Monday, November 10, 2014

Amarula Cream: The Spirit of Africa Parties in the U.S.

Amarula Cream Perfect for the Holidays-$25

By Dwight Casimere

Amarula Cream liqueur is the perfect guest at any Holiday party. Launched in South Africa in 1989, it quickly became an international sensation, becoming the second largest cream liqueur in the world, with sales in over 160 countries. Its been available in the U.S. since 1994, and is now enjoying a bit of a revival. A recent introduction in New York's famed Harlem got the party started at a dance party in historic Striver's Row, featuring the Harlem Swing Dancers (photos below).

Amarula Cream is produced from the fruit of the Amarula tree. It's a small, yellow, thick-skinned fruit that only grows from uncultivated trees in sub-Saharan Africa. The flavor is distinct, making it a sophisticated indulgence enjoyed by both discriminating connoisseurs and folks who just like a plain old good tasting drink. Everywhere it is served, Amarula quickly becomes the life of the party. It can be served neat, over ice, or as an ingredient in a variety of cocktails. Many compare it to Bailey's Irish Cream, perhaps the only cream beverage to exceed Amarula in terms of global sales, but the flavor is much more delicate and exotic.

Amarula Cream is created through a unique production process that in many ways mimics fine wine production.  Hand-harvested marula fruit is fermented into  wine which is then double-distilled into a clear spirit that is then aged in French oak barrels for two years, The oak imparts  characteristics of baking spices, such as cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla and toast, which are valued flavor components of the world's great wines. Add to that the distinctive, delicate citrus flavors of the marula fruit and the finest fresh cream, and you have the makings of an international flavor sensation. Amarula Cream was awarded Gold at the International Wine and Spirits Competition (IWCS), in Verona, taly, in which I have been a judge for the past two years. The marula fruit is harvested in Limpopo province in South Africa, then distilled and bottled in Stellenbosch, South Africa's premiere wine growing region. No wonder it tastes so good!

Here's a few recipes for cocktails using Amarula Cream.

Amarula Brown Elephant
2 oz Amarula Cream
3 oz milk
3 oz Coca Cola
Pour Amarula Cream and milk into shaker with ice. Shake and strain into tall cocktail glass filled with ice, top with Coca Cola and stir gently. 

Amarula White Nile
1 oz Amarula Cream
½ oz Cointreau Liqueur
½ oz Crème de Cacao
Add all ingredients into cocktail shaker, shake and strain in to Martini glass. 

Amarula Fiery Dusk
2 ½ oz Amarula Cream
1 generous scoop vanilla ice cream
1 tsp fresh chopped chilli
Whole chilli or vanilla pod for garnish
Place all ingredients in a cocktail shaker or blender and shake or blend until smooth. Pour into a martini glass filled with ice, garnish with a whole fresh chilli or a vanilla pod.

Amarula Brandy and Cream
1 oz Brandy
1 oz fresh cream
½ oz Amarula Cream
In a cocktail shaker add Brandy, fresh cream and Amarula Cream, shake and strain in to glass filled with ice. 

Amarula Martini
1 oz Amarula Cream (30 mL)
½ oz Gordon’s London Dry Gin
Dash of bitters
Lemon zest for garnish
In a cocktail shaker filled with ice shake and strain in to a Martini glass. Top with dash of bitters and garnish with lemon zest.

 Amarula gets the party started on Striver's Row in New York's famed Harlem
 The marula fruit grows exclusively in South Africa

 Amarula is instantly the life of the party!

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