The origins of Monkey 47 could have come from some sort of work of fiction. The original recipe is credited to one Wing Commander Mongomery Collins; born in 1909 in Madras in British India to a British Diplomat, he was posted to Germany in 1945, after World War 2. It is said that Montgomery was deeply affected by the destruction of Berlin and resolved to support the reconstruction of Germany and took a personal hand in rebuilding the Berlin Zoo. During this work he came to sponsor an Egret Monkey by the name of Max. On leaving the Air Force, he opened a guest-house in the Black Forest, which he called “Zum wilden Affen” (the Wild Monkey) – notice the theme building? Juniper was abundant in the Black Forest and being an English Gentleman, Montgomery enjoyed his gin. Decades later, during renovation of the guest house, a wooden box was discovered, which contained a hand-labelled bottle and some papers. The bottle’s label had a hand-drawn monkey and bore the moniker “Max the Monkey – Schwarzwald Dry Gin”. The papers included all manner of notes and photographs, but critically a list of ingredients used to create the gin, many of which came from the Black Forest region as well as some familiar spices from India.
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