Gin infused with elephant poop hits store shelves

My friend Lynn likes her gin.

And running half-marathons.

But as a fellow food safety type she may not approve of this.

The makers of a South African gin infused with elephant dung swear their use of the animal’s excrement is no gimmick.

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

“As a consequence, in the elephant dung, you get the most amazing variety of these botanicals,” Les Ansley said during a recent visit to their operations. “Why don’t we let the elephants do the hard work of collecting all these botanicals and we will make gin from it?” he recalled his wife suggesting.

Her idea came after a safari during which a wildlife ranger described an elephant’s digestive process.

After about five sizeable bags of dung are collected 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. Think of it like a “spice cupboard,” Ansley said. Eventually, the remains are infused in the gin.

Gin is awful: Elephant poop gin is worse

There’s a reason the clones in George Orwell’s 1984 had gin available: Because it’s fucking awful.

According to Maya-Rose Torrao of Briefly, inventors Les Ansley and Professor Paula Ansley (sounds like a lab relationship that shouldn’t be) have created South Africa’s first ever gin made from elephant poop.

The two creators took inspiration from Mzansi’s gentle giants when they noticed that much of what elephants eat passes through their systems undigested

The creators of this unique drink explain, on their website: “The original idea for elephant dung gin came from marrying the love of Africa and its wildlife with the love of gin. We are both scientists—and therefore inclined towards novel ideas and problem solving—so when Paula had the idea we really wanted to see whether it would actually be possible. The more we explored the concept the more it opened up and the more excited we became.”