“Every Jack has his Jill”. A pretty refined version of that proverb happened when Monkey 47 – the handcrafted Schwarzwald Dry Gin – and the heritage glass manufacturer J. & L. Lobmeyr from Vienna joined forces. A perfect couple!
A Monkey in the Schwarzwald
But before we look at the newfound lovers, let’s take a peak back into the so-told history of “Monkey 47 Gin”: There used to be a Commander called Montgomery „Monty“ Collins from the British Royal Air Force, who decided to settle at the Schwarzwald after WW2. Before settling down there he helped in Berlin to rebuilt the Berlin Zoo and especially was drawn to a Macaques Monkey called Max for which he decided to take a sponsorship. In remembrance to the Monkey he opened a country inn called “Zum wilden Affen” (“To the wild Monkey”).
As a good English gentleman he didn’t want to renounce from drinking gin – even deep in the German woods. Fast forward to this century: His long-forgotten heritage recipe and a note with „Max the Monkey – Schwarzwald Dry Gin“ was found by Alexander Stein while renovating the country inn. This is how the Monkey 47 Gin was born! – Read more about Monkey 47 here.
Destillery “Zum Wilden Affen”
The Monkey 47 Gin is produced by the Black Forest Distillers, which is located within the idyllic scenery of the Schwarzwald area. Amidst the woods all bottles of Monkey 47 Gin are handcrafted in the century old “Zum Wilden Affen – distillery”, which was built back in 1840 by the local family Schaber. Since 2013 it belongs to the Black Forest Distillers and is now being carefully restored.
A Chandelier in Vienna’s Palace
So how comes Monkey 47 Gin paired up with Lobmeyr? Vienna shares the passion for heritage with Monkey 47 Gin. Maybe this is also because “the clocks are ticking a little slower in Vienna” as Gustav Mahler once noted. The J.& L. Lobmeyr glass manufacturing goes back all the way to 1823 – and already equipped the famous Schönbrunn Palace with its opulent luxurious chandeliers. A lesser known story is that J. & L. Lobmeyr co-developed the first electric chandeliers together with Thomas Edison! With all this knowledge J. & L. Lobmeyr produces different high end crystal products besides chandeliers from vases to glasses even today. – Learn more about J. & L. Lobmeyr here.
Monkey 47 x J. & L. Lobmeyr
Now the concentrated heritage & know-how of Monkey 47 – Schwarzwald Dry Gin and Manufaktur J. & L. Lobmeyr joined forces. Since Alexander Stein couldn’t find the perfect glass manufacturer in the Schwarzwald he asked the Viennese family owned business J. & L. Lobmeyr to create the perfect tumbler to enhance the Monkey 47 Gin taste experience. In collaboration with design Studio Mark Braun a beautiful one-of-a-kind Tumbler was created.
Made of whisper-thin, hand-blown crystal glass and adorned with an optical relief plus a sandblasted monkey on the bottom. It’s a wonderful mélange of stylish indulgence and Viennese attitude.
The Monkey 47 Gin ingredients
Monkey 47 Gin is a gin unlike any other – it provides a more refined, more tasteful gin experience. It consists of 47 different botanicals, including angelica root, acacia flowers, bramble leaves, lingonberries and spruce shoots – as well as juniper berries from the Mediterranean sea (which are known to be more aromatic as they receive more sun than their Tuscan and German counterparts).
To get the best quality Gin out there the team around Monkey 47 Gin manufactured a special Destillery apparatus called the “Apparatus Alembicus Maximus” with the local coppersmith Arnold Holstein. A conscious decision was made to spare any industrial approach and keep the production small and beautiful.
Therefore only handpicked ingredients are selected for the “Schwarzwald Dry Gin”. All the botanicals are stored in traditional wooden barrels. Before the distillery cycle fresh zest from Grapefruits, Lemon and Pomelos are added by hand for the perfect balance of aromas.
Each ingredient is carefully chosen to complement the others. Let me tell you I was not much into Gin before I tasted the Monkey 47 Gin, but it really leaves a statement on your tongue. Which indeed makes a difference since gins are mainly the base for mixed drinks. But now there’s something new! The Barrel Cut.
The Monkey 47 Barrel Cut
The special Barrel Cut is held in original mulberry barrels which are made entirely by hand. Before being filled, these barrels are lightly toasted on the inside, which adds myriad notes to the range of aromas they lend to their contents. Monkey 47 Barrel Cut is a dry gin with subtle fruity notes and fine, elegant sweetness that combine to offer an experience that is extremely dense and uniquely complex. Best served neat or in the Monkey Old Fashioned variation.
If you ask me the Barrel Cut has a very unique and special taste, and it’s perfect to enjoy it pure. It’s produced entirely in the Monkey 47 Gin refined distillery in the Schwarzwald called “Zum Wilden Affen” – which I will visit later this year to give you some more insights (can’t wait!).
5 cl Monkey 47 Barrel Cut
2 dashes orange bitters
2 dashes Angostura bitters
1 sugar cube
2 cl water
Place the sugar cube in a good-sized Old Fashioned glass and let the cube absorb the bitters. Then add 2 cl of pure water and give it a good stir. Add a chunk of ice and pour in a healthy amount (5 cl) of Monkey 47 Barrel Cut. Give it another good, long stir. Finally, squeeze the essential oils of an orange peel over the drink. Enjoy!
Location: J. & L. Lobmeyr in the 1st and 3rd district of Vienna.
Photography: Lady Venom / Marion Vicenta Payr