What Is Rum and Orange Juice Called? Discover the Brass Monkey Cocktail

Ever found yourself at a bar, craving something refreshing, and wondered what a mix of rum and orange juice is called? You’re not alone. This delightful combination, often overshadowed by more famous cocktails, has a name that might surprise you.

Known as a “Brass Monkey,” this drink blends the smoothness of rum with the tangy zest of orange juice, creating a perfect harmony of flavors. Whether you’re a seasoned cocktail enthusiast or just starting your mixology journey, the Brass Monkey is a must-try. Let’s dive into the origins and variations of this underrated gem.

Key Takeaways

  • Brass Monkey: The combination of rum and orange juice is called a “Brass Monkey.
  • Origins: Rum has a rich history dating back to the 17th century in the Caribbean, while orange juice became a popular mixer in the early 20th century.
  • Variations: A common variation includes adding grenadine to create a “Rum Sunrise,” similar to the Tequila Sunrise but with rum.
  • Popular Culture: The Brass Monkey was popularized by the Beastie Boys’ 1986 hit song “Brass Monkey.”
  • Mixing Tips: Making a Brass Monkey involves simple ingredients—rum, orange juice, and ice—with optional garnishes like orange slices or cherries.
  • Health Considerations: Be mindful of the alcohol content and calorie count, and consider the benefits and risks associated with consuming orange juice and alcohol.

The Origins of Rum and Orange Juice Cocktails

History of Rum

Rum, a distilled alcoholic beverage, emerged in the 17th century in the Caribbean. Sugarcane plantations’ byproducts, like molasses, fermented to create this popular spirit. Known for its significant role in maritime history, rum was a staple for sailors and pirates alike. The British Navy even issued daily rum rations, dubbed “tot,” to sailors until 1970. Demand increased as rum production spread to colonial America, Europe, and beyond. Its versatility led to various cocktail inventions, solidifying rum as a cherished ingredient in mixology.

How Orange Juice Became a Popular Mixer

Orange juice gained popularity as a mixer in the early 20th century, riding the wave of healthier lifestyle trends. Rich in vitamin C, it became a go-to ingredient for cocktails, particularly during Prohibition. Bartenders relied on mixers to mask the taste of low-quality alcohol. Orange juice’s natural sweetness and acidity balanced assorted spirits, enhancing their flavors. By mid-century, it firmly established itself in classic cocktails, like Screwdrivers and Mimosa. The refreshing characteristics of orange juice paved the way for its combination with rum, leading to delightful concoctions such as the Brass Monkey.

What Is Rum and Orange Juice Called?

What Is Rum and Orange Juice Called?

Exploring the Name and Variations

Rum and orange juice, commonly mixed together, create a refreshing and balanced cocktail. This mix is often called a “Brass Monkey.” Brass Monkey, known for its smooth yet tangy flavor, gained recognition primarily in the late 20th century. Though not as universally famous as cocktails like the Screwdriver, it has its place in the mixology world. Another variation includes adding a splash of grenadine, creating a “Rum Sunrise,” similar to the Tequila Sunrise but with rum instead.

Popular Culture References

The Brass Monkey gained notable cultural significance partly due to its mention in popular music. The Beastie Boys’ 1986 hit “Brass Monkey” brought the cocktail into the limelight, especially among younger audiences. Its catchy lyrics and association with the party lifestyle contributed to its popularity. Additionally, rum-based cocktails often feature in movies and TV shows set in tropical or pirate-themed contexts, underscoring the historical link between rum and maritime adventures.

How to Make the Perfect Rum and Orange Juice Cocktail

Ingredients Needed

You only need a few ingredients to create a delicious rum and orange juice cocktail, commonly known as a “Brass Monkey.”

  • Rum: Use 2 ounces of light or dark rum based on your preference.
  • Orange Juice: Freshly squeezed or high-quality store-bought juice, approximately 4 ounces.
  • Ice: Enough to fill a standard 8-ounce glass.
  • Optional Garnish: Orange slices or a cherry for decoration.

