Cheeky Monkey Cocktail Recipe

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Cheeky Monkey Nutrition Facts






Created by

Nic Polotnianko

I fell in love with the art of mixology 6 years ago. Since then, I've honed my skills, crafting a myriad of cocktail recipes, and sharing my passion with other enthusiasts.

Last Updated: January 22, 2024


The Cheeky Monkey is a vibrant cocktail that has gained popularity for its playful name and refreshing taste. It's a hit at summer parties and is particularly favored by those who enjoy citrus-forward drinks with a hint of herbal complexity.

  • Origins: While the exact origins are unclear, it's believed to have been concocted by a creative bartender looking to combine the zesty flavors of citrus with the herbal notes of Yellow Chartreuse.
  • Popularity: The cocktail quickly became a favorite among those who appreciate a balance of sweet and sour notes in their drinks.
  • Audience: It's perfect for those who enjoy a lively and invigorating cocktail experience.

How Cheeky Monkey Tastes?

The Cheeky Monkey offers a delightful dance of flavors. It's predominantly citrusy with a robust sweetness from the simple syrup, balanced by the sophisticated, herbal undertones of Yellow Chartreuse. The orange bitters add a layer of complexity, making the cocktail a harmonious blend of sweet, sour, and herbal notes.

Interesting facts about Cheeky Monkey

  • The name 'Cheeky Monkey' often brings a smile to patrons' faces, contributing to the cocktail's popularity.
  • Yellow Chartreuse is a key ingredient, providing a unique flavor profile that's hard to replicate.
  • Despite its playful name, the Cheeky Monkey is a sophisticated cocktail that can be enjoyed by connoisseurs and casual drinkers alike.


  • Ice cubes: As needed
  • Absolut citron: 0.75 oz(23ml)
  • Orange juice: 1.67 oz(50ml)
  • Orange bitters: 4 dashes
  • Simple syrup: 0.5 oz(15ml)
  • Yellow chartreuse: 0.75 oz(23ml)

Ice Cubes

  • Function: Chills the drink, essential for a refreshing experience.
  • No Ice?: Expect a lukewarm, less inviting cocktail. Use plenty to ensure a frosty sip!
  • Too Much?: Beware! You might just water down the excitement.

Alex Green

Absolut Citron

  • Why 0.75 oz?: It's the golden mean giving zest without overpowering the mix.
  • Profile: Adds a citrusy punch; it's like sunshine in a bottle.
  • Substitute: Try regular vodka for a less citrus forward profile. You might miss the zing, though!

Mary Mitkina

Orange Juice

  • 1.67 oz?: For the perfect splash of sweet and tangy without stealing the show.
  • Role: It's the morning sunshine and evening glow, rounding out the flavors.
  • No OJ?: You would lose the fruity backbone. Don't let your cocktail get spineless!

Emma Rose

Orange Bitters

  • 4 dashes: A whisper of complexity. Any more and it might shout over the others.
  • Purpose: Introduces a depth of flavor; the cocktail's secret handshake.
  • Without it: It would be like a joke without a punchline. Flat!

Alex Green

Simple Syrup

  • 0.5 oz: The sweet spot. It balances acidity and brings harmony.
  • Sweetness: It's like the cocktail's diplomat, making peace between flavors.
  • Less Sweet?: If you like living on the edge, cut back. But know, the edge can be bitter!

Mary Mitkina

Yellow Chartreuse

  • 0.75 oz: Just enough to make its herbal whisper heard.
  • Herbal Hug: It wraps the drink in a botanical blanket.
  • No Chartreuse?: It's the secret ingredient. Without it, you lose a layer. Consider Elderflower liqueur as a floral alternative - but expect a different kind of garden party in your glass.

Emma Rose

Recipe. How to make Cheeky Monkey Drink

  1. Fill a shaker with ice cubes.
  2. Add 0.75 oz of Absolut Citron.
  3. Pour in 1.67 oz of orange juice.
  4. Add 4 dashes of orange bitters.
  5. Include 0.5 oz of simple syrup.
  6. Measure and pour 0.75 oz of Yellow Chartreuse.
  7. Shake the mixture well until chilled.
  8. Strain into a cocktail glass and serve immediately.

