We’ve seen a lot of gin hit the market over the past few years. There’s gin infused with collagen, colour changing gin, glittery ‘Unicorn Tears’ gin liqueur, Love Hearts gin liqueur and everything in between. We really do mean everything.
Well, in an industry which is constantly evolving and innovating, you can also buy gin infused with elephant dung.
Yup, you read that right. South African couple Paula and Les Ansley collect elephant dung, by hand, from the Botlierskop game reserve in Mossel Bay, and use it to create Ibhu Indlovu gin.
'Indlovu’ means elephant in a blend of African languages.
How did the gin come about?
The couple went on safari in Kenya last year. During the trip, a ranger described an elephant’s digestive process.
An elephant spends 80% of its time eating fruit, grasses and trees, but only a fraction of that is digested.
Of the whopping 130kg of dung an adult elephant produces every, single, day, there’s lots of nutrients and matter left behind.
The safari park post the poo parcel to the Ansleys, who created a sterilisation process. Good to know.
The Ansleys collect five large bags of dung to create 3,000-4,000 bottles of gin. It’s dried, washed, crumbled, and eventually, you’re left with just the fruits, flowers, leaves and bark that an elephant has eaten.
It’s that range of botanicals which apparently gives the gin a “lovely, wooded, almost spicy and earthy” flavour, which subtly changes with the seasons.
You can buy yourself a bottle of Indlovu gin for 500 rand (£25/$33), plus shipping. And 15% of the profits go to the Africa Foundation to support wildlife conservation projects.
Would you try gin distilled with elephant dung, or will you be sticking to your usual juniper hit?