The vast and wonderful firmament of liqueurs spans the world in over a hundred hues and flavours! Capturing the spirit of Africa is Amarula, a lovely smooth cream liqueur produced by Distell, South Africa, that owes its unique flavour to the presence of fruit from the African marula tree which grows in subequatorial Africa. The recent international launch of Amarula Vanilla Spice has added another novel element to the portfolio of the brand.
The marula fruit is fermented, then distilled and subsequently aged in French oak for two years before it is blended with cream to produce Amarula. Going a step further is Amarula Vanilla Spice is a blend of the marula fruit spirit, cream, vanilla extract from Madagascar and African ginger root. Judicious amounts of vanilla and ginger are added allowing the subtle marula flavour to shine through while the cream ensures a delicate richness resulting in a drink that is enjoyable, both, in cold as well as warm weather. The hint of spice recalls the wafting fragrance of Christmas delicacies being baked. It also produces interesting cocktails.
The image of an African elephant on the label is a reminder that elephants love the ripened fruit for its sweetness and flavours and is also a reference to the company’s support of elephant conservation efforts. Launched in a white bottle as a limited edition to mark the liqueur as a new offering, Amarula Vanilla Spice has 15.5% alcohol. It can be enjoyed chilled on its own or added to hot beverages, baked desserts and cocktails, making it a good addition to one’s liqueur collection.
Vanilla Spice Martini: Combine 1 short Cruz Vodka, 3 shots Amarula Vanilla Spice in a cocktail shaker and fill with crushed ice. Shake well and strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with a white chocolate Lindt ball on a toothpick
Amarula Coco: Mix 1 part Amarula Vanilla Spice with 1 part coconut water and shake on crushed ice. Pour the mix into a martini glass and serve chilled.
Vanilla Spice Latte: Heat 2 cups whole milk, ½ cup heavy cream, ½ tsp ground cloves, ½ tsp ground cardamom, 3/4 tsp ground nutmeg, ¼ tsp black pepper, 1 tbspn black tea in a medium saucepan to 80ºC. Remove from heat. Cover and steep for 15 minutes. Strain through a fine mesh sieve. Whisk in ½ cup of Amarula Vanilla Spice. Enjoy immediately or store in the refrigerator until ready to use. When ready to drink, warm the milk to 70ºC and froth.