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).