Admittedly, it appears somewhat eccentric to claim that a recipe for gin has the power to unite great British traditions, the spices of India, and the rich landscape of the Black Forest. And yet it is precisely this eccentricity that defines the enigmatic character of Montgomery Collins, from whom our Schwarzwald Dry Gin originates.

Monkey 47

MONKEY 47 is distilled with masterly craftsmanship from 47 predominantly unusual but regional botanicals such as lingonberries and blended with local spring water. Doing things by hand is a matter of honour, which is why MONKEY 47 contains only handpicked botanicals. The production process is complicated, comprising a combination of maceration – that is, steeping herbal ingredients in a mixture of highly rectified, molasses-based ethyl alcohol and spring water – as well as distillation, percolation, and oxidation. Through this process and three months of storage in earthenware vessels, the distillate develops the unparalleled suppleness and balance that make MONKEY 47 certainly wunderbar. 

It’s about quality and nothing else – as boring as that may sound. It’s all about details, everything has to be perfect.

Alexander Stein

The history of MONKEY 47 goes as far back as July 1945, when Montgomery ‘Monty’ Collins, a Wing Commander in the Royal Air Force, was stationed in Berlin. During the reconstruction of the city’s zoo, the Commander met a monkey named Max, whom he began sponsoring.

After leaving Berlin, Monty made the Black Forest his home, opening a guesthouse named “The Wild Monkey” in honour of his animal friend. An interest in distillation led him to create his Black Forest Gin, crafted from 47 local botanicals, which became the inn’s signature drink.

In 2006, this story was discovered by Alexander Stein, who set out to recreate Commander Collins’ legendary recipe. Together with his team, he worked for 2.5 years, analysing more than 120 trial distillations, to perfect MONKEY 47 Schwarzwald Dry Gin.

Stein’s obsession with masterly craftsmanship remains at the heart of MONKEY 47 to this day, guiding the development of the brand’s exquisite gins, each with an extraordinary flavour profile.

  • Timeline
  • 2008

    Alexander Stein and his team start experimenting to recreate the legendary recipe of Montgomery Collins to craft the unique MONKEY 47 Schwarzwald Dry Gin.

    Alexander Stein

  • 2010

    Over two and half years later the recipe is perfected, and the first bottle of MONKEY 47 Schwarzwald Dry Gin is sold.

    Monkey 47

  • 2011

    Creation of the first MONKEY 47 Distiller’s Cut. 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 for the Monkey 47 Distiller’s Cut – our Species rara.

    Monkey 47 Distiller's Cut

  • 2012

    Presentation of the MONKEY 47 Schwarzwald Sloe Gin at the Bar Convent Berlin.

    Monkey 47 Sloe Gin

  • 2013

    The Black Forest Distillers purchase an old farm in idyllic town of Loßburg and build the famous “Zum wilden Affen” Distillery, where every drop of MONKEY 47 gin is handcrafted and batch distilled to this day.

    The distillery

  • 2016

    Pernod Ricard acquires a majority share in Black Forest Distillers.

  • 2017

    MONKEY 47 is awarded No. 1 Top Trending Gin by the Drinks International Magazine for the first time.

  • 2020

    To mark the first 10 years in business, the Black Forest Distillers sell empty MONKEY 47 bottles for a good cause and give a donation to the World Wide Fund of Nature, which puts the money to good use in its primate protection projects around the world.

  • 2024

    MONKEY 47 is awarded No. 1 Top Trending Gin for the 8th year in a row by the Drinks International Magazine.

    Monkey 47 top award

Have ideas about what you want to express and don’t submit to another opinion or follow a trend.

Alexander Stein
Monkey 47

Discover the taste of MONKEY 47 Gin

Whether with tonic, as a Sling, Martini, or Gimlet, the unique and complex taste of MONKEY 47 is an ideal basis for both classic and more eccentric cocktails.