The African elephant, is for many cultures a symbol of strength and power. What a fitting name then for a good solid gin, a liquid that packs a punch; introducing to you German made Elephant Gin, a creation that lives up to the great creature that it is named after, revealing a great tasting gin with strong exotic flavours. Elephant Gin is a German born libation with the heart & spirit of Africa. Inspiration for the Gin developed from the South African tradition of “sunset cocktails” (a tradition I believe everyone should stand firmly by… although Irish sunset cocktails are probably a rare occasion… more like cloudy cocktails but a cocktail would still be in hand!!) This tradition is called “sundownder” drinks, enjoyed after a long old day in the South African Bush (who doesn’t love a cocktail after a hard days work in the wild???) This African tradition give the founders a moment of ‘ginspiration’, stirring in them a need to develop a liquid treat that captured a pinch of Africa in a bottle for all those individuals who couldn’t physically enjoy these “sundowner” drinks, they brought a bit if Africa to everyone! Not only were the founders inspired by this drinking tradition, they also feel in love with the wildlife during their own African escapades and wanted to ensure the conservation of one the animals that Africa are renowned for, so they contribute 15% of each bottle sold to Big Life Foundation and Space for Elephants, while with each miniature bottle sold, 15% of profits is donated to The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust. (The cause just makes you love it even more!)
Now let’s get on to the liquid itself, the gin uses 14 botanicals, including rare African ingredients, which have never been used in any other gins, creating a truly exotic treat for gin lovers far and wide. These unusual botanicals include African Wormwood – one of the oldest and best-known medicinal plants, used to remedy lots of ailments, has a bitter taste. Devils Claw, most commonly found in the sandy savannas, yet again having many medicinal qualities, yet again bitter tasting. The leaves of a Buchu Plant, the oil extracts from this are said to give off a blackcurrant taste. Lions Tail (antioxidant properties) which brings herbal notes to the mix, and finally the mystical fruit from the baobab tree (cool tree that looks like it’s upside down), this fruit is somewhat of a lovechild “between grapefruit, pear & vanilla”. (Psssst this fruit contains mega vitamins and is super healthy)… What’s that I hear you say a gin whose ingredients ooze medicinal remedies and antioxidant benefits… now I ain’t no doctor but clearly we all need to start taking this liquid obviously for purely “medicinal purposes”… All these mysterious sounding ingredients add a sense of curiosity and fascination to the gin, (well it did for me!) the bitter tastes that derive from these foreign botanicals pairs beautifully with the other ingredients of ginger, sweet orange peel & one of the dominant ingredients of the German apple (which really shines through) and a number of others, developing a lovely aromatic smooth libation. I opted for the traditional recommended serve of plain tonic garnished with an apple fan.
When you take that traditional old cork from its position you are met with a spicy aromatic scent, the gin itself has a lovely subtle sweet taste mixed with a tartness, followed by a nice cinnamon sensation and it leaves a finishing of a slight peppery taste (probably coming from the pimento), the apple slices that I threw into the drink itself pairs nicely! This gin is so versatile I think I need to spend some more time with my little Elephant friend to unlock all its African secrets.
The saying goes that an “Elephant Never Forgets”, although Elephant Gin may sometimes cause a momentary lapse in your memory (if over consumed, which is easily done, believe me!) Elephant Gin itself will be a gin imprinted on your mind for a very long time to come! There is also a nice personal touch to the batch that your bottle belongs to, each batch (of around 600 bottles) is named after a protected Elephant, my little Elephant friend is Filippo, which makes you feel like you have a connection! This is a gin that merges tradition, charitable deeds, personal touches, rich exotic flavours and a bottle that for me made me feel like an explorer (of the gin kind) with its old worldly map directing me on the path to a true taste adventure.