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Monkey 47 Gin uses an astounding 47 botanicals and is made in Germany or, more specifically, the Black Forest. Whilst it would be labourious to list every botanical used, ingredients are sourced from around the world but also from the forest itself; cranberries are a prime example of this and what the gin's creators refer to as their 'secret weapon'. Presented in an old apothecary style bottle, this gin has achieved cult status. This isn't a gin people decide to
Alexander Stein, Monkey 47's creator, was a German national living in Detroit when he came across the story of Montgomery “Monty” Collins. Montgomery led an extraordinary life first as a child when he traveled around India and other exotic locales with his diplomat father, then serving in the British Air Force as a Wing Commander. Shortly after the end of World War 2, Montgomery was posted to Berlin to an administrative role in the British half of the divided city. Seeing the widespread destruction of that historic city galvanised him to commit his free time to supporting the reconstruction of the city.
He was particularly devoted to the rebuilding of the Berlin zoo and adopted a monkey called Max. Leaving the military in 1951, Montgomery moved to the Black Forest intent on learning how to make watches his ambition was thwarted by a lack of talent in the field so instead opened a guest house called The Wild Monkey after his adopted pet. Renowned for the distillation of fruit liqueurs, the Black Forest provided Montgomery with inspiration and resources to create Schwarzwald Dry Gin . This became the trademark spirit of his guest house until the 1970s.
Alexander, who also coincidently hailed from a family of distillers, discovered all this four decades later in 2006 and was so inspired that he packed in his job and moved back to Germany where he intended to re-create Schwarzwald Dry Gin. Once there he set bout finding a partner and discovered renowned fruit brandy maker Christoph Keller. Together the pair worked with the very fragmented and obtuse notes regarding the gins recipe and eventually created Monkey 47 Gin, breathing new life into the legacy of the extraordinary Montgomery Collins.