Photo: Indlovu Gin
Photo: Indlovu Gin
Forget Kopi Luwak, the new on-trend drink might be Indlovu Gin.
If you’re a bright spark knowing that Indlovu means elephant in a number of African languages, you’re spot on. The reason for the name is a bit more intriguing than just being named after the world’s largest land animal.
Invented by Les Ansley and Professor Paula Ansley, the gin is made from elephant poop. Getaway Magazine reports that the idea came to the pair while on safari in Kenya.
Noting how the elephants are constantly grazing, but that very little of what they consume is digested, the pair came up with the idea to use elephant dung for gin.
Elephants graze on a variety of delicacies, the kind of flavours often found in botanical gins. The elephant dung is collected and then cleansed for infusion purposes.
Flavours such as Juniper, Angelica, citrus with earthy undertones and spice from the elephants’ favourite foraged botanicals are notable.
“A sip of our gin will transport you to sundowners in the tranquility of the African bush,” Les told Getaway.
On their official website, they explain:
The original idea for elephant dung gin came from marrying the love of Africa and its wildlife with the love of gin. We are both scientists—and therefore inclined towards novel ideas and problem solving—so when Paula had the idea we really wanted to see whether it would actually be possible. The more we explored the concept the more it opened up and the more excited we became.
It’s a five step process to get the dung ready for gin production.
The collected dung is dried, crumbled and then, in accordance with a prescribed method for sterilising grey/borehole water in South Africa for human consumption the dung is immersed in a sterilising fluid that kills 99.9% of bacteria, fungi, spores, viruses.
The sterilised dung is thoroughly rinsed, dried and stored in breathable sacks until use. The processed dung is stored away from the fresh dung to prevent any cross-contamination. No sterilised dung returns to the area of preliminary dung preparation.
There are numerous studies that show that an alcohol solution between 40-70% is very effective in killing bacteria.
Therefore the direct infusion of the dung that occurs in one of the
But this isn’t just some hare brained scheme. Elephant poop is used as a traditional medicine across the continent and is often brewed as a tea. Dung is also used as a mosquito repellent.
If tasting poop gin isn’t your cup of tea, perhaps consider that 15% of the profits from Indlovu Gin is donated to wildlife conservation efforts. The couple explain:
We felt that it was important that the brand is underpinned by a strong conservation message. So 15% of the profits from the sale of the gin will be donated to the Africa Foundation to support their work in wildlife conservation.
A bottle of the stuff will set you back around R659 and you can purchase it at the following places.