There is an interesting story that you will keep going back to, if you conduct research about the infamous Brass Monkey on the Internet. This particular tale is set during World War II, on the island of Macao, concerning an H.E. Rasske. Apparently a spy for the Allies, H.E. Rasske covertly smuggled men and weapons into China for the longest period of time to win the war against the Axis in the end. The war was won but he was lost in the pages of history until the time of Steve Doniger and Allan Kaufman.
Steve Doniger was the man who named this cocktail Brass Monkey, as homage to H.E. Rasske who worked in the Brass Monkey Club. Now, some people believe that the entire story about a spy by the name of H.E. Rasske was made up by Allan Kaufman, Steve Doniger, and other executive members of the Heublein Company, in order to promote their premixed cocktail around 1970s to 80s. In fact it is believed that Allan Kaufman came up with a series of convincing stories about Rasske during their ad campaign. The release of the Beastie Boys single Brass Monkey also promoted the brand substantially.
There are three popular ways of making this cocktail. The traditional Brass Monkey, which you make with rum, vodka, and orange juice. The other is where you mix tequila, gin, triple sec, sour mix, orange juice, and grape juice. The third is plain malt liquor with orange juice.
The recipe you will find here, however, is the fourth kind and believe it or not is a splendid variation from all the above three. This is where you replace the dark rum with bourbon, preferably Jim Beam Black and wait for the magic to happen.
Mix your own Brass Monkey Cocktail
In a cocktail shaker, pour 30 ml bourbon, 30 ml plain vodka, and 150 ml orange juice. Fill the shaker with ice and give it a good shake, ensuring that they have blended well. Now, fill three fourth of a Collins glass with large cubes of ice and strain your concoction into it. Garnish with an orange wedge and your Brass Monkey is ready!
Add 10 ml of dark rum if you feel too sour about not crafting a traditional Brass Monkey!
While in Tokyo a couple of years ago, I walked into Bar Helissio for an afternoon tipple.
Satan's Circus comes to us from the NoMad Hotel Bar which is located in the 'Tenderloin' neighborhood of New York. In the 19th century, this area was popularly called 'Satan's Circus' due to the concentration of saloons, bars, brothels, and the two cornerstones of the city's fine dining and craft cocktail culture: the great Delmonico's and Jerry Thomas' New York Bar.