Elephant’s Milk ❊ Packing a Pachydermous Punch

Sometimes when friends introduce you to a new liqueur, suddenly three new cocktail recipes appear on your blog. These three variations on the Elephant’s Milk cocktail all feature Amarula liqueur.

Elephants, Everywhere

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.

In April 2013, 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

That evening my 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 Liqueur

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 didn’t 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, a friend 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. 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.
  • 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.

Looking for More Cocktails?

Here are three more cocktails to enjoy, responsibily, of course: Pomegranate Cosmopolitan, the Lake Huron Breeze and the Rhubarb and Lime Gin Fizz.

First Published: 2013 04 03
Updated: 2020 12 28


  1. My mother’s house is full of elephants (statues not real ones). It does my head in; I have no idea why she is so obsessed with them – it’s not like she has any history with elephants. As for that liquer – it looks a lot like Kahlua – no doubt it doesn’t taste anything like it, but it looks (and even sounds) similar all the same…

    • The liqueur does look like Kahlua but it does have a slight sweet, fruity taste. I realize now I didn’t describe it! Your mother and my daughter share a joint passion for elephants. Lucky for me as they served me well in these photos. Years ago someone gave me an owl. Then someone else. It got bandied about that I collected owls and they came flocking in each Christmas and birthday, until I finally put a stop to it, having no particular affinity for or interest in them. Do you suppose that happened to your Mom?

    • Thank you, Lynn! The Culinary Enthusiast was a big help. He ably manned the cocktail shaker which is still beyond my capabilities with my wrist freshly out of the cast. We had a lot of fun making the drinks, then selecting the props.

  2. There will be elephants outside my house tomorrow…
    Maybe not so far from the truth – 100 years ago one escaped from a circus and ran up my street before being recaptured 😉

    • Hopefully the fragrance of this drink won’t cause a stampede at the local zoo. Actually, given the history of escapee elephants in your environs you might be interested in the story of Jumbo!

  3. Incidentally, I don’t suppose you’ve ever sampled Dragon Milk?
    Comes from a cow with short legs…sorry. giggle.

  4. Enjoyed reading this 🙂 I love any and all kinds of milky drinks (my mother was a strong believer in fueling up on calcium for strong bones) , Khalua is a favorite drink of mine. So naturally sering milky drinks and elephants piqued my interest, and I was pleasantly surprised on reading, cheers!

    • Thank you for stopping by and for your comment! I had a lot of fun with this post (and not just the taste test part 😄). I suppose a side benefit of these drinks is strong bones!

  5. What a fun post, Mar, and beautifully photographed! I’m not so sure I’ll ever see a bottle of Amarula on my shelf but I’m going to pin these recipes just in case. I hate to admit it but I’ve not seen elephants in quite some time — unless you meant those of the pink persuasion. 😉

    • Well, John, if you had a few of these cocktails you might possibly get reacquainted with pink elephants! Thank you for your comments; I had a lot of fun with this one and I’m glad that came through.

  6. I enjoyed the little elephant drawings in your script too! Cute stuff. As for the drink, I could chug it I love it so much. Amarula with persimmon is a beautiful drink as well. Give it a try if you like persimmons. Just a dash of persimmon juice served on the rocks.
    I love your glass from the second shot with the choco milk and Amarula. Beautiful!

    • it’s so gratifying to receive feedback like this – thank you! And now a confession: I have never tried persimmon, but clearly that’s something i need to rectify (maybe with some Amaula – thanks for the suggestion!).

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