Growing up in South Africa, the Amarula brand was, and still is, somewhat of a household name. When it comes to various drinks, shots, cocktails and 'Irish' coffees at pretty much any bar or restaurant in South Africa, Amarula is - like its name says - 'The Spirit of Africa'.
Generally, Amarula is well known around the African continent for its cream liqueur, which is smooth, rich and very delicious. Found only in Southern Africa, Amarula is made from fermented wild fruit, marula fruit.
Marula fruit are incredibly delicious and sweet, covered in a yellow leathery skin, with white flesh and have a big stone in the middle. Despite the incredibly tastiness of the fruit, they're still really only available in the wild, and generally doesn't get stocked by supermarkets and shops, unless you can find a local shop within a marula habitat that would sell them. There are, however many marula products available, like various oils, fragrances and lotions.
Once dried out, the fruit stones reveal two or three 'caps' under which you can also find and eat the nut/seed part of the fruit. Once emptied, these stones can end up looking like tiny skulls.
The idea for making alcohol from the fruit, came from the observation of how animals in the African wild often ate the fermenting marula fruit, only to end up very drunk after a long, hot afternoon of grazing under the marula trees.
Amarula cream liqueur is widely available through South Africa, and also the UK. I'm not sure about other parts of the world, but it's definitely still my favourite cream liqueur.
However, on a recent trip to South Africa, I was met by a tasting stand that now offered Amarula Gold - which I'd never heard of before. I was keen to try it during my stay, but only managed to find it again at the airport on the way back to the UK, and just had to give it a go.
It's really sweet, and I could actually taste a flavour of the real marula fruit - something I've not experienced with the cream liqueur before. This golden, sweet liqueur is perfectly mixed with ginger ale, sparkling fruit juiced or even soda water, as well as mixing nicely with its creamy cousin in a cocktail.
Suffice to say, I've found a new drink that's truly enjoyable, and really reminds me of the African wild, and I couldn't help but shoot a few cinemagraphs on it as soon as I got the chance.
If you spot it anywhere, I'd definitely recommend giving both Amarula Gold or Cream a try!
Here is a micro ad I cut together from the cinemagraphs: