One look at the label on Monkey 47 Dry Gin’s quirky bottle (replicated from the cork-stoppered medicine bottles of old) and you’d think the name comes from its 47 percent ABV.
But Black Forest Distillers founder Alexander Stein and his distiller Christoph Keller actually named their gin after the rather large number of botanicals that have gone into it, many of them unusual and predominantly regional to the Black Forest area of Germany. Among them is Monkey 47’s “piece de resistance,” Stein said: the use of lingonberries, a red fruit with an acidic taste. The berry grows in many parts of Europe, and it turned out to be the secret weapon in Monkey 47’s complex recipe.
Although it’s a pricey gin, the sense of place Stein and Keller imbued into it with all those botanicals makes it stand out from the London and American dry styles that it competes with — making it a worthy purchase if you like a good forceful gin. It’s got a juniper aroma, yes, but so much else in aroma and flavor as well.
Monkey 47 is full of hints of peppery spices, including sage and cardamom, as well as the bitter fruity notes of cranberries. Plus, there’s a distinctive note of pine in it, as if Keller distilled the heart of the Black Forest right into it.
Monkey Max Fizz
2 1/2 parts Monkey 47
1 part St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur
2 parts fresh lemon juice
1 part simple syrup
1 egg white
Infuse Monkey 47 for two minutes with jasmine tea. Shake all ingredients over ice and strain into a chilled tumbler.
Top with cranberry juice.
— Jordi Otero, bar manager at Bocagrande in Barcelona
3 parts Monkey 47
1 part Lillet Blanc
1 part fresh grapefruit juice
1 part fresh lime juice
1 tsp. of honey syrup (see below)
2 drops Angostura bitters
Shake all ingredients over ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a grapefruit twist.
— Adapted from Raveen Misra, executive bar chef at Nektar in Singapore
1 cup honey
1 cup water
Combine honey and water in a small saucepan over medium heat and stir until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat, let cool to room temperature and transfer to a clean glass jar. Cover and keep refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.
— Imbibe magazine