BEST of the BEST 2014 | Leisure | Spirits: Monkey 47

  • Photo by Paul Dimalanta
    Monkey 47 Photo by Paul Dimalanta

In spite of its name, Monkey 47 (www.monkey47.com, $45 per 375 mL) should be taken seriously. Although this is a German gin, it took its inspiration from the late Montgomery “Monty” Collins, a wing commander of the Royal Air Force, who produced a rudimentary gin while working with a local distiller in Germany’s Black Forest after World War II. Unable to procure all of the botanicals traditionally used to flavor the spirit, he improvised, naming the finished product for a favorite monkey in the Berlin zoo. The recipe’s 47 botanicals—which include such atypical ingredients as lingonberry, grain of paradise, and spruce shoot, as well as some of the typical ones, such as juniper—are all macerated in a proprietary mixture of molasses alcohol, aged three months in earthenware jars, then cut to 92 proof with soft limestone-filtered water from a spring near the distillery by the eastern border of the Black Forest. We first encountered this recently rediscovered spirit last year at Papa Doble in Montpellier, France, where it was all the rage in a bar better known for its rum selection. Yet the martini served by the owner, Julien Escot, caught our notice. Having achieved fame in Europe, Monkey 47 has now arrived in the United States, albeit only in 375 ml bottles.  

From Around the Web...
Signature Sonoma Valley experience
First Annual Signature Sonoma Valley kicks off with grand tastings and an epic vintner dinner…
The Taiwanese whisky house earns its reputation with its new cask-aged expressions…
Wild Turkey Master’s Keep Bourbon ($150)
A terroir experiment yields powerfully good results…
We help you bring home artisanal cocktail batching, the craftiest trend on the cocktail scene…
Byant Park Grill’s private dining area experience will serve Pappy Van Winkle bourbon
Only 20 tickets are available for a special evening with rare bottles of Pappy Van Winkle bourbon...
Master sommelier Fred Dame (left) and vintner Dan Kosta (right).
The industry insiders explain why the varietal’s diversity is such a draw and why ratings are risky…
This Italian sparkling red wine has an illustrious history and is staging a comeback...
Universal Whisky Experience
Top distillers will pour legendary whiskies at this year’s event…
Tyrconnell 16 Year Old ($100)
This new single malt arrives just in time to toast St. Patrick’s Day…
Celebrate March 17 with a round of top Irish Whiskeys…