Cocktail of the Week: Monkey 47’s ‘Monkey in a Tux’

A fruit-filled twist on a vintage cocktail, this sparkling sipper uses a rich sloe-infused spirit from Monkey 47 Schwarzwald Dry Gin…

Have you ever heard of a classic cocktail — first dreamt up and poured out in 1915 — called the ‘French 75’? It was the handiwork of barman Harry MacElhone, who initially stirred together gin, sugar and zesty citrus juice, then topped up his creation with the most luscious, sweet-sipping champagne he could find in New York City.

Upon trying the cocktail, MacElhone was dazed and disarmed by the punch it packed. He likened the first sip to being shelled by one of the most destructive, thunderous artillery guns of the time; the French 75mm. And thus the drink earned its name.

In the decades since, the French 75 has spread — and spawned many derivations. The ‘South Mint 75’ gave it a herby twist. The ‘West 75’ put a bitter, sourer spin on things. And the ‘Pink Grapefruit 75’ simply swapped out the fruit juice. But the latest variation is our favourite. The ‘Monkey in a Tux’ has been created by Stuttgart-based bartender, Eric Bergmann, and has Black Forest gin as its base. It’s a ‘German 75’, if you will.

Because the rest of the recipe — sugar, gin, champagne and citrus juice — remains startlingly, sparklingly similar. Although Bergmann, a master mixologist and bartender at award-winning Stuttgart speakeasy Jigger & Spoon, has also added a dash of rich rum into the mix; a spirited spin that ups the spicy credentials of the cocktail.

But the real selling point of this tuxedo-inspired tipple is that German gin base. Monkey 47 Schwarzwald Sloe Gin is made by macerating Black Forest sloe berries in the distillery’s celebrated spirit. It’s a bold, aromatic bottling — with a touch of almond, tangy juniper notes and a tart, nutty finish. It’s also the ideal, slightly fruity choice to anchor this rum-soaked, gin-infused fizz. 

For Bergmann’s final flourish? To ensure the cocktail is enjoyed as he intended — as it is in the shady, prohibition-styled shadows of Jigger & Spoon — the ‘Monkey in a Tux’ is served in a Nick & Nora glass. Long-stemmed, high-sided and more than a little vintage-tinged, it’s a piece of glassware with another historic namesake; this time, a pair of fictional 1930s detectives. Perhaps that lacks the punch and edge of an artillery gun, but this blast of a cocktail more than makes up for it. 

How to mix Monkey 47’s ‘Monkey in a Tux’

Ingredients

  • 30ml Monkey 47 Sloe Gin
  • 10ml Havana Club 7
  • 25ml fresh lime juice
  • Sugar cube
  • Champagne

Method

  1. Fill a mixing glass with cubed ice
  2. Add the gin, rum and lime juice
  3. Stir until combined and cold
  4. Strain into a Nick&Nora glass
  5. Top up with Champagne
  6. Soak the sugar cube in a high-proof spirit
  7. Ignite, and wait for the flame to die
  8. Drop into the glass and stir in
Cocktail of the Week: Monkey 47’s ‘Monkey in a Tux’

Monkey 47 Schwarzwald Sloe Gin

£45.00

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Want more Monkey 47 cocktails? Here’s how to make the brand’s ‘Master of the Forest’…

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