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New artisan gin in support of elephants

An independent, artisan gin inspired by Africa and in support of African elephants has launched in the UK this month with an ethical cause at its heart.
Elephant Gin is a new handcrafted London Dry Gin of 45% abv, made with carefully selected ingredients to capture the essence of Africa.
Inspired by the pioneering spirit of 19th century explorers and the botanical discoveries they made, the company contributes 15% of all profits to two African elephant foundations to support the preservation of the African wildlife.

The gin is distilled in Germany using 14 botanicals (listed below), including rare African ingredients sourced from the length and breadth of the continent to create the gin’s distinctive flavour profile.
These include the savannah’s “superfruit” Baobab, the extraordinary Buchu plant with a flavour similar to blackcurrant, and the African Wormwood introducing a sharp floral note. Locally sourced spring water, fresh apples and other select ingredients enhance the purity and smoothness of the gin’s finish.
Made in small batches, Elephant Gin is produced uin a traditional 400 litre copper still built by Arnold Holstein.
The gin is described as having a distinct nose with subtle juniper aroma and an undertone of mountain pine and other herbaceous notes.
Elephant Gin’s bottles are custom-made, adorned with hand-written labels, embossed with a crest and sealed with natural cork. Each batch is named after past great tuskers or elephants that Elephant Gin’s partners currently help to protect. The design of the logo as a stamp is a nod to the discoveries and letters of early botanists and explorers of Africa
Founders Robin Gerlach, Tessa Wienker and Henry Palmer are friends who were inspired to create Elephant Gin following their own adventures in Africa.
With a vision to conserve the wildlife they feel so passionately for, Robin, Tessa and Henry decided to launch a product that would help conservation trusts. They strongly believe that this generation has a responsibility to support the African wildlife today, so others can continue to enjoy it in the future.
Henry says: “Integrity and passion is 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 unique wildlife.”

“As well as actively supporting some fantastic foundations devoted to the conservation of wildlife in Africa, we hope to raise wider awareness and involve more people directly with conservation in future, such as with exclusive opportunities for Elephant Gin customers to work with our partner foundations and have their own African adventures,” says Tessa.
Robin adds: “Our mantra is that every day can be an adventure if you allow yourself to discover new things.”
RRP £29.49 for a 50cl bottle, available at

The Botanicals

  1. Juniper – To guarantee consistent quality, Elephant Gin sources its juniper from across Europe, mainly from Macedonia, Hungary and Tuscany, depending on seasonal conditions.
  2. Mountain Pine Needles – Specially cut for Elephant Gin from the Salzburger Mountains close to BleiKogel (2400m), the Mountain Pine complements the Juniper’s natural pine notes.
  3. Lavender – Elephant Gin uses lavender for its sweet overtones to bring out the floral notes in the gin. It is sourced from France.
  4. Sweet Orange Peel – Sourced from Spain, the peel adds to the gin’s sweet aromatic notes.  Elephant Gin favours orange peel over lemon for its round flavour.
  5. Fresh Apple – Sourced from the orchards surrounding the distillery, the apples introduce a fresh, crisp and sweet note to the gin.
  6. Cassia Bark  – Cassia Bark is traditionally used in gin and is a close relative to Cinnamon. Elephant Gin uses Indonesian cassia, which carries warm aromatic notes.
  7. Ginger – Elephant Gin’s ginger elements were chosen not only for their qualities of maintaining health and wellbeing, but also for their warm and spicy characteristics. Sourced from China, the ginger serves to expand the gin’s flavour on ones’ palate.
  8. Pimento Berries  - Also known as Allspice, pimento berries are part of the Myrtaceae plant family, sourced from Mexico.  Pimento gives the gin its slight peppery note.
  9. Devil’s Claw – European colonists and early explorers brought Devil’s Claw back home for its healing properties. Sourced from South Africa, Elephant Gin loves it for its distinct flavour.
  10. Buchu – A delicious blackcurrant-like flavour, Buchu is a plant native to the lower elevation mountains of western South Africa.
  11. Elderflower  – Sourced from the Ukraine and Poland, Elephant Gin uses elderflower heads for their sweet flavours, which also serve to support the apples’ fresh notes.
  12. Lion’s Tail  – Lion’s Tail is native to Southern Africa and treated as a magical herb there. It adds another distinct herbaceous note.
  13. African Wormwood  – Long used as an ingredient in spirits such as absinthe and vermouth, it introduces a bitter floral note. Elephant Gin sources this element from South Africa.
  14. Baobab  – Elephant Gin imports this African ‘superfruit’ from Malawi. The plant has sharp citrus qualities and three times the vitamin C of an orange. “Oh, and in times of drought, the baobab tree and its fruit are a favourite of our elephant friends…”


6 September 2013 - Felicity Murray The Drinks Report, editor