We’ve all ordered a drink that seems exciting, but tastes like poo. All too often, alcohol promises much but fails to deliver, with delicious-sounding cocktails more than capable of leaving you with the impression that you’ve just drunk from a rain-filled ashtray. However, it’s rare indeed that the faecal-flavoured analogy is literal as well as metaphorical.
Pushing poo to strange new places, South African distillery Indolvu Gin has come up with an intriguing spin on everyone’s favourite tonic mixer, thanks to a production process that is bound to cause a stink. Forsaking traditional techniques, Indolvu make their liquor by filtering it through elephant excrement. No, we’re not shitting you.
In many products that ostensibly include a shocking ingredient, the cause of controversy is usually barely present and used more as a means to steal headlines. Not so Indlovu. This gin actually uses dried elephant dung directly as a source of different botanicals, giving each variety its own unique flavour profile depending on what the elephant has eaten. Dung is collected on a South African game reserve, washed, sterilised, rinsed, dried and finally stored before being infused into the spirit. The results speak for themselves.
Despite the stomach-churning provenance, Indlovu’s gin has actually been extremely warmly received. On the website YuppieChef, the product has a perfect 5-star rating, with one customer raving:
“As a whisky lover I was particularly surprised and impressed by the richness of flavour. It can easily be drunk with ice only. Beautiful unusual colour. Have tried it with tonic as well and mixes great - just added lemon. I can recommend it to gin and whisky lovers out there.”
According to an official description on the Indlovu website:
“Our gin can be enjoyed in the usual G&T manner but we think that the taste and mouth texture of the gin lends itself towards a cognac-type experience. The earthy flavours complement coffee and dark chocolate. So a neat gin sipped with espresso and enjoyed with dark after-dinner chocolate perfectly rounds off a meal.”
“Of course, the gin can be enjoyed in the more traditional sense of mixers at sundown. But again here we would be hesitant to recommend a flavoured or sugary tonic as this detracts from the rounded flavour of the gin.”
It might seem scary, but it certainly sounds like the company has created something surprisingly delicious.