As is widely known, our often-showcased botanical curiosity reaches its distillatory crescendo during our quest to find the "Species Rara", that one extra-special ingredient for our Monkey 47 Distiller's Cut. But as lovely as the views tend to be, does that always have to mean huffing and puffing across dizzying mountain ranges? Au contraire...
This year, that good old wanderlust and our penchant for experimentation led us into the very guts of the London underground. Not the Tube itself, thank heavens, but to Growing Underground, where Steven Dring and Richard Ballard cultivate special types of microleaves - all without any kind of carbon footprint! There, in an access tunnel 47 metres below the bustling streets of Clapham (all right, it's actually "only" 33 metres...), we found what we were looking for among the company's subterranean stock of superlative seedlings.
We owe our encounter with red mustard cress to an article in Business Punk magazine, which was what provided the impetus for the talented Mr Monkey's journey into the depths of the United Kingdom's capital. Once invitations to a momentous meeting of the botanical minds at the destillery in 24 Höfe were extended, Messrs Dring and Ballard were happy to come, see, and sow.
Growing Underground's red mustard cress seeds germinate not in loose soil, but on synthetic mats that are regularly flooded with liquid plant nutrients. With careful tending, the plants' reddish leaves then flourish in broad, raised aluminium trays under violet LED light. Constant climate conditions simulate a spring that never ends, which makes it possible to grow a wide variety of microleaves all year round. The concept has inspired not just us, but a great many fans and supporters who believe in this method of forward-thinking, environmentally friendly cultivation.
"We need 70% less water than conventional farms, and the temperature is always around 16 degrees," Richard says. "Plus, we don't have any unproductive seasons - the sun shines all year, after all." This consistent atmosphere ensures the unique freshness we fancy: the kind that makes botanicals crisp and full of flavour.
As you can see, we've blazed new trails for our 2018 Distiller's Cut and gotten down to the very roots of sustainability. Richard and Steve's idea is a clever and sensible one that we're pleased to be supporting!
Each year, we produce just 4,000 bottles of a one-of-a-kind Distiller's Cut. This limited edition is typically quite a thrill for the lucky bartenders and gin enthusiasts who manage to find it, which is why we always strive to test the limits of what's possible in destilling botanical ingredients into an unforgettable sensory experience. In this year's complex and extensive process, leaves of red mustard cress were added to the macerate of the 47 "traditional" ingredients of Monkey 47. They were then distilled again in a second extraction procedure, left to mature for three months in earthenware containers, and finally combined with soft, local spring water.
Our 2018 Distiller's Cut is a piquant, yet elegant dry gin with delicate green top notes that lend it a unique complexity and unparalleled density. It's an exceptional pleasure for the palate - and not only for those who love the intoxicating aroma of mustard leaves.
Only available on our Monkeykiosk!