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Batch CLXXIV. Schwarzwald, Saturday June 24, 2017 NO. 47
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Tales from the Black Forest - The Balzer Crucifix

Jesus Lives in the Tree – Gütenbach

In the past few years, pilgrimages have become really popular again. Away from the long, established pilgrim routes and famous sites, a beech tree in Gütenbach Forest has developed into a place of reflection and inspiration. The tree holds a sandstone figure of Christ firmly within its bark. Only the head and part of the breast still protrude. The "Balzer Crucifix" would have disappeared into the tree a...

Door 74

Roaring Twenties meets Speakeasy

Door 74

For nearly nine years now, manager Timo Janse and his team at Door 74 – the Netherlands’ first speakeasy-style cocktail bar – have been conjuring up wondrous creations at the highest level of their chosen art. Hearkening back to the 1920s, their location's cosy, dimly lit ambience invites regulars to kick back and relax, especially with a Monkey Brumble in hand. Door 74 is the type of place where anything can happen after hours, as our...

From the Island to the Bottle - Sicily

Volcano of Lemons

In February 2015, we set out for Sicily – more specifically for the foot of Mount Etna, Europe’s most powerful volcano. Guided by our local expert, Calogero, we visited an old plantation in the Cavagrande region, whose groves of trees were already being weighed down by the lemons we hoped to lend a hand in harvesting. In the Sicilian community of Sant’Alfio, which lies on a plane of lava that cooled...

Die Halbestadt

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 crown of Vienna’s bar culture, situated at the heart of the historical Gürtelbögen district constructed by Otto Wagner. Erich Wassicek (known as one of Austria’s best bartenders) and his partner Konny Wunder are not only an institution in their own right ...

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. In 2016, their passion for the unique led the Monkey’s minders back to the groves and valleys of the Black Forest. This is where the Schaberhof – a farmstea...

Forest in a Bottle – Portugal

Raiders of the Lost Bark

© Jochen Hirschfeld

This botanical expedition began in the spring of 2015 in the montados and ended near Porto, where Paulo and his brothers represent the third generation to run his family’s cork business. As you might have already guessed, they produce the corks that keep the Monkey in the bottle. The Ribatejo region is a former province of the Tejo plains northeast of Lisbon, which are also referred to as the “Garden of L...

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Episode 6: Stairway to Borovica - CROATIA

Tales from the Black Forest - Deep Down

The “Segen Gottes” Silver Mine

Hundreds of years ago, some areas of the Black Forest were full of holes like a Swiss cheese. Where families now go for pleasant walks or exhilarating bike rides, people toiled in mines for 800 years, bringing ores and rocks above ground in a surreal and dangerous world. The Black Forest was an important mining area. Now, this is only alluded to by place names or at show mines, in which ...

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 through the snow. No other region in Europe has embraced the sport of sled dog racing like the southern Black Forest. Each year, major events held in B...

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 rearrange the furniture a bit. The minders thus worked with the Markdorf-based coppersmith Arnold Holstein for more than two years on designing and manu...

Mint - Mentha

Soothing to the stomach

Hailing from the Lamiaceae family, virtually all types of mint thrive in the humid climes of the northern hemisphere’s temperate regions. These aromatic, herbaceous perennials produce subterranean runners or rhizomes and typically feature simple or branched trichomes. Their leaves grow opposite to one another and are serrated around the edge. While botanists differentiate between numerous types of mint, those most commonly found in domestic herb gardens and include ...

Elderberry - Sambucus

The subtle scent of the elder

The elderflower, a member of the Adoxaceae family, is perhaps best known in the form of the black elderberry. While people in northern Germany call it the Fliederbeerenbusch (or just Flieder for short), parts of Bavaria and Austria refer to Sambucus as Holler – much closer to Holder, as the species is known in the Monkey’s Black Forest habitat. Ranging between one and 15 metres in height, these typically woody half-shrubs, shru...

Tales from the Black Forest - “Da Bach na”

Soggy Carnival Capers

When Montgomery “Monty” Collins, the developer of Monkey 47, came to Berlin in 1949, the “Da Bach na” race in Schramberg was a traditional event that had long since been in full flow. The tub race down the Schiltach stream was first staged in 1936 and is a weird and wonderful custom that has become a real highlight of the Swabian-Alemannic carnival season. Each year, these madcap Schramberg daredevils – individually or in pairs – tremble with...

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Episode 5: Being German – BLACK FOREST

The Radhaube

High fashion from 19th-century Villingen

© 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 Germany. The citizens of Villingen, for example, continue to wear their city’s time-honoured garb to demonstrate their connec...

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