Amarula Hot Chocolate

Having just returned from South Africa the week of Christmas, half my mind is still on safari and the other half is in holiday mode.  It’s a strange place to be.  To balance this out, I’ve got a new recipe I’m sipping while going through photos and catching up on posts.  Well, it’s not really a recipe, but more of a new way of making something I’m sure you’ve made before … hot chocolate.

While chasing lions and searching for elephants at Phinda’s Private Game Reserve, we’d take little picnic breaks where our ranger, Matt, would unpack biltong, dried fruits and what seemed like a fully stocked bar (we love him for that). On our last morning at Phinda, he made us Amarula Hot Chocolate.

Amarula is a South African liquor made from the marula; a small, sweet, yellow citrus-y tasting fruit with seed like a rock.  Legend has it that elephants would eat the fallen fruit and get drunk off of the fermented sugars.  Well, that myth has been dispelled as it would take a whole lot of alcohol to get these three ton pachyderms tipsy.  But for us humans, a shot of the Amarula liquor is just the thing needed to take the edge off of having a lion stare you directly in the face.

What’s it taste like?  Well, it’s creamy like Bailey’s, but a little lighter and with a slight citrus flavor.  It taste great on the rocks, or as an added flavor in hot chocolate or coffee.  (Personally, when it comes to creamy liquors, I think the South Africans have the Irish beat.  Just sayin.) You can find it at most liquor stores in the States.  Just look for the bottle with an elephant on it.

To make Amarula Hot Chocolate …

Per 1 Cup Serving

1 packet of hot chocolate mix
1 tsp granular sugar
1/2 cup hot water
1/4 cup Amarula Liquor

Stir together in your favorite mug … and enjoy!

About Rachelle Lucas

Rachelle is a writer, spokesperson, and travel videographer. She believes the best way to learn about a destination is through its flavors and collects recipes from her trips to recreate them here on The Travel Bite. She’s currently the Food and Dining Insider for Visit Florida and was recently named by KRED as one of the Top 50 Travel Bloggers in the world.

As much as Rachelle enjoys traveling and tasting new foods, she also loves to run. She’s completed the New York City Marathon and the Marine Corps Marathon as well at 5 half marathons.


  1. Adventureswithben says:

    You can also blend it with Vanilla Ice Cream for a milk-shake like drink or cook with it for cakes and other desserts.

  2. Man! Why didn’t I think of this? I lived in Texas for a little while right after I got back from S. Africa (10 years ago) and I got the local liquor store to start stocking Amarula. Yum!

  3. Our guide at Madikwe made that every morning during our morning game drives. It was perfect on those chilly winter safaris! I still make it at home. Yummy!

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