A whole different animal? Au contraire! More Bollenhut than Bowler and Turban, this masterfully handcrafted and unfiltered Smoke House Cut is unique in its complexity and yet accentuates great British traditions and the nativeness of the Black Forest. Distilled in small batches from 47 predominantly unusual but regional botanicals such as smoked Juniper, the Smoke House Cut is a true Monkey 47, but nevertheless a little bit of a smokey one.
Hmm...what should they do with all these old vessels they have used for Monkey 47 Barrel Cut? The answer to this question was what gave rise to the idea for this Smoke House Cut. Throwing the barrels away wasn’t an option – not with so much aroma waiting in that wood. So why not cure it with smoke, create something new for adventurous palates, and cut down on waste all at the same time?
For Alexander Stein, the man behind Monkey 47, smoke-curing is as essential to Black Forest cuisine as chocolate and cherry cake. Indeed, another of the region’s most well-known exports – Black Forest ham – gets its unmistakable flavour from this age-old cooking method. They thus decided to take things a step further and add smoked juniper berries to the Monkey 47 recipe.
Monkey 47 was founded by Alexander Stein in 2010 with the aim of setting the hearts of Bartenders and flavour enthusiasts racing with exhilaration.
DANDY'S DEEP DIVE
Surrounded, by lush green fields, gently rolling hills, and forests as far as the eye can see, the Schaberhof farmstead is basically a setting straight out of a German Heimatfilm. It’s here among the wildflowers, gnarled fruit trees, and languid dairy cows that we go about our work at Black Forest Distillers. It truly doesn’t get much more “Schwarzwald” than this. Particularly in the summertime, plenty of scents fill the air, as well – freshly mown hay, herbs flourishing in the garden, and of course, the extra-special contribution cattle are known to make. You’ll smell one nuance above all in just about corner of the historic Schaberhof, though: The pungent, ethereal, and somehow unctuous aroma of ground juniper, one of the most crucial ingredients in Monkey 47.
Sustainable use of Mulberry Barrels
Meanwhile, you might hear the methodical swings of an axe reducing a heavy wooden barrel to splinters. Until recently, a batch of Monkey 47 Barrel Cut was maturing inside the vessel. Now that the gin has been bottled and the wood dried, it’s time for the latter to have its last hurrah. Toasted mulberry barrels like this one can only be used twice for the maturation process, so they needed a sustainable way to deal with them once they had served their time. In using the wood for smoke-curing, they have found a great solution. The transformation is just about complete: Fine curls of wood fall to the floor, and what remains will be hacked to kindling.
Both are destined for the black smoking cabinet that has its place in a wind-sheltered corner of the Schaberhof. Coarse-ground juniper berries are spread out on three screens that are then inserted into the cabinet one by one. The berries need to be sprayed with water now and then to keep them from drying out. Once the upper chamber of the cabinet is closed, hot coals are poured into the lower section. Now comes the part where speed is of the essence: In go the kindling and curls of wood – now quick, close the door! A warm, dense column of smoke immediately rises, recalling that moment in late autumn when people first light up their fireplaces. It’s soon time to check the temperature again to make sure they are working with just smoke and no flames. The berries need to be cold-smoked for seven hours, which means keeping the mercury below 40 degrees Celsius. When the juniper is ready, they put it straight into their macerate to avoid losing the slightest bit of aroma. This mixture of water and alcohol contains the Monkey’s 47 ingredients. In the case of this rare Smoke House Cut, the recipe wouldn’t be complete without those smoked juniper berries, of course. Once the distillation process is finished, they let the resulting spirit mature for three months in huge earthenware vessels.
In the top notes of this smokey edition, you’ll find all the elementary flavours you look forward to in Monkey 47: juniper, lavender, pepper, citrus. Then that hint of smoke sidles in... The longer you savour this gin, the more its different aromas come into their own. The smoke envelops the rest of the flavours in a warm and pleasant fog that gains prominence with each sip. We think it’s a creative, sustainable, and of course, rather intoxicating way to make use of their old barrels. You might call it a tender-hearted take on the essence of the Black Forest.
4 cl Monkey 47 Smoke House Cut
4 cl Vermouth Rosso
4 cl Campari
1 pc. Orange zest
Stir all ingredients in a tumbler with ice cubes and garnish the drink with an orange zest.
5 cl Monkey 47 Smoke House Cut
3 cl Lime juice
2 cl Simple sirup
1 pc. Lime zest
Shake all ingredients with ice and strain into a chilled coupette glass. Garnish with a lime zest.
Smoked Bee's Knees
6 cl Monkey 47 Smoke House Cut
3 cl runny honey
2,5 cl Lemon juice
1 pc. Lemon zest
Shake and strain into a coupette. Garnish with a lemon zest.
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