Monkey 47 Martini

Monkey 47 Martini 1

Traveling is such a gift – getting to explore new areas, having new experiences, but most of all – eating and drinking the local specialties. A few years ago when I was in Paris, I noticed this beautiful bottle of Gin. Ok, so I must admit, I am a sucker for the labels. If a bottle has a nice label, it must taste good – right? Now, I know that is not always true, but since I know absolutely nothing about wine (except that French wines – in France – are my favorite), that is usually how I choose which bottle to buy. Ok, I diverge…so back to this Gin. It just looked interesting, and I had never seen it before – so I asked the bartended about it. He told me it was made in Germany, and then went on to rave about all the botanicals that it was made from. I asked him if I could smell it (not sure if that was completely appropriate, but went for it anyway), and he said yes. He was right, this Gin smelled incredible. The price was a little high for my taste though, so I decided to defer tasting the Gin to another time..

I never forgot about that Gin, but was waiting for the right time to indulge. I looked for it in the US, but they don’t export it yet, so I knew that I had to wait until I was back in Europe. So this summer I was on a quest to try this Gin – but I couldn’t see spending the money on getting it at a restaurant or bar – cocktails in Paris are incredibly high – so I decided I was going to buy a bottle instead. It couldn’t be bad, and if it was, I would figure out a way to make it palatable. I found a liquor store that carried the Gin, and purchased it along with my favorite French vermouth (Dolin). I then waited for the right occasion – Bastille Day – to make myself a martini.

You would think that with all these years of anticipation that I would be let down, but no – quite the opposite. It was better than I could have ever imagined. I was in love. It was the best martini I had ever had. It was wonderfully smooth, flavorful, and if you are not a Gin drinker – you would be after tasting this. Who knew that a German Gin could steel my heart away like this?  That’s what travelling is all about…


  • 2 oz. Monkey 47 Gin
  • 1/2 oz. Dolin Blanc Vermouth
  • Lemon Twist


Mix together the gin and vermouth in a glass with ice – stir for about 30 seconds or until very cold.  Strain into a martini glass, and serve with a twist of lemon.

Makes 1 cocktail.

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Monkey 47 Martini 4


Summer Sunset

Summer Sunset

Happy Mother’s Day!!  It is our day – the day where all that hard work is finally recognized.  I hope all you mothers out there had a terrific day, filled with lots of hugs, cards and relaxation.  I had a really nice day, but I must admit, the highlight was this poem that my younger daughter wrote for me:

My Mom is like…

A lightning bolt at the computer,

A technology queen,

A super cook,

A fluffy pillow,

A flower garden,

Some bug spray,

And a no dogs allowed sign!

The other highlight was yesterday – making this amazing cocktail.  Last summer we were at one of our favorite restaurants – where the tables are pretty close to each other.  There was a couple next to us and we were eyeing their food.  They were on their main course, and their food looked incredible. They noticed us staring, so we started talking.  The food conversation quickly turned to cocktails – and he ended up sharing his favorite cocktail with us.  We were still in the process of building out our bar (in an old fashion wardrobe cabinet in our dining area) and didn’t have a lot of good liqueur just yet.  We were in research mode (as we often are), and asking a lot of questions on what we should buy.  He definitely talked up Aperol, which is similar to Campari, but a little less bitter.  It took me a log time to make this drink, as fresh grapefruit is not something usually I have in the refrigerator.  I just happened to have a bunch of grapefruits though that were too sour to eat – so I squeezed all the juice out of them – and remembered this cocktail.  It was a huge hit with my husband and our friends.  Oh, and did you see the color??  Gorgeous.  As always…don’t drink and drive.

So – here’s to all the mothers out there – cheers to you!!


  • 3 ounces freshly squeezed grapefruit juice
  • 1 ounce fresh lime juice
  • 2 ounces Aperol
  • 2 ounces Gin


Place all ingredients into a shaker with ice.  Shake and serve in a martini glass with a twist of orange.  Makes 2 cocktails.

For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, please click here:  Summer Sunset

Summer Sunset 2