Monkey 47

The story of Monkey 47 begins in 1945, when Montgomery Collins, a Wing Commander in the Royal Air Force, was stationed in Berlin after the end of the war, and helped with rebuilding the city Zoo. After leaving the Royal Air Force in 1951, he settled in the Northern Black Forest, and turned his attention to opening a guest house. Looking at the rich history of distillation in the region, he concocted a recipe for what he called a Schwarzwald Dry Gin, featuring botanicals from the Black Forest. He called this “The Wild Monkey” in honour of Max, an egret monkey he befriended at Berlin Zoo. This recipe was long forgotten until 2006 when Alexander Stein, a German living in Detroit, heard about this story and recipe from a friend. In 2008 he decided to return home and look at recreating this old recipe with help from distiller Christoph Keller. They set out to make the best gin possible. The Monkey 47 distillery is located in the Black Forest, Germany, and has a reputation for being a highly characterful and slightly unusual gin. As the name suggests, Monkey 47 contains 47 botanicals, ranging from almond and cloves, to pomelo, English hawthorn and sage, as well as their special ingredient, local lingonberries. Around one third of the botanicals are sourced from the Black Forest itself. Rich, spicy and cut through with a fresh citrus tang, Monkey 47 has fantastic depth of flavour and great balance, making it a great gin to have long with tonic.