Following our elephant-themed competition last month, we caught up with Tessa Gerlach – co-founder of Elephant Gin with her husband Robin and friend Henry Palmer. Read on to find out how this award-winning alcohol brand is protecting the elephant community, one G&T at a time..
1. Describe Elephant Gin in three words.
Passion. Exploration. Conservation.
2. Describe the Elephant Gin team in three words.
Hard-working. Passionate. Fun.
3. When did your passion for wildlife conservation first begin?
At an evening campfire when I met Digs Pascoe, CEO of Space For Elephants, in South Africa 2011. Amongst other things, he told me about the realities of elephant and rhino poaching. I doubt I will ever meet someone again who leaves such a mark on me as he did that evening. I actually left the campfire a different person – the encounter changed my whole life around. Since that day I have been determined to help support Space for Elephants and wildlife conservation on both a personal and business level.
4. Did a particular moment instigate the creation of Elephant Gin?
The idea was inspired by the so-called ‘sundowner moments’ after a day out in the African bush. Sunset G&Ts are a big tradition in South Africa!
Elephant Gin gives 15% of all proceeds to select projects at both foundations. For Big Life Foundation, we finance a Kenyan outpost of anti-poaching rangers - covering anything from salary, equipment and transportation. For Space for Elephants, we have just built an education centre in South Africa teaching locals and tourists about the African elephant - its intelligence, behaviour, importance to ecosystems and reasons to protect them from extinction.
6. Name your proudest Elephant Gin moment to date.
Giving over EUR 250,000 to our partner foundations through the sales of our product and fund-raising events.
7. Which Elephant Gin cocktail do you recommend most?
Tricky one – either our ‘Perfect Serve’ Elephant London Dry Gin & Tonic with a slice of fresh apple, or an Elephant Sloe Gin Negroni.
8. If you could save one photo in your house, what would it be and why?
The below one of myself, my husband Robin and famous elephant Rambo.
9. What is on your Wingfield Digby wish list and why?
The Elephant Leather and Canvas Belt; it is so versatile, stylish AND fun. Plus it is a wonderful collector's item!
10. Favourite feather type?
For more information, visit www.elephant-gin.com