First, some facts: An elephant is killed every 15 minutes for its ivory. There are now fewer than 400,000 elephants living in the wild in Africa, and that number is decreasing by nearly 100 elephants a day, lost to poachers. A threatened species, elephants could disappear from the wild entirely by the year 2030.
Amarula is a cream liqueur from South Africa, made from the fruit of the marula tree. It’s relatively new to the U.S. And it tastes, well, kind of like a fruity Bailey’s, but better—creamy and silky smooth, with notes of chocolate and strawberry and caramel and tropical fruit. It’s perfect for wintertime sipping.
The company feels a strong affinity toward elephants, enjoying a symbiotic relationship with them. You see, the animals love marula fruit too, migrating each year to eat the fruit off the trees that grow wild across Africa. This signals to the local communities that the fruit is ready to be harvested.
And we just learned that Amarula is giving a dollar per bottle sold in the U.S. through the end of December toward elephant conservation efforts. The funds are going to the nonprofit organization WildlifeDirect, supporting its on-the-ground efforts to preserve these amazing creatures as part of the brand’s global “Don’t Let Them Disappear” campaign. It’s the first such effort for the company, but we’re told it’s intended to become an annual thing.
No one ever minded drinking for charity. Consuming alcohol is almost certainly something you’ll be doing anyhow around the holiday season, and it’s a completely painless way to donate to a good cause. (Painless, that is, until the following morning.) Amarula is offering a great way to do it, whether you’re buying a bottle for yourself or to give as a gift.
As for how to enjoy your bottle of Amarula? The easiest way is to sip it neat and chilled, as an after-dinner drink. You can even drizzle some over a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Or you can wow your party guests with this eggnog-like cocktail, created by Leo Robitschek, the beverage director of Eleven Madison Park and The Nomad’s bars and restaurants (appropriate, since he oversees The NoMad’s Elephant Bar).
1 oz Amarula
1.25 oz rye
.5 oz banana liqueur (such as Giffard)
1 whole egg
Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker. Shake well and pour into a small rocks glass. Garnish with grated nutmeg.