Elephant Gin. Not the most likely combination of words.
However, this African-inspired gin is about more than just sourcing rare and delicious botanicals from the continent. It's about helping preserve African wildlife in order to ensure the magnificent landscapes that inspired the gin's founders continue to inspire generations to come.
There are currently an estimated 35,000 elephants killed in Africa each year; 10% of the entire population. That means that if the bloodshed continues at the same rate, there will be no elephants left in the African wilds within 15 years.
Elephant gin donates 15% of all proceeds to two African elephant foundations to help tackle this issue by combatting poaching, resolving the human-wildlife conflict, and securing space for elephants to roam.
Big Life Foundation is an anti-poaching organisation that protects two million acres of wilderness in the Amboseli-Tsavo ecosystem of East Africa . It employs more than 250 local people to protect this vast area from criminal organisations. Before Big Life Foundation took action, poaching was rampant in the region. Since they began work, there's been a dramatic reduction in the killings. In just three years (from 2010 to 2013) they arrested 1030 poachers and confiscated 3012 weapons.
With the funds, Elephant Gin has been supporting Big Life Foundation’s Ranger Club, contributing to eight rangers’ salaries, rations and equipments such as tents, rucksacks, sleeping bags and mosquito nets. The rangers work is crucial in anti-poaching activities in Kenya and Tanzania.
Space for Elephants Foundation operates in the Pongola Game Reserve on South Africa's border with Swaziland, and aims to create space for elephants and other endangered species, to allow them to migrate, disperse and breed.
Elephant Gin help fund a project that encourages the local communities to get involved: by creating employment opportunities to make them aware of the value of wildlife, and by educating and showing them how to earn a living from the wildlife. Elephant Gin has been supporting a school, built hiking trails, viewing points, camp facilities overlooking the Pongola Game Reserve, and are planning much more to offer employment opportunities and attract more tourists to the area.
Elephant Gin’s bottles are custom-made with hand-written labels and sealed with natural cork. Each batch is named after individual elephants that Elephant Gin’s partners are helping to protect.
The Gin is made in small batches using the traditional Dry Gin method. It is distilled near Hamburg, Germany, using fourteen botanicals, including lavender, sweet orange peel, fresh apple, ginger and elderflower. It also includes African botanicals; the savannah’s 'superfruit' Boabab, the extraordinary Buchu plant that tastes like blackcurrant, and African Wormwood for a floral aroma.
Co-founder Henry Palmer sums up the brand and its mission:
“Integrity and passion are at the heart of Elephant Gin’s philosophy. From carefully sourcing ingredients and using the best techniques to create a premium product, to creating a sustainable, ethical business that supports Africa’s precious wildlife.”
Elephant Gin is great in a simple G&T - serve with premium tonic and a slice of green apple to boost the floral flavours in the Gin.