Just Don’t Ask for a Monkey Gland: Cruelty-Free Cocktails at Royal Tavern


Next Wednesday, South Philly’s Royal Tavern gets its weeklong seventh-anniversary party going with a night of vegan and vegetarian blackboard specials and something that their invitation describes as “cruelty free” cocktails, which got me wondering: Are liquor companies battering seals to make gin? Using koala bear paws in whiskey?

I called Royal’s event coordinator, who seemed foggy on the whole thing, saying that the cocktails would just be “themed as vegan.” But it turns out, at least according to my preliminary research, that fish bladders are sometimes used in the production of beer and wine, and that many vodkas are filtered through bone charcoal, making them off limits for those hemp-wearing herbivores. The good news is that Campari, which used to be a vegetarian no-no thanks to the bugs used in the coloring, is now artificially colored (wait, since when was that a good thing?), meaning you can go ahead and have a Negroni with your seitan burger.

Royal Tavern’s vegetarian and vegan night takes place starting at 5 p.m. on November 11th; 937 East Passyunk Avenue, 215-389-6694. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to PAWS.

P.S. If you really do want a Monkey Gland, here’s a recipe.