Elephant Gin is a premium handcrafted London Dry Gin of 45% alcoholic volume made with carefully selected ingredients that capture the spirit of Africa. Inspired by the traditional sundowner experience at the end of the day in the African bush, Elephant Gin is produced for wildlife adventurers and urban explorers alike. Handcrafted in Germany, the gin is distilled using fourteen botanicals, including rare African ingredients to create a distinctive flavour profile.
Elephant Gin contributes 15% of all proceeds to two African elephant foundations to support the preservation of African wildlife. Made in small batches, Elephant Gin is produced using the traditional method of copper still distillation. Botanicals include 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. The gin’s distinct nose first yields a subtle juniper aroma with an undertone of mountain pine and other herbaceous notes. The taste is complex but strikingly smooth, encompassing floral, fruity and spicy flavours, which can be enjoyed both straight and in a cocktail. Elephant Gin’s bottles are custom-made 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 protect.
The team behind Elephant Gin are Robin and Tessa Gerlach, who were inspired to create Elephant Gin following their own travels as well as their work supporting foundations in South Africa. With a vision to conserve the wildlife they feel so passionate about, the couple decided to launch a product that would help conservation trusts. They strongly believe that this generation has a responsibility to support African wildlife today, so others can continue to enjoy it in the future.
I was a guest at a Visit Flanders lunch yesterday, probably the first I've been to where each of the five courses is paired with a different beer. Chef Didier Boudeaux, owner of Maison D in the Flanders town of Ronse, was responsible for the menu. The town in the heart of the Flemish Ardennes, popular with cycling fans due to its hilly terrain, is a major destination on the annual Ronde Van Vlaanderen, the Tour of Flanders.
Pre-lunch drinks consisted of a selection of ‘Champagne’ beers accompanied by appetisers of quinoa, cauliflower and leek, and fresh soya beans, turnip and sheep's cheese. Beer was served in wine glasses, as were other beers sampled over lunch.
Once seated, it was time for starters. I had opted for the vegetarian menu and was served confit tomatoes, potato, spinach and white asparagus paired with St Bernadus Tripel, a blond beer. My main course of goat's cheese, artichoke, green asparagus, wild garlic and pointed white cabbage was served with Kwaremont beer. Cheeses and apple and pear chutney followed accompanied by Duvel Hop beer and finally, dessert. The cremeux of café noir was served with chocolate beer which tasted like iced coffee. We weren't finished yet though, more temptations appeared with the tea and coffee in the shape of home-made petit fours - madeleines, chocolate peanut delights and orange macaroons.
Chef Didier Bourdeaux left his kitchen to chat with us - he is obviously passionate about his creations which everyone agreed were wonderful. Incidentally, I am not a beer lady, but did enjoy sipping on those we were given... extremely interesting, complex flavours.
And ..... an interesting story about how Didier's restaurant came to be called 'Maison D'. He and his wife Delphine bought an early 20th century building, former workplace of a doctor, a dermatologist in fact, called Dr Dewaele (can you see what's coming?!) and a veterinary surgeon called Dr Devos .... yes, Maison D made sense!
I'm Gilly, award winning journalist, travel writer and 12 x author. I'm published in national and regional papers / magazines.