Step-by-Step Mixing Instructions

Follow these steps to mix the perfect Brass Monkey cocktail:

  1. Fill the Glass With Ice: Add enough ice to your 8-ounce glass to keep the drink chilled.
  2. Pour the Rum: Measure and add 2 ounces of rum into the glass.
  3. Add Orange Juice: Pour 4 ounces of orange juice over the rum and ice.
  4. Stir the Drink: Use a cocktail stirrer or a spoon to mix the ingredients thoroughly.
  5. Garnish: Optionally, add an orange slice or a cherry on the glass edge for a decorative touch.

This simple yet refreshing drink combines the robust flavor of rum with the citrusy tang of orange juice, making it perfect for any occasion.

Health Considerations and Nutritional Info

Health Considerations and Nutritional Info

Alcohol Content and Calorie Count

Rum and orange juice cocktails vary in alcohol content and calorie count based on the rum’s proof and the juice’s sugar content. A standard Brass Monkey typically contains 1.5 ounces of rum with 4 ounces of orange juice. Rum usually has about 64 calories per ounce, while orange juice contains roughly 56 calories per 4 ounces. This combination results in around 152 calories per serving. High-proof rum increases the alcohol content and calorie count. It’s essential to keep track of these values if you’re monitoring your calorie intake or alcohol consumption.

Benefits and Risks of Consuming Orange Juice

Orange juice offers several benefits. Rich in Vitamin C, it strengthens the immune system. It also contains antioxidants that help combat free radicals. Minerals like potassium in orange juice promote heart health and regulate blood pressure. However, it’s important to remember that orange juice contains natural sugars, contributing to increased calorie intake if consumed excessively. Additionally, the acidic nature of orange juice may affect dental health. Combining it with alcohol might exacerbate these effects, so moderation is crucial for a balanced intake.


Exploring the history and variations of rum and orange juice cocktails has been fascinating. From the Caribbean origins to modern-day favorites like the Brass Monkey, these drinks offer a delightful blend of flavors. While enjoying these cocktails, it’s essential to consider the nutritional aspects and consume them in moderation. Balancing the benefits of orange juice with the potential risks ensures a healthier and more enjoyable experience. So next time you’re in the mood for a refreshing drink, you can confidently reach for a rum and orange juice cocktail, knowing its rich history and health implications.

The cocktail made with rum and orange juice is commonly known as a Brass Monkey, a refreshing drink that gained popularity in the 1980s. This simple yet flavorful combination can be enhanced by adding a splash of vodka or garnishing with a slice of orange, as suggested by Liquor.com. Exploring different variations of this classic cocktail can provide a delightful twist for any occasion, according to The Spruce Eats.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the historical significance of rum and orange juice cocktails?

Rum and orange juice cocktails date back to the 17th century Caribbean and early 20th century. Classic cocktails like Screwdrivers and Mimosas led to the creation of the Brass Monkey cocktail.

What are some classic rum and orange juice cocktails?

Some classic rum and orange juice cocktails include the Screwdriver, Mimosa, and Brass Monkey.

What is a Brass Monkey cocktail?

A Brass Monkey cocktail is a drink that combines rum and orange juice, containing approximately 152 calories per serving.

What are the health benefits of orange juice in cocktails?

Orange juice provides Vitamin C and antioxidants, which are beneficial for overall health.

What are the risks associated with drinking rum and orange juice cocktails?

The risks include increased calorie intake and dental health concerns due to the natural sugars and acidity in orange juice.

How does the alcohol content vary in rum and orange juice cocktails?

The alcohol content varies based on the proof of the rum used. Higher proof rums will result in stronger cocktails.

How can I consume rum and orange juice cocktails in a healthy way?

Moderation is key. Balance your intake to avoid excessive calorie consumption and dental issues related to the sugars and acidity in orange juice.

How many calories are in a typical Brass Monkey cocktail?

A standard Brass Monkey cocktail contains around 152 calories per serving.

Why is moderation important when drinking rum and orange juice cocktails?

Moderation helps manage calorie intake, reduce health risks, and maintain overall well-being while enjoying these cocktails.