Have you noticed that when an item, word or idea catches your attention, it starts springing up all over the place? When I was buying my car I thought there were hardly any of that model in London; then suddenly, the roadways were packed with them. It was like that around here recently with elephants. Yes, elephants.
Last month friends from British Columbia visited for the weekend. On their arrival day, in the course of chatting and getting reacquainted in the living room a conversational tangent occurred about our lamp with a carved elephant base. 🐘
The next day we did some sightseeing, driving down to Port Stanley on the shores of Lake Erie so our guests could see one of the Great Lakes. On the way we made a quick detour in St Thomas to see the statue of Jumbo the Elephant. 🐘🐘 If you don’t know the tragic story of the fate of PT Barnum’s elephant, you can learn about it here. The Culinary Enthusiast got into the spirit of things, as you can see in the photo below where he is dwarfed by the appropriately named Jumbo.
That evening our friends returned from an outing bearing a bottle of liqueur with a picture of an elephant on the label. 🐘🐘🐘 And there you have it, a trio, a triad, a trifecta of elephants! By that point, elephants were being woven into the conversation at all opportunities, however nonsensical.
Amarula* is a South African liqueur, made from the fruit of the marula tree and cream. Elephants love to eat this fruit, hence the association with our pachydermous friends. I don’t know how elephants feel about cream, but if any are out and about in your neighbourhood you might want to lock this liqueur up, preferably in a well-fortified structure.
My friend made me a drink (okay, two) of Amarula on the rocks with some milk and a bit of cream. I’ve come up with a couple more ways to enjoy this liqueur. I don’t suppose any of my concoctions below are especially original as they’re quite straightforward, but I did not consult any recipes in developing them.
Special thanks to my daughter Jenn for loaning me several members of her elephant collection for the photo shoot. I didn’t tell her why I needed them, so I think she’ll be surprised when she sees this post!
Elephant’s Milk on the Rocks
To a low ball glass (or as in this case, a stemless wine glass) add several ice cubes, 2 ounces Amarula and 2 ounces milk. (I used 1%, but I think any fat content would do, except perhaps skim.)
How Now Brown Elephant
It’s a well-known fact (or at least it was when I was a child) that chocolate milk comes from brown cows, Jerseys to be precise. It stands to reason, then, that a chocolate Amarula drink would come from a brown elephant.
Add 2 teaspoons cocoa powder to 1 ounce of milk in a shallow dish and whisk until smooth. To a cocktail shaker add several ice cubes, 2 ounces Amarula, 1 ounce milk and the cocoa slurry. Shake vigorously and strain into the glass of your choice.
Elephant’s Milk In a Cloud
Pour 2 ounces Amarula into a martini glass. Whip 2 ounces of heavy cream to soft peaks and dollop on top. Garnish with chocolate shavings.
In the name of blogging empiricism, the Culinary Enthusiast and I taste-tested all three of these bevvies so I could report to you our preferences with tasting notes. A selfless exercise — you’re welcome. The taste test confirmed our perfect compatibility (eHarmony, take note). Our order of preference was as follows:
- Elephant’s Milk in a Cloud took third place. The straight liqueur was too strong for me, with a slightly bitter undertone, and when I stirred in the whipped cream I found it somewhat unexpectedly too rich (maybe because we’d just eaten dinner?).
- As our second unanimous choice, How Now Brown Elephant achieved an extra level of deliciousness with its chocolatey tones. The Culinary Enthusiast said this drink almost tied for first place for him.
- Simplicity reigns with Elephant’s Milk on the Rocks being our favourite. For me, the milk mellowed the liqueur and smoothed away the bitter undertones. The ice kept the drink very cold, and frankly watered it down a bit too, which I liked (I’m sounding like rather a cheap date here, aren’t I?).
*DISCLAIMER: I have no association with the company that makes Amarula and am not being compensated in any way for this post apart from the pleasure I derive from my readers’ comments. And as always, please exercise social responsibility when indulging in alcoholic beverages.