August’s Gin of the Month: Monkey 47

18 Aug 2017

Escapism takes many forms.

Greenhills certainly offers the chance to escape, nestled in the heart of Jersey’s countryside - a feeling only enhanced by spending time in the gardens during these summer evenings.

But we can also escape in captivating stories, and our latest gin of the month certainly boasts a fascinating fable!

A tale worth telling

Monkey 47, a Germanic gin with Asian influences, has a post-war tale behind its mysterious name.

The gin’s inspiration comes from former RAF Wing Commander Montgomery “Monty” Collins, the son of a British diplomat, born in the British Indian province of Madras.

Stationed within the British sector of Berlin in 1945, his profound reaction upon witnessing the wide devastation was to become involved in the country’s reconstruction. This driven devotion led to his commitment in the rebuilding of Berlin Zoo, where he met and grow extremely fond of an egret monkey called Max.

Relocating to the south of Germany in the early 1950s, Monty tried to pursue a career in watchmaking, but to no avail. Instead he opened a guest house in the Black Forest named ‘The Wild Monkey’ - a moving tribute to the cheeky primate friend he had left behind.

Infused with riches of the Black Forest

Reminiscing about traditional British drinks, Monty set himself a challenge to recreate one of his favourite tipples. Due to the production of Schwarzwälder Schinken (cured ham), he soon came to realise that there was an abundance of Juniper in the region. Combined with a plentiful variety of herbs, plants and a pure supply of water, this British gentleman had the perfect conditions in which to starting developing a striking gin.

His gin recipe and story disappeared for decades, until the turn of the century when the old country guest house was renovated. An old wooden box was uncovered and inside was a dusty bottle with a drawing of a monkey on the label and the words “Max the Monkey - Schwarzwald Dry Gin”. Alongside the bottle was a letter detailing the plant ingredients used, providing an excellent starting place for the gin to be reborn as Monkey 47.

Max + 47 botanicals = Monkey 47

With forty-seven botanicals, a third of which originate from the Black Forest region, Monkey 47 is a bespoke blend with a sweet floral aroma, peppery exotic spices and subtle bitter fruit from cranberries. Balanced yet complex, this gin brings excitement to tonic or forms the foundation of an outlandish cocktail. 

Experience Monkey 47 at Greenhills

With a story and taste to savour, visit the Greenhills Country House Hotel this month and reminisce the fable of Monty with a glass of Monkey 47.

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