Let kindness be your tonic

SOMETHING AS SMALL AS THE FLUTTER OF A BUTTERFLY’S WING HAS THE POWER TO CAUSE A TYPHOON HALFWAY AROUND THE WORLD…

LET KINDNESS BE YOUR TONIC

This is a well-known theory about chaos, but to us, we think it is more applicable to kindness. No act of kindness is ever wasted, no matter how small. The butterfly effect is when even the smallest, seemingly unrelated action can have a momentous effect on the outcome of another.

November 13th, is International Kindness Day and in a world where you can be anything, always be kind. Now, let us show you how easy it is to be kind. Below are just a few examples of some gin brands that are donating some, or in one case all, of its’ profits to a good cause. So, if you need a tonic for your conscience, drink a gin that helps to put a little bit of good back into the world – no matter what your preference of charity is!

ELEPHANT GIN

For us, this is a gin that provoked the biggest emotional connection, for the reason that A. has had a fascination with elephants since childhood. Elephants help each other in distress, grieve for their dead, and become emotionally attached to one another – just like us humans.

Elephant Gin is an independant brand, inspired by Africa but distilled in Germany. A blend of distinct botanicals, such as Baobab, Buchu and Devil’s Claw pay homage to the continent that inspired the spirit. Another interesting nod to the African influence is that each batch is named after the beautiful mammals, past and present, that the conservation has worked hard to protect. This is a lovely little touch but we can’t help but feel that the brand should further develop this by giving customers the opportunity to learn more about their ‘sponsored pals’. For A, this is the closest she will ever get to owning her dream pet elephant and whilst the elephants’ stories on the website help when trying to envisage little ‘Orok’ frolicking on the african plains, flapping those great big ears, and just generally doing what baby elephants do, the whole gin experience would be so much more enjoyable if customers were sent the information personally, through email or the post. A little elephant cuddly toy wouldn’t go a miss either… Marketing team – get on it!

However, whilst it’s design and taste are both influential factors in getting people to buy the gin, the biggest deciding factor for us was the good that buying it does. Tessa Gerlach, one half of the founding couple, was inspired after her own travels in the intriguing continent. Describing to us her experience in 2011, she explained that she visited South Africa for photography and filming purposes, but whilst there, she became involved with a foundation called Space For Elephants. Immediately drawn in by the people she met, Tessa grew passionate about the work they were doing and has since been determined to find a way to aid elephant conservation.

“WE MERGED OUR TWO PASSIONS INTO ONE PRODUCT AND THAT THEN LAID THE FOUNDATIONS OF WHAT WAS TO COME”

This inspired her, and her husband Robin, to do something that would would support these innocent animals and they hope to raise the profile of, and inspire people to get involved with, these conservation projects. Distressed to learn about the poaching situation and human-wildlife-conflicts in Africa, they felt that they couldn’t just ignore what was happening. The couple honestly can’t stress enough how important it is to act now; if nothing is done, then these beautiful creatures will sadly be extinct in 15 years.

Coincidentally (or perhaps not), 15% of all of their profits is donated to two charities: Space For Elephants Foundation who aim to create a network of corridors to allow elephants to pass through the country giving them more space, and Big Life Foundation who protect 2 million acres of wilderness in the Amboseli-Tsavo-Kilimanjaro ecosystem of East Africa.   

Elephants and gin perhaps seems like an unlikely pairing, but we were interested to learn through research that elephants have greeting ceremonies when a ‘friend’ that has been away for some time returns to the group. Co-incidentally, when we have the same type of get-togethers, they always involve a bottle gin – the pairing doesn’t seem so weird now hey?! So whilst elephant conservation might not have seemed like the obvious choice of charity, Elephant Gin will now be the obvious choice of tipple for all of our future ‘welcome home’ parties and we’ll be ordering ours tonight. Click here to do the same.

elephant gin

When asked ‘why this combination’, Tessa reveals that there isn’t actually a direct link between elephants and gin; they are both just strong interests of the couple.

