A taste of African liqueurs

Sure, you’ve sipped enough South African wines. But, have you tried its liqueurs? Here are four you should buy.

Dhiman Chattopadhyay        Print Edition: July 13, 2008

Next time you are sunbathing in Sun City or buying yourself a new wardrobe in Durban, keep some space in your luggage for liqueurs. Unless you drink only orange juice, you’ll love these.

This is Africa’s most exotic cream liqueur produced from the fermented fruit of the Marula tree. Elegant and, yes, creamy, with an interesting twist of fruity sweetness, Amarula bottles disappear off the shelves of departmental stores and duty free shops almost as fast as they are produced. Made from sugar, cream and the fruit from the Marula tree, this is not just a favourite with liqueur connoisseurs alone. Amarula is a favourite with African elephant as well! With 17 per cent alcohol volume, it’s a mild liqueur, but the raw fruit is potent enough to get an elephant drunk. So, now you know what to look out for on the safari.

Serving suggestions

Pour Amarula over chocolate ice cream, or, for an interesting twist, how about pouring it (really cold) over steaming hot Cape Brandy Pudding? Always serve Amarula chilled.

At most departmental stores and malls in South Africa and at duty free stores at all South African and some other airports

Approx. $21 (Rs 900) for 750 ml

Lemotion Mandarin
Lemotion is a mix of lemon and mandarin. But despite a 28 per cent alcohol content, it has a kick as strong as a mule. Without doubt, this is one of the best-selling liqueurs in Africa, though it’s little-known in India. An absolute natural product—this is an infusion of lemon skins in pure alcohol, this refreshing and light liqueur is great as an after-dinner drink. Mixed with tonic water, it tastes sweet and is a lovely summer cooler. It is also great with champagne or mixed with juice as a cocktail.

Serving suggestions

Drizzled on ice cream, fruit salads, sorbet, fresh strawberries, or even as a marinade for meat. Keep your bottle of Lemotion in the freezer until ready to serve.

At duty free shops in most South African airports

Approx. $15 (Rs 650)

Born in the famous Western Cape winelands, it is a fusion of fresh cream and carefully distilled spirit—aided by an advanced blending process, which ensures a shelf life of at least two years. Caramel and fresh cream combine with the pure spirit to give you a potent liqueur. The bottle has a leopard skin jacket and the “ubuntu” beads on the bottleneck symbolise the African tradition of goodwill and sharing between people.

Serving Suggestions
Serve cold on the rocks

Wild Africa Cream Liqueur

At most supermarkets in South Africa and at duty free shops at SA airports

Approx. £15 (Rs 1,250)

This little-known liqueur, made from the sap of the Ilala palm tree, is being marketed as a liqueur for just three years. The local Zulus, however, have been sipping this drink for decades. With a 17 per cent alcohol content, this is an after-dinner drink that goes very well on ice cream or frozen desserts. It is a smooth, harmonious blend, rich in toffee and caramel flavours.

Serving Suggestions
Enjoy over crushed ice, in coffee or create your own cocktail.

At select department stores in KwaZulu Natal

Approx. 300 rands (Rs 1,500) for 750 ml

Try these

25 ml Vodka
12.5 ml Lemotion Mandarin liqueur
25 ml Cranberry Juice
Lime wedge squeezed
Mix all the ingredients and strain into a Martini glass.
Serve chilled.

1 shot Amarula cream (25 ml)
1 shot Vodka (25 ml)
1 shot Crème de Cacao (25 ml)
Blend all ingredients together with crushed ice and serve in a hurricane glass or a tumbler.


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