Amarula is in fashion. It is a cream liqueur from South Africa that is especially popular among fans of the traditional Baileys. The liqueurs are similar when it comes to the sweet and creamy taste. It makes it easy to associate the two although they are two very different drinks.
Amarula cream liqueur is made from the cream of milk and the fruit of the Marula tree. This tree only exists in the sub-equatorial plains of Africa. The mystery of this liqueur comes from its fruit. The fruit has a citrusy and creamy flavour and fibrous white flesh under its hard skin. It contains four times more vitamin C than an orange.
The Marula tree is protected in South Africa and it only grows in the wild. Humans have not been able to cultivate it so the gatherers must adapt to the whims of their roots. The tree only produces fruit once a year which makes the harvest even more difficult.
The Marula tree is also known as ”the tree of the elephants” because they love their fruit. Elephants can travel hundreds of kilometres when they detect the sweet smell of this delicacy. Perhaps that is why the Amarula liqueur is associated with these majestic giants. In fact, the brand supports elephant conservation efforts and co-founded an elephant research programme.
Many other animals also enjoy eating the fruit. At times, when the fruit is very ripe, it will ferment on the ground in the heat of the sun. The fruit may then obtain an alcohol content of up to 38%. It goes without saying that animals eating the fruit from the ground may experience a bit of a buzz.
It is not a joke…
The production of Amarula is very basic. The fruit is fermented much like wine. It is then distilled twice and aged in French oak barrels for two years. At the end of the process, the liquor is mixed with the cream of milk to create the final product, the Amarula liqueur.
Amarula liqueur was created in 1989 which makes it a relatively new drink. Yet it is already distributed in 100 countries. It has won many awards, among others two awards for Best Liqueur in the World (2006 and 2008). It is steadily gaining new followers who like to drink it neat, with ice, mixed into cocktails, or they may even use it as an ingredient in cooking recipes.
We are also big fans… How about you? Have you tried it yet?