“The Victoria Falls Gin” was launched in Victoria Falls this week, crafted in honour of the mighty Mosi-Oa-Tunya, Victoria Falls, and in celebration of exploration. The limited first batch edition, was masterfully distilled using authentic local ingredients including Baobab Seed, Buffalo Thorn Honey, Grains of Paradise and a little sprinkling of magic from the Victoria Falls.
Founded by Blessing Munyenyiwa and Charlie Kanter, the partnership between the two entrepreneurs was formed after seven years of working together on the Victoria Falls Carnival, and a shared passion for Victoria Falls and the need for a local product that truly represented the spirit of adventure and exploration, whilst being able to give back to local communities and organisations. The two have also run numerous other events together including Ammara Brown and Johnny Clegg.
Charlie runs a successful marketing agency called Morse Code and has worked with artists like Mumford & Sons, Incubus, Mac Miller, Foster the People and Black Coffee. Having worked locally in Victoria Falls for seven years on the Victoria Falls Carnival, Charlie began creating a uniquely local gin infused with botanicals from the area. With a sense of community and giving back at the heart of her projects, she is developing this product to uplift the local community through job creation and charitable giving.
As an owner and shareholder in several tourism businesses, Blessing has worldly experience of the tourism sector and a deep love for Victoria Falls and his country Zimbabwe. Blessing firmly believes in the ethos that ‘you make a living by what you get, but you make a life by what you give’ and he continues to work with several global organisations to give back to the community of Victoria Falls, and widely across Zimbabwe. With his love for wildlife and conservation, some of the proceeds from the gin will go towards two amazing organisations who do invaluable work in and around Victoria Falls – Victoria Falls Anti-Poaching Unit and Environment Africa.
“We wanted to create something using local ingredients which not only celebrated exploration, but inspired adventure and a nostalgic taste of African plains and sunset safaris,” says Charlie. Two of the main ingredients included in the first batch gin have significant symbolic meaning:
The buffalo thorn raw honey derives from the pollination of an indigenous tree, Ziziphus mucronata.The buffalo thorn is a deciduous tree that can grow up to 17m tall. The thorns of this tree are paired along the stems, one facing forward and the other facing backward, symbolizing the future and the past.
The African baobab, is the most widespread tree species of the genus, and is native to the African continent. Representative of abundance and life. The baobab is a symbol of prosperity. Kings and elders would hold meetings under the Baobab tree, with the belief that the tree’s spirits would guide them in decision-making.
The Victoria Falls Gin having been launched this week is now available for purchase in Liquorama in Victoria Falls, and will hopefully be widely available at several hotels and lodges over the coming months. In addition, if you are living outside of Zimbabwe and would like to order a bottle, worldwide shipping is available through DHL. Orders are currently made through email to firstname.lastname@example.org.