Marisa Chafetz / Supercall

Rum • Sweet
Brass Monkey

Explore drinks similar to this

Sing it with us now: “Brass Monkey! That funky monkey!” The Beastie Boys delivered these classic lyrics back in 1986, but the meaning behind the metallic simian has never been entirely clear. Many fans of the tracksuit-clad trio took these lyrics as a reference to a drink, which was made with malt liquor and orange juice mixed right in the bottle. Those people were partially right, they just didn’t realize that Mike D, MCA and Ad-Rock were actually cocktail connoisseurs in their day. Because the Beastie Boys preferred another cocktail by the same name—a rum-spiked variation on a Screwdriver, which they acquired pre-mixed in a can before singing its praises on Licensed to Ill.

While the canned version of the cocktail has faded into the sands of time, you can still recreate the flavor of 1980s hip-hop. Simply mix equal parts vodka and white rum in a highball glass, top with orange juice and give the whole thing a quick stir (you could even finger stir it in true frat drink fashion). Some recipes opt for dark rum, but the heavy, caramel flavors don’t mesh quite as well with the OJ and vodka. Opting for white rum instead is like swapping John Berry for Ad-Rock (yeah, we just got a little geeky with our Beastie Boys references).

It may not be the most nuanced drink, but it has a certain throwback appeal. Don your best tracksuit, mix your best Brass Monkey, and fight for your right to paaaaaarrrttaaaaayyyyyy.

The Essentials

white rum
Orange juice
Bar Spoon
The Details


1 oz white rum
1 oz vodka
Fresh Orange Juice, to top
orange wheel, for garnish


  • Add all ingredients save for the garnish to an ice-filled highball glass.
  • Stir, and garnish with an orange wheel.
Vodka Sweet Easy
Hunch Punch

This relative of Jungle Juice incorporates sweet, sweet fruit punch (either Hawaiian Punch or Kool-Aid Fruit Punch, depending on how you roll) to give the cocktail a fruit bowl’s worth of flavor. The bright red party drink looks as potent as it is, but the taste is totally smooth, thanks to a spritz from Sprite...