Amarula: The produce of an African original harvest

Tuesday, 23 October, 2012
At the height of the African summer, parts of sub-Saharan Africa, like Phalaborwa in Limpopo, are filled with the exotic and very alluring fragrance of ripening marula fruits, golden yellow and sweet with a juicy tang and a hint of nuttiness.
The succulent fruit is a critical ingredient in Amarula and gives it its unique taste. When ripened by the sun, it becomes plump with flavour and falls to the ground, gathered by local rural communities and taken to a series of collection points in and around Phalaborwa and delivered to Amarula’s production centre in the area.

Harvesters are paid for every kilogram they deliver to make Amarula, and the proceeds of their picking have become a valued source of income for their families. Harvesting of the fruit takes place from January to March every year. It is only the female trees that bear the delicious yellow-skinned fruits, yielding anything from 500 kilograms to 2 tons of fruit each. That’s enough not only to feed the elephants but also to make Amarula.

After individually checking each fruit for ripeness and superior overall quality, the marulas are crushed with their skins. The fruit pulp is cooled and maintained at a low temperature before undergoing a double distillation process. It is then aged in wood for two years. The final blend is completed with fresh dairy cream.

Visitors to the Amarula Lapa nearby can experience the deliciously creamy and luxurious taste of Amarula and learn more about how it’s made. They can also discover the importance of marula trees to the people who live in the area.

Amarula was awarded gold at the 2012 International Wine & Spirit Competition (IWSC).

Go to or for fabulous recipes and more interesting facts about Amarula.

Amarula is available from leading liquor outlets for around R85 a bottle.
The produce of an African original harvest.
The produce of an African original harvest.

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