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15 Best Amarula Cocktails

These Amarula cocktails are the absolute best way to use up a bottle of the unique and tasty South African cream liqueur! From creamy coffee martinis to boozy adult milkshakes to frozen tropical drinks, there’s a delicious Amarula cocktail for every occasion and palate!

A bottle of Amarula sits outside on a wooden table

I discovered Amarula not long ago and instantly fell in love. At first I was even upset — Amarula’s been around since I was born, and I’m only NOW hearing about it!?

Anyway… I digress. I love Amarula because it adds a bright, creamy complexity to dessert and coffee cocktails, and is also a fun addition to tropical beach drinks. It’s a super festive ingredient in holiday cocktails, but it’s SO versatile and delicious that you’ll want to make cocktails with it all year round!

What is Amarula?

Amarula is sweet cream liqueur from South Africa made with cream, sugar, and fermented and distilled marula tree fruit. So unlike many cream liqueurs, Amarula doesn’t have a base of brandy or whiskey and is instead considered a fruit-based spirit.

If you’re not familiar with the marula fruit (I certainly wasn’t!), it’s a sweet and sour plum-sized fruit that packs a TON of flavor. It’s well known in South Africa as the fruit that inebriates elephants, and the marula tree itself is referred to as “The Elephant Tree”. Elephants getting drunk off fermented marula fruit is obviously a myth, but a big ol’ elephant still decorates the front of Amarula’s bottle as a nod to this widely held belief.

Amarula began its journey in 1983, when it was made exclusively with marula fruit. They only introduced cream to the recipe in 1989, and this is also when they started distributing it domestically. Five years later in 1994, the liqueur made its way overseas and graced our shelves with its creamy goodness!

Amarula sits at 17% ABV, so it’s on the lighter side of the spectrum, and a 750ml bottle will cost you $23-$26 in the USA.

Is Amarula Similar to Bailey’s?

The only similarity between Amarula and Bailey’s Irish Cream is they’re both sweet, cream-based liqueurs — so they taste completely different! Bailey’s is heavier and tastes like whiskey, cocoa, and vanilla, while Amarula is brighter, lighter, and fruity. Both are delicious, I just wouldn’t use them interchangeably.

What Does Amarula Taste Like?

  • Appearance: Creamy light brown, like coffee with a hefty pour of milk
  • Nose: Tropical fruit, citrus, cinnamon, and vanilla
  • Texture: Lush, velvety, and creamy — but not overly thick
  • Taste: Creamy vanilla, tangy & tropical fruit, toasted nuts, caramel, with a hint of citrus and allspice
  • Finish: Smooth cream, toasted nuts, and tangy citrus

What To Mix With Amarula

Since it’s a cream liqueur, Amarula is great by itself on the rocks as a post-dinner treat, but it’s also a wonderful cocktail ingredient! Below are some of the most popular mixers/flavors to pair with Amarula.

  • Coffee
  • Chocolate
  • Cream
  • Milk
  • Vanilla
  • Coconut
  • Ginger
  • Citrus
  • Tropical fruit juices

This is by no means an exhaustive list, so for more ways to use Amarula and specific recipes, read on my friends!

15 Best Amarula Cocktails

Which of these Amarula cocktails are you psyched to make!? I’ve already whipped up most of these for “research” purposes, but I’m still dying to try the Pink Elephant!

And as always, if you have a favorite Amarula cocktail I need to know about, please let me know in the comment section below so I can check it out 🙂