Using an elephant’s excrement in making gin is no gimmick. This follows the South African government embracing the product Indlovu. Currently, South African brewing company produced 6000L of indlovu gin. As such the product is being exported to Europe and some African countries. The gin is named Indlovu, meaning elephant in Zulu. It costs $34 a bottle. About 5% of the profits earned from the product is channeled to the African foundation for the conservation of elephants.
Who came up with the idea of Using Elephants Dung?
This brilliant idea came from a couple, former biologists. The two, Les and Paul Ansley conducted a safari visit to Botlierskop game reserve. During the tour, the guide enlightened them about the elephant’s digestive system. Elephants are herbivores that ingest fruits, flowers, leaves, and bark of trees. However, of the total food, they ingest only half of it is digested. Hence part of the botanicals is released in their poop. The mystery lies in the poop, for it’s from the poop the two-thought significant in making the gin.
To test their theory, the two researched how to prepare the gin. They obtained the first batch of elephant poop from Botlierskop and following the researched steps, they prepared the gin and it turned out just fine.
Steps involved in the preparation of the gin
There are several steps involved in the preparation of this drink. For large companies like south Africa, sizeable batches ranging between 3000 to 4000 are collected. The droppings are first crumbled then dried completely. Afterward, the dung is sanitized through washing to remove dirt and sand. This process makes it safe from pathogens. It is then dried again and eventually, the botanicals are left behind. This final product is added to the gin. In cases of excess botanicals, they are sterilized, dried again and stored in cupboards with good aeration.
However, Ndlovu gin is packaged according to GPS coordinates from which the dung was collected. As such one can easily distinguish between different flavors.
There were many reactions from people concerning the product. However, upon tasting the people were pleased as the outcome wasn’t what they anticipated. The gin flavors vary with seasons and locations. Les describes the flavors as lovely, wooded, almost spicy, etc. She says they had to come up with something good to meet the people’s expectations. Especially since the idea was too unique to be possible.
“The initial reaction of most people is, ‘What? There’s no way.’ But most people are very keen to actually taste it,” Ansley said.
And once people hear about elephants’ digestive process
“It becomes a lot clearer to them, and they accept it very well.”