Distillers Blog
Ency. Botanica | 04 Jul. 2016

English Hawthorn - Crataegus laevigata

English Hawthorn - Crataegus laevigata

The thorny, deciduous bushes known as English hawthorns are a pomaceous fruit that prefers a temperate climate. At home among forests and chaparral, this member of the rose family is also found in our European regions, where it can grow up to several meters high and live as long as 500 years. Commonly known as mayflower, woodland hawthorn or midland hawthorn, the Crataegus produces tartly sweet (though mealy) pomes that can be eaten raw, but are particularly suited to jams and jellies. (In the past, in times of need, the fruits were mashed into a pulp that was dried and added to flour when baking bread, while the seeds were used as a coffee substitute.) After flowering in May and June, the fruits ripen in August and September and often remain hanging on the tree until the following spring. Though the plants were important in antiquity and in traditional Chinese medicine, their effects were first properly researched and applied in modern times, earning English hawthorn the title of “Plant of the Year” in 1990. Earlier eras also attributed mythical and ritual significance to the English hawthorn. Not only was it believed to drive away evil spirits, it was also thought that elves lived among its bushes and hedges, and placing gifts of fabric scraps or locks of hair into the plants would make them well-disposed toward their benefactors. A world that isn’t available to everyone, perhaps, but according to legend, Montgomery Collings – forefather of Monkey 47 – was occasionally observed murmuring into the hedge in front of his home (an English hawthorn, mind you) on warm evenings. 

Natural Habitat | 21 Feb. 2017

Die Halbestadt

Falco, Punschkrapfen and the Prater – you’re thinking of Vienna, right?

Falco, Punschkrapfen and the Prater – you’re thinking of Vienna, right?
Good, because in future, Austria’s capital city should also make you think of Die Halbestadt: a jewel in the...

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Species Rara | 09 Feb. 2017

Tales from the Black Forest - Hundeschlitten­rennen

The Call of the Wild

The dogs are wild with excitement. They bark frantically and strain nervously in their harnesses. Their ice blue eyes convey their unyielding determination to run... run... just run. Finally, the long-awaited call of the “musher” sounds out and the pack of huskies sprints off...

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Opus Magnum | 20 Dec. 2016

Welcome to "Wunderbar Adventures of Sophistication!"

Episode 5: Being German – BLACK FOREST

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Opus Magnum | 12 Oct. 2016

Monkey 47 Distiller`s Cut 2016

Abietes Melle

Driven by occupational curiosity, a love of sensory experimentation, and a pronounced penchant for unique aromas, Black Forest Distillers have set out on their search for species rara – the singular ingredient that goes into their annual Monkey 47 Distiller’s Cut – for six years running.
...

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Monkey Business Einspaltig | 26 Aug. 2016

The Monkey and His Simian Sidekicks

King Louie, Cheetah, Miss Baker, and Herr Nilsson

Upon making his move to the Black Forest – to the Schaberhof and the Wild Monkey distillery, to be precise – the Monkey began turning his surroundings into a picturesque new home. Primates are not all that different from people, after all, and relocating typically offers the opportunity to...

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Species Rara Einspaltig | 15 Aug. 2016

The Radhaube

High fashion from 19th-century Villingen

The Radhaube
© Sebastian Wehrle

The golden Radhaube – pictured here in all its splendour – is the result of up to 400 hours of sheer artisanal craftsmanship. Though it does require a great deal of endurance from the women who weave it, this traditional headwear serves to this day as a reminder of the good old days in southwest...

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Ency. Botanica | 08 Aug. 2016

Allspice - Pimenta Dioica

A plant from the New World

Allspice - Pimenta Dioica

Allspice refers to the berries of the evergreen pimenta dioica tree, a type of plant of the myrtle family, and is native to a group of islands in the Caribbean called the Antilles. This explains why allspice is also commonly called "Jamaica pepper". Discovered by the same explorer who...

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Prescriptions Einspaltig | 01 Aug. 2016

Sloe Gin Fizz

Hand-Picked Sloe Berries from the Black Forest Served in a Glass

Sloe Gin Fizz
© Jochen Hirschfeld

The difference between a Tom Collins and a Gin Fizz can be summed up using the following simple rule: one is stirred, while the other is shaken. To put it even more simply: The Gin Fizz is a sour topped up with just a splash of soda water, while a lot more soda water is added to the Tom Collins...

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Ency. Botanica | 25 Jul. 2016

Honey Pomelo - Pomelo

The tangy citrus fruit and the Monkey

Honey Pomelo - Pomelo

If you’re looking for the perfect mix of sweet and bitter, keep reading. A cross between the pomelo and the grapefruit, the honey pomelo combines both distinctive flavors. Though native to Asia, it first entered the market in Israel in the 70s as the result of a backcross, which is also how it...

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Monkey Business | 18 Jul. 2016

Philipp Mainzer – The Architect and His Monkey

Architecture & Design: The Distillery “The Wild Monkey”

Philipp Mainzer – The Architect and His Monkey
© Ingmar Kurth

For some time now, Monkey 47 has been produced in the Black Forest at a distillery dubbed “The Wild Monkey”, which is located at the Schaberhof. An idyllic location that, until its purchase by Black Forest Distillers in 2013, was the site of traditional agriculture and cattle husbandry for five...

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