Monkey 47 Gin
In addition to beer and Riesling, Germany’s spirit menu always includes Jagermeister and schnapps. A tiny distillery deep in the Black Forest is making a bold and unique addition to the offerings with their Monkey 47 Gin. Since the 1950's this unique spirit has been distilled in a tiny burg south of Lossburg, far from any large metropolis.
It's creator, a Brit named Montgomery Collins, was a commander in the Royal Air Force and in 1945 was part of the mission to rebuild the Berlin Zoo. Collins sponsored a Jay Monkey named Max and when Collins decided to open a Gasthof, he named it for his monkey. Collins also had a passion for gin and distilled the spirit for his guests. After his death, the recipe and a few aged bottles were unearthed and Alexander Stein and Christoph Keller revived production and kept the homage to Max. Black Forest Distillers perfected the spirit and owned the brand until 2016 when Pernod Ricard acquired it.
It is one of the most unique gins I've ever tried, Monkey 47 uses, as the name suggests, uses a blend of 47 botanicals, including rosehip peel, cassis bark, musk, nutmeg and licorice. With its complexity of flavor, it makes a fantastic in gin & tonic, but is also interesting in cocktails.
While dining at Restaurant Schlossberg, (Michelin two star rated) I tried a unique lemon sorbet "float" for dessert that was divine, so it proves this gin could also be used in desserts.
Next time you order a G&T from your local mixologist, try Monkey 47 and let us know what you think. KJG