They merged their two passions into one product, and that then laid the foundations of what was to come. It laid the foundations for Elephant Gin. This is something that we can relate to… Tessa’s passion for elephant conservation, paired with Robin’s passion for gin, has enabled this couple to create something that is making a big, big difference halfway across the world. Here at The Gin Bible, we hope that these are some footsteps that we are able follow in the future, as both a couple and a business venture. We feel inspired by this couple’s story, and we really hope you are too…

1897 QUININE GIN

Even if it is just to make someone smile, every act of kindness is worth it – even the smallest acts can have a tremendous impact on a person’s life. And sometimes, these acts can also have a tremendous impact on helping to SAVE a person’s life. The simple act of purchasing a bottle of 1897 Quinine Gin can actually be a life-saving action as half of the gin’s profit is donated to Malaria No More UK. Poignantly, the gin shares its’ birthday with ‘World Mosquito Day’ on 20th August. This day celebrates the pioneering work of Doctor Ronald Ross, who back in 1897, made the historic discovery that the female Anopheles mosquitoes transmit malaria.

Quinine Gin

This partnership is perhaps slightly more obvious than the previous one as tonic is often thought of as the British Empire’s secret weapon. Quinine was frequently consumed in the colonies as its’ ingredients not only cured but prevented the deadly disease that was a very real threat to the troops stationed abroad. However, the bitter taste was off-putting and, mixed with sugar and soda, a ‘tonic’ was created. The soldiers and officials quickly realised that their daily medicine was much more palatable when consumed at the same time as their alcohol ration, and the G&T was born. Thank goodness we say!

Whilst this groundbreaking work might have made steps in the right direction, there is still a lot more that needs to be done to completely eradicate the disease. The number of children dying from malaria has in fact halved since 2000, but unfortunately, a child is still robbed of its adulthood by the deadly disease every minute. Every bottle bought of 1897 Quinine Gin donates at least £5 to the Malaria No More UK. This modest donation is enough to not only buy, but to deliver and hang, a mosquito net in the home of an African family.

£5 – the cost of your morning coffee order, the cost of your lunchtime 6” Subway meal deal, the cost of the treats you bought for your work colleagues last Thursday.

£5 – the cost to protect innocent children and their parents whilst they sleep…

“WE CAN BE THE GENERATION THAT MAKES MALARIA NO MORE A REALITY!”

Helen Mabberley, Head of Fundraising at Malaria No More UK reflects: “Malaria tragically claims over 830 children’s lives every day – the equivalent of an entire primary school being wiped out. That’s why this partnership is so important, raising vital funds and awareness to save lives so we can be the generation that makes malaria no more a reality”. It makes you think doesn’t it? We’ve just ordered our bottle of 1897 Quinine Gin to enjoy whilst we butter the bread for tomorrow’s packed lunch. Click here to do the same.

ZYMURGORIUM MCR GIN

Another gin that really struck a chord with us, considering recent events, was Zymurgorium’s MCR gin, particularly when we learnt about why the company felt compelled to create it. The tragic event that unfolded on the evening of 22nd May this year was one that shook the whole of the UK, and the whole of the world. 22 innocents were killed, including children, at a concert in Manchester Arena. The devastation encouraged distillers and brothers, Aaron and Callum Darke, to do their bit to help the victims and 100% of profits from the 364 bottle MCR batch was donated to the We Love Manchester Emergency Fund.

Zymurgorium

Despite the recipe being one that had already been developed as an exclusive product, the retail client understandingly agreed to the summer-inspired recipe being put to greater use. The brothers explained that the gin had been designed around summer and music; rather thought-provoking when you consider that the victims were robbed of the opportunity to ever experience these things again.

The concept of the gin was carried through to the taste with summer fruits being chosen to be its’ prominent flavour; the other botanicals touchingly paid homage to the devastated city with both Mancunian dog rose and Mancunian foraged elderflower being included. Poignantly, the brothers actually foraged for the botanicals instead of simply buying them to give the gin ‘more mancunian’ feel. This tragic event evoked a self-reflection for the brothers about how they used to enjoy foraging and listening to music at the same age that the MCR victims tragically lost their lives.

Unfortunately – or thankfully for fundraising purposes – the batch has long sold out but it is still possible to support the worthy cause – click here to donate now. We are sure that all those who did manage to get their hands on a bottle raised their glasses in respect and remembered those who were affected. Aaron admits that he regrets not making more bottles, but due to the size of the company, they sadly would not be able to survive whilst keeping their 100% profit promise. Zymurgorium, however, is keen to keep up their philanthropism and will shortly be unveiling two more charity supporting gins, so make sure you keep an eye on their social media pages!

