The Diamond of Badalona: an exhibition to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Anís del Mono
The origin of its name, its original bottle, the appearance of Charles Darwin on its label and even a spelling mistake are just some of the fascinating facts about Anís del Mono that visitors get to find out about at this exhibition, organised to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Spain’s most iconic brand of anis.
The Diamond of Badalona looks at how the unique identity of Anís del Mono has been forged over the years. Its founder, Vicente Bosch, features extensively in the exhibition, not surprising given the fact that it is thanks to his vision and creativity that it is now Spain’s most popular anis. In the words of Tomás Osborne, President of the Foundation, ‘it’s always a source of pride and joy when a brand turns 150, as it’s an opportunity to celebrate the generations of women and men who, through their hard work and that of the Osborne family, have given millions of consumers around the world the chance to discover the brand’.
The exhibition explains the romantic origin of the famous diamond-cut bottle, which has since become a well-established cultural icon of Spain. One day, Vicente Bosch was walking around Paris in search of a special gift for his wife, when, in Place Vendôme, he came across the perfect perfume for her, which would become his inspiration for the bottle, since imitated by countless other brands.
Its label is also unique in many ways, an example being the word destillación, which has a spelling mistake (two ‘l’s instead of one) that has remained to this day. However, perhaps the most noteworthy aspect of the label is the monkey on it, whose humanoid facial features are designed to make it resemble Charles Darwin. This is undoubtedly a reference to one of the great debates of the time – the Theory of Evolution.
The exhibition also looks at how the brand has inspired many Spanish and international artists over the years. For example, in 1897, Anís del Mono organised the first-ever poster competition in Spain, the winner of which was Ramón Casas with his famous ‘Manolas’, which would subsequently inspire numerous artists such as Juan Gris and Pablo Picasso.
Another aspect which stands out at The Diamond of Badalona is the recreation of the distillery, which transports visitors to the home of Anís del Mono in an almost magical way. The distillery is a jewel of Catalan modernism, a stone’s throw away from the beach in the Bay of Badalona, which has been preserved because of its outstanding artistic and heritage value. This is where Anís del Mono is made following a traditional method and the place responsible for spreading its unmistakable scent throughout the city.
Visitors also have the chance to discover other delights which are no longer sold but are guaranteed to awaken their curiosity, such as absinthe and other spirits popular at the time.
The exhibition is open at Bodega de Mora, on Calle Los Moros, from 24 September until 11 January, Monday to Sunday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Entry is free.
Osborne, a company with almost 250 years of history behind it and the owner of brands such as Cinco Jotas, Nordés, Montecillo and Carlos I, acquired the famous brand of anis, which is a must at Christmas and other special occasions in Spain, in 1975.
About the Osborne Foundation
The Osborne Foundation aims to support young people in Spain, allowing them to develop their talent and therefore helping them achieve success in the future, as well as foster a culture of entrepreneurship and innovation. It is also committed to preserving and promoting Osborne’s historical heritage. It has well-established partnerships with public and private organisations, which allow it to organise activities aimed at fulfilling these objectives. As such, the Osborne Foundation is now the channel through which the Osborne Group channels all its corporate social responsibility work.