Driven not just by our oft-cited botanical curiosity, but rather by our practically obsessive pursuit of the utmost quality, those of us at Monkey 47 embark each and every year on a search for the right 48th ingredient – our Species rara.
While our motto on these travels will always be “no mountain too high, no valley too low”, our latest venture actually took us just round the corner to the Keltenhof, a farmstead run by Gerhard Daumüller a few kilometres away.
Gerhard is our Swabian expert in all things regarding the Monarda didyma, a member of the Lamiaceae family that’s also known as bee balm or Oswego tea. He lives at the foot of the Swabian Jura mountain range on the lovely Filder plain, which was once the home of a sort of pointed white cabbage widely known as “Filderkraut”. In 1999, Gerhard became the first salad grower to bring products to the German market in baby-leaf quality, which ushered in a revolution in taste in the restaurant industry. When he’s not busy tending to his wild herbs, leafy lettuce, edible blossoms, or our own Funky Monkey Onions, he cultivates the Monarda didyma just for us.
We always keep a sharp eye out for this beguiling botanical, but since it’s mainly grown for decorative purposes, it can only be found in a few regions in its original native form. This was what prompted us to have Gerhard plant some Monarda didyma on his fields some time ago. The semi-shady spot he chose for us is ideal thanks to the soil, which is full of nutrients and always a bit too damp. This means we can rely on Gerhard to provide us with the kind of quality that gives our gin its fresh, floral aroma.
Fully committed to the old saying that you reap what you sow, our very own Alexander Stein joined Herr Daumüller and his farmhands in picking the bright red gold for this year’s Distiller’s Cut. He also plucked Monarda didyma for drying back at the Schaberhof farmstead in the Black Forest, which is necessary before each precious petal finds its way into the Monkey 47 macerate.
In concocting our one-of-a-kind Distiller’s Cut for 2021, we’ve once again pushed the boundaries of what’s possible when you try to turn carefully selected botanicals into a limited edition that thrills the senses and sets the hearts of barkeepers and gin enthusiasts to racing each and every year. This complex and intricate process involved adding Monarda didyma to our macerate along with the Monkey’s classic 47 ingredients, which was distilled a second time in an additional extraction process. The macerate was then left to mature for three months in earthenware vessels before being combined with spring water from the Black Forest.
The Monkey 47 Distiller’s Cut 2021 is a smooth and elegant dry gin with a refined, yet spicy top note and a hint of lemon, making it not just a treat for those who love the scent of bergamot. Cheers!