Making the Monkey
Making the Monkey

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How Monkey 47 is made

Crafting Monkey 47 Schwarzwald Dry Gin starts with the 47, all hand-picked botanicals that together create this gin's unique character.

A third of the botanicals used are sourced from German's Black Forest region, home to the Wild Monkey Distillery. Ingredients sourced straight from the Black Forest include spruce, lingonberries, elderflower, blackthorn, and bramble leaves.

Many of the 47 ingredients are used fresh rather than dried and unusually this includes the peels of bitter oranges, lemons, and pomelos which are infused in molasses-based neutral spirit and soft local spring water. This is only possible thanks to hard-working hand-peeling locals who report for duty at seven o'clock every morning.

One of the botanicals that really sets Monkey 47 apart is fresh lingonberries which are ground and macerated in molasses-based French neutral spirit and spring water at 70% alc/vol. for 30 days. To this base maceration, 43 more of the 47 botanicals are added (all but lavender, grapefruit and lemon peels) and these are left to infuse at ambient temperature (around 20°C) for one day and two nights (36 hours) to create what is termed the "raw diamond macerate".

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The raw diamond macerate charges the still, "Apparatus Alembicus Maximus" along with the three botanicals (lavender, grapefruit and lemon peels) not infused in the raw diamond macerate which are placed in what the Germans call a Geistkorb. This is a steel basket resembling a colander that retains the botanicals within a chamber in the head of the still. Vapours from the 44 'soak and boil' botanicals are percolated through the other three botanicals retained in the geistkorb.

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Apparatus Alembicus Maximus comprises four small 100 litre stills and each batch distillation lasts 1.5 hours. As all the botanicals are present in the still during distillation so botanical vapours interact during distillation means Monkey 47 is a true London dry method gin.

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The distillate produced during distillation is placed in 1,000-litre earthenware vessels for 100 days to rest and oxidise prior to bottling.

Bottling is also in the Black Forest, just 10km down the road from the distillery at Black Forest Distiller's own bottling hall.

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