amarula cream liqueurWe’re sitting here with a bottle of Amarula Cream. It’s the second largest selling cream liqueur in the world, behind only Bailey’s, yet it’s not a common sight behind American bars. That might change though, as the brand looks to push stateside awareness of this interesting product, which unlike most cream liqueurs is produced from a distilled fruit base, rather than the traditional whiskey or brandy.

Amarula is made from the marula fruit, a small, yellow, oval-shaped fruit indigenous to South Africa. The hand-picked fruit is fermented, double distilled–first in column stills and then in copper pots–and subsequently matured for two years in French oak barrels before it’s blended with fresh cream and bottled.

On the nose, Amarula Cream is full of fresh dairy cream, cinnamon and caramel. With its creamy decadence and spice notes it’s reminiscent of eggnog. But take a sip and things take an interesting turn. The sweet cream flavors are still there, and the spices don’t fade. But that familiar cream liqueur profile is accented with an intriguing citrus fruitiness, plus a touch of peppery heat at the end.

This is cream liqueur, so of course it’s sweet. But that fruit backbone brings out a subtle citrus quality you won’t find in other cream liqueurs. We enjoyed drinking this one chilled and straight, but because it’s so sweet, mixing this low proof liqueur with some higher proof spirits seemed like a good idea. So we spiked it with anejo tequila and also whipped up a bourbon eggnog variant (Amarula subbed for cream) to good effect. And adding this to coffee is just good sense.

– 17% ABV
– $20

CE Rating: ★★★★

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