The tiny pangolin is a creature that’s been increasingly in the spotlight, but only because if we don’t put them there, we may never see them again. That’s because they are being poached into extinction for the protective scales that cover their bodies. These scales and demand for their meat make the pangolin the most trafficked animal in the world. And with four of the eight pangolin species found in Africa we urgently need to do whatever we can to protect them.
But to make it just a little bit easier to do so, conservation organisation Pangolin.Africa has launched an initiative that we can all get behind. All we need to do is sip on a gin and tonic or two! Now it doesn’t get any simpler than that!
The non-profit has partnered with New Harbour Distillery in Cape Town to launch Pangolin Gin – a limited-edition craft gin sold in support of the organisation’s pangolin awareness, protection and conservation efforts across Africa.
Through a three-pronged approach of publicity, participation and protection, Pangolin.Africa works with partners in the tourism, conservation and corporate fields to increase worldwide awareness of the species; gather data to contribute towards much-needed research; and implement protection and rehabilitation projects on the ground. Pangolin.Africa also plays an integral role in bringing together and supporting other individuals and organisations working in the pangolin conservation space in Africa. Now they are teaming up with New Harbour Distillery who specialises in handcrafted spirits that are inspired by Africa’s unique nature. Their carbon-neutral micro-distillery is located in Somerset West, Cape Town, where they create artisanal small-batch spirits.
Master Distiller Nic Janeke – one of the most sought-after distillers in the country – has created a unique recipe for a truly African craft gin: Pangolin Gin is distilled using a blend of nine traditional botanicals – including Angelica Root, Sweet Orange Peel and fruit from the iconic African baobab tree – resulting in a wonderfully pungent aroma and zesty, spicy taste.
The gin is distilled with a method called vapour infusion. With this method, the mix of juniper and botanicals do not come into contact with the liquid spirit at all. Instead, they are placed in a basket inside modified stills and only encounter the spirit as vapour. The botanical-infused vapour then condenses into a botanical-infused spirit (the raw gin). Vapour infusion is seen as a more superior method than steep and boil, since botanicals do not overboil. The vapour slowly extracts the delicate flavour or essential oils of these botanicals to form the gin.
Pangolin Gin is produced as a one-shot gin. This simply means that a recipe is followed where a given volume of neutral alcohol is distilled with quantities of each botanical as specified by that gin’s recipe. Most international brands of gin are produced using the multi-shot method (multiplying the proportion of botanicals to the base alcohol, then adding more neutral alcohol to reduce the super-concentrated botanical distillate to the original recipe concentration). One-shot gins are more the preserve of “craft or “boutique” distillers.
The first batch of Pangolin Gin is a limited run of just 400 individually numbered bottles, with all profits going to the conservation of the species – and delivery in early December – Pangolin Gin is the perfect gift for any gin lover this festive season. The gin is priced at R595 per 750ml bottle including nationwide delivery in South Africa via Pargo.
So don’t delay! Click here to order your Pangolin Gin today!
To learn more about the plight of the Pangolin watch the Eye of the Pangolin here: