavor with notes of cinnamon and spices. Dark rum is less common in rum cocktails: here are some of the top dark rum drinks:

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Brass Monkey

Brass Monkey Drink

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 1 drink 1x


Here’s how to make the Brass Monkey drink! It’s a cocktail with dark rum, vodka and orange juice that inspired the song of the same name.


  • 1 ounce dark rum*
  • 1 ounce vodka
  • 2 ounces orange juice
  • Ice, for serving (try clear ice!)


  1. Place the vodka, dark rum and orange juice in a cocktail shaker. Add 2 handfuls of ice and shake until cold.
  2. Strain the drink into an ice-filled lowball glass and garnish with an orange wedge.
  • Category: Drink
  • Method: Shaken
  • Cuisine: Cocktails
  • Diet: Vegan

Keywords: Brass Monkey Drink

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Meet Sonja and Alex Overhiser: Husband and wife. Expert home cooks. Authors of recipes you’ll want to make again and again.

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