Pro Tips

  • To enhance the citrus notes, add a zest of orange peel to the shaker before mixing.
  • Chill the cocktail glass beforehand to keep the drink colder for longer.
  • If you prefer a less sweet cocktail, reduce the amount of simple syrup slightly.

Perfect Pairings

Food Pairings

  • Grilled Seafood: The bright citrus elements of the Cheeky Monkey go hand in hand with the smoky, delicate flavors of grilled shrimp or calamari.
  • Chicken Satay: The sweet and sour balance of the cocktail complements the savory peanut sauce usually served with chicken satay.
  • Summer Salads: A fresh salad with fruits like mango or papaya will echo the tropical notes in the cocktail.

Drink Pairings

  • Sparkling Water: To cleanse the palate between sips of the cocktail.
  • Iced Green Tea: The herbal notes in the tea can parallel the herbal characteristics of the Yellow Chartreuse.

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What you could change in Cheeky Monkey

  • Absolut Citron: Can be substituted with any other citrus-flavored vodka if Absolut Citron is not available.
  • Yellow Chartreuse: Green Chartreuse can be used for a slightly different herbal flavor profile.
  • Simple Syrup: Agave syrup or honey can be used for a natural sweetener alternative.

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And of course - twists🍹

Swap Citrus for Berries

  • Ingredients: Use raspberry-flavored vodka instead of Absolut Citron.
  • Recipe: Follow the original recipe but shake with fresh raspberries.
  • Taste: The drink gains a berry delightful twist with a mix of tart and sweet.

Go Tropical

  • Ingredients: Add a splash of coconut water and garnish with a pineapple wedge.
  • Recipe: Follow the original recipe, adding coconut water before shaking.
  • Taste: It's a vacation in a glass, with tropical breezes meeting citrus groves.

Spice it Up

  • Ingredients: Muddle a slice of jalapeño in the shaker before adding ingredients.
  • Recipe: Follow the original recipe but muddle jalapeño first for a little kick.
  • Taste: Adds a spicy note, turning the Cheeky Monkey into a feisty creature!

In case you forgot basics how to make Cheeky Monkey

The basic composition of simple syrup is relatively straightforward – a 1:1 ratio of sugar and water. This mixture is heated until the sugar dissolves, resulting in a clear, sweet syrup.

Learn everything about simple syrup

Add your ingredients to the shaker first, then ice. Fill it up to ¾ of its capacity to ensure enough space for shaking. Hold the shaker with both hands (one on the top and one on the bottom) and shake vigorously. The shake should come from your shoulders, not your wrists.

Learn everything on how to shake

Place your chosen strainer on top of the shaker or mixing glass, ensuring a secure fit. Pour the cocktail into a glass through the strainer, which will catch solid ingredients and ice. If double straining, hold the fine mesh strainer between the shaker and the glass.

Learn everything on how to strain

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Frequently Asked Questions on Cheeky Monkey

Can I make the Cheeky Monkey cocktail non-alcoholic?

Yes, for a non-alcoholic version, omit the Absolut Citron and Yellow Chartreuse. Use a citrus-based non-alcoholic spirit or more orange juice as a substitute.

Is there a specific technique for adding bitters to a cocktail?

When adding bitters, ensure to add them drop by drop, as they are highly concentrated. The key is to balance the flavors rather than overpower them.

What type of glass is best suited for serving the Cheeky Monkey?

A chilled cocktail or martini glass is ideal for serving the Cheeky Monkey to enhance the drinking experience.

How long can I store simple syrup?

Homemade simple syrup can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a month. Store-bought varieties may last longer due to the presence of preservatives.

What's the difference between Yellow and Green Chartreuse?

Yellow Chartreuse is milder and sweeter with a lower alcohol content compared to the stronger, more pungent Green Chartreuse.

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