Amarula Liqueur: Safari in a Glass

Elephants love Marula fruit, and you’ll love Amarula, the South African cream liqueur made from it.

Some may be aware of the quirky history of Tarzana, developed on the site of a former ranch owned by author Edgar Rice Burroughs of Tarzan fame. In 1998, in order to promote local business, a stretch of Ventura Boulevard in Tarzana was dubbed Tarzana Safari Walk.

But even if you are not adventurous enough to brave the wilds of Tarzana (watch out for that ferocious SUV trying to wedge into a compact parking space!), there is another way to add some safari to your life without leaving Ventura Boulevard.  

Back in 2005, my husband and I tracked wild chimpanzees in the magical Mahale Mountains on Lake Tanganyika in Tanzania, Africa. Besides meeting the chimps, we were introduced to Amarula, a South African cream liqueur made from the fruit of the marula tree, also known as the Elephant Tree because elephants love the fruit. In fact, YouTube is full of videos of drunken elephants and monkeys who consume too much fruit that has fermented after falling to the ground.

We lugged home as many bottles as we could, hoarding each sip for special occasions. But about a year later we spotted the distinctive elephant labels at Vendome Wine & Spirits in Studio City, and later just down the road at BevMo! near Laurel Canyon. It’s probably in one of those stores near you. With a 17% alcohol content, Amarula is sure to conjure dreams of Africa, even in the San Fernando Valley.

Vendome Wine and Spirits, 1155 Ventura Blvd; Bev Mo! 12123 Ventura Blvd. and many other locations

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