“IF YOU DONT DO SOMETHING, YOU’LL LOOK BACK AND REGRET IT.”

Similarly, as with the pairing of gin with elephants seeming an unlikely match, it might seem like an unlikely fundraising method but, it’s that butterfly effect again. In times such as these, it’s important to do your little bit of good wherever you are, and it’s those little bits of good put together that will overwhelm the world. The Darke brothers were compelled to do their bit and they believe that gin is ‘what they do best’. Aaron explained to us that “it was one of those moments where you think to yourself if you don’t do something you’ll look back and regret not doing something even if it was small”. We imagine that the majority of us could probably admit that there is a situation where we wish we had done something to help.

Manchester Vigil

Unfortunately, there are many negative connotations that are associated with alcohol, and the brothers sadly found this to be case. With the aim of raising as much money for the victims, Aaron and Callum hoped to get local bands to sign the first bottle and auction this off on the radio. However, they were confronted with excuses about alcohol sponsorship from some of the main radio stations, but this wasn’t about their name being promoted, this was about raising money for innocent victims. Yes, alcohol can have unfavourable effects, but, it can be a powerful tool in uniting people, in bringing people closer together. Often, society has the power to create something incredibly positive from a devastating situation.

This is what happened in Manchester. The devastating terror attack was met with something positive. It was met with countless acts of kindness that brought people closer together. When reflecting on the darkness in the current world, it is this kindness that we must remember.

DO YOU FEEL 'GINSPIRED' YET?

The generous brands above are three that particularly stood out to us, and are the ones that we felt a strong connection to. However, people often have charities and causes that are particularly close to their hearts; causes that they have a personal affiliation to and desire to support. The gins that we have written about may not have a strong pull on your heart strings, if not, we hope that you can find a gin in the list below that does.

THE GOOD STUFF - LITERALLY.

Warner Edwards

GINEROSITY – Disadvantaged young adults

DODD’S GIN –  London honey company

WARNER EDWARDS HONEYBEE – Royal Horticultural Society

HEPPLE GIN – Juniper restoration and propagation project

SILVERBACK GIN – Gorilla conservation

WHITLEY NEILL – African tree aid

THE GIN BIBLE'S BIT - WE'RE NOT ALL TALK!

Reading some of the stories about each of these gin brands and the invaluable work that they have been able to support has really inspired us – so much so, that we wanted to do something kind ourselves…

The Gin Bible | Daniel and Amelia

Therefore, we offered readers the chance to win a ‘ginspired’ prize. We created a justgiving link and all those who donated had their name put into a hat to win the prize. A massive thanks to everyone who got involved, we raised an amazing £210!

Originally, we wanted to give the winner the opportunity to choose a charity for the money to go to themselves. Unfortunately, in order to create a just giving page, we were required to pre-select a registered charity. Therefore, we had to select one ourselves, which was difficult. There are so many great causes to choose from. So, in order to be fair and in-keeping with the kindness theme, we have chosen ‘In Kind Direct‘.

In Kind Direct distribute new, usable consumer goods, donated by some of the UK’s best known manufacturers and retailers, to charities, not-for-profit organisations and social enterprises working in the UK and abroad. They provide a lifeline to thousands of charities helping vulnerable people across the UK, allowing them to spend more of their money on support, not supplies.

We wanted to choose a charity that was not limiting and specific to a certain cause, and we think the fact that In Kind Direct manage to help a multitude of charities/causes is simply amazing!

The prize included:

  • A bottle of Warner Edwards Limited Edition Honeybee Gin
  • A sample bottle of Elephant Gin
  • A bottle of 1897 Quinine Gin

A massive thanks to those companies for donating to such a great cause!

Sometimes, all the world needs is a little bit of kindness. So, treat yourself to a bottle of our favourite spirit and simultaneously help make the world a better place. Oh please, like you needed an excuse!

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After a few months of passive aggressive wall-knocking and sliding notes under the door, it took a first date – that turned into an eleven drink-long bar crawl – to realise we had a lot in common. Travel, food, and gin.

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So, until next time - Bottoms up!

Written by A

28th November 2017

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