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Elephant Dung Gin


It’s a gin like no other – it’s infused with elephant dung.

The creators of Indlovu Gin, Les and Paula Ansley, stumbled across the idea thinking that, after all,  elephants eat a variety of fruits and flowers and yet digest less than a third of it.

The elephants do the work, collecting the botanicals. And elephants naturally eat a wide variety of botanicals, all containing different nutrients and vitamins.

Shake hands with Les and Paula, both scientists, but wash up first. They couple collect the elephant dung using their bare bands.

The gin’s flavor can be described as a “lovely, wooded, almost spicy, earthy” and one that changes subtly with the seasons and location.

The gin bottles are marked with the date and coordinates of where the elephant dung was collected. So, you’re able to compare different vintages and locations of the gin.

Remember this is all African elephant sized. All it takes is about five sizable bags of dung for a batch of 3,000 to 4,000 bottles of the gin. The droppings are dried and crumbled, then washed to remove dirt and sand. Eventually only the remains of the fruits, flowers, leaves and bark eaten by the elephants are left behind.

Those botanicals are then sterilized and dried again and placed in an airing cupboard, Eventually, the remains are infused in the gin.

The gin name Indlovu means elephant in the Zulu language and other African languages. The couple did not say how much of the gin they have sold. A bottle sells for around 500 rand, or about $32. The gin is often a hit with tourists seeking a unique souvenir. Fifteen percent of profits are donated to African conservation efforts.

The upside is that the gin is tasty for those who enjoy it. The downside is that dung beetles must work harder to find their meals.

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