Wow. We’ve had a few busy weeks but managed to unwind recently with a new find. B’s mum came back from UK with a couple of surprises and we’ve been experimenting ever since!
Monkey 47 hails from the depths of the Black Forest in South Germany, an area known for it’s fruit liquers. In fact, their distiller, Christoph Keller was also previously known for his fruit brandies. It’s no surprise then, that its 47 different botanicals come through as a unique blend of citrus and woody notes. Given that in 2011, Monkey 47 was named best gin in the world at the International Wine & Spirit Competition, we were more than a little bit excited to give it a try.
Out of the classic dry gin and the Sloe gin, the Sloe piqued our interest the most and so it was the first one we tried!
At first glance, the packaging is beautiful. With its medicine bottle shape and a metal ring around the cork, it’s unlike many of the other more modern style gins we’ve had. Perhaps we’re more a fan of the retro style, as we were equally enthralled by the Hendricks’ packaging way back then. The classic bottling is perfect even for a gin as young as the Monkey 47, surprisingly created only in 2008 especially since it was produced as a nod to its inspiration – the Schwarzwald Dry Gin and Max the Monkey, an animal dear to the creator of the Original, Montgomery Collins.
The Sloe Gin.
It’s a dark plum purple colour, and when brought up to the light you can see the unfiltered sloe dancing around in the bottle. Tried neat, it starts off with a strong fruity nose heavy on forest berries and plum, with an almost floral choya quality, followed by the peppery junipers. When tasted, you immediately get the sweet berries, peppers and finish with minty herbal oils coating the tongue, leaving a warm full presence. Tasting it, it immediately brings to mind thoughts of being in a juniper forest in the middle of winter. Very enjoyable on its own!
Sloe and Tonic
In a gin and tonic our fever tree tonic water brought the berries out to the fore but equally impressive was how the peppery herbal qualities were heightened as well. Slightly citrus, it was enjoyable but given that it has a very sweet almost apertif like quality we were hoping for something else to cut through that.
To test it in a cocktail we decided to try it in a Gin Fizz.
- 1.5 Oz Monkey 47 Sloe gin
- 0.75 Oz Lemon juice
- 0.5Oz simple syrup (we used less because the sloe was already quite sweet)
- 1 egg white
- Top with tonic water
Combine the ingredients, dry shake and then with ice, and you’ll have a beautiful fizz on table.
We love the vibrant hue that this drink has and it tasted really festive. The lemon juice adds more tartness to the sweet sloe gin and the fizz helps to elongate those herbal notes. We might try to add some elderflower liquor to this next to bring out the more floral elements of this drink.
We like to save the best for later so stay tuned for our next drink when we try the Monkey 47 Dry Gin! We know we’re looking forward to it!