Amarula Cream Liqueur
A cream liqueur made from the fruit of the marula tree (South Africa).
The following was from one of The Raven's articles in our newsletter.
I wish I could say that I was bringing to you an entirely new product today, but it appears I may have been scooped by almost two decades. That notwithstanding, I bring you a treasure that comes from deep within the African continent. This jewel of the cradle of life is made from a fruit that grows atop a tree that cannot be cultivated. The beasts that roam the sub-Saharan plains covet this fruit so much that the elephants actually ram the trees to get the fruit to drop. They let it sit on the ground for a few days, so it can begin to ferment, and then eat the slightly alcoholic fruit. The fruit is that of the marula tree, and it is used in making one of the finest cream liqueurs I’ve ever tasted, Amarula Cream.
Opening its doors in 1989, Amarula Cream has produced a sleeper hit for nearly two decades. The fruit is harvested in a narrow window of time in the late summer (that’s January/February in the southern hemisphere) right after the fruit is ripe, but before the pachyderms have a chance to do their own harvesting. Not to worry though, the fruit is plentiful, so Dumbo doesn’t go hungry. The fruit is brought back to the plant where it is fermented in a method that is familiar to nearly everyone; it’s made into wine. This wine is distilled into a sort of marula brandy and is aged for two years before being blended with cream and shipped to the various boozemogers of the world.
A note on the Amarula distillers. As you can tell by looking at their distinctive bottle, the elephant is a great part of their branding, and for good reason. It is a symbol of Africa, and their product is strongly connected with the magnificent animals. In that respect, Amarula donates money to one of the top elephant research programs in South Africa. Details can be found on their website www.amarula.co.za.
Onward we go to the drink itself. The first thing you notice about Amarula Cream is the bottle, which has a style that hearkens back to the early days of African exploration. The initial aroma that wafts up from the bottle is unlike anything you’ve smelled before…you can tell it’s a fruit from the slightly sweet delicacies, but the rest of the flavor is unknown, though not for long. As you pour it, you begin to smell the smooth cream and the sharp alcohol in a beautiful balance. The first sip reminds you of other decadent pleasures of the creams, Kaluha and Bailey’s flashing in your head. Then it hits you; the hidden flavor of the marula fruit comes out of the cream and those other creams come crashing to the floor. You can at once see yourself as a big game hunter on a reserve in South Africa and as his elephantine target, both sitting side by side enjoying the same wonderful flavors. The cream and the alcohol slowly fade away, at first intensifying the marula flavor and then it too teases you as it slides away. The visions of the African plain follow, but with promise of returning at the next sip.
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