Amarula: One Jazzy Beverage

AS ONE WOULD expect, the Montréal Jazz Festival is held largely outdoors.

The festival layout includes stages for the performers, food and beverage stalls, sports cars on display, an alfresco restaurant serving mainly wine and appetizers and a playground for the kids. Stalls devoted to related fun stuff such as festival souvenirs, dance lessons and face painting for kids adds to the festive spirit.

We arrived at the Jazz Fest late on the afternoon of July 2, acutely aware that we had only three days to do it all. To really do the festival you need at least a week (plus some serious stamina).

Our first reaction to the outdoor scene was disappointment, for two reasons: the ominous, cloudy weather—it either threatened to or did rain for three days in a row—and missing our first free concert because we didn’t know the location of the all stages yet.

Montreal Jazz Festival street performers

Montreal Jazz Festival street performers

To regroup, we sat on some steps with a bunch of other people watching a pair of street performers. I polished off a chicken pita roll-up and slowly started to feel grounded after our flight. We enjoyed the antics of the skunk and the Gumby-doll-acrobat-girl in the striped tights, but it was not exactly the peak experience we were hoping for.

However, my gloominess morphed to happy buzz as soon as I tried an Amarula drink from a nearby stall.

I was unacquainted with Amarula but it sounded fun. We were given a choice of flavors and, naturally, I chose coffee.

The result was a frappé style of drink prepared with blenderized ice.

Ohhh and it went down easy! One of those dangerously yummy drinks that could get you into trouble fast because it’s so more-ish. I was supposed to share it with Brian, but he was too busy crawling all over a Camaro SS 2010 to notice that he only got a few sips.

Amarula: La creme de lAfrique

Amarula: La creme de l'Afrique

Amarula is produced in Africa from the fruit of the mystical Marula or Elephant Tree. The fruit is harvested from the veld by locals. The pulp then goes through a fermentation process similar to winemaking.

(Ever watched the YouTube video of the African critters getting rolling drunk? Yep, they were feasting on the marula fruit.)

The marula wine is distilled in column stills, and then in copper-pot stills, to produce a spirit. It’s then matured for two years in oak barrels. The final step is the blending of the liqueur with the finest, fresh cream until a smooth consistency is formed.

From Amarula HQ:

“The creaming process is of the highest standard, resulting in a cream product that is delectably rich and soft, with an alcohol content of 17%.”

I went back to my favorite drink (red wine) during the remainder of our time in Montréal. But that drive-by Amarula buzz definitely put me in the right frame of mind to relax and get over the Rainy Jazz Blues.

Sacré bleu. I regret not going back to that Amarula stall while I still had the chance.


Yeah, baby! Amarula from a duty free shipper for only $14.99


All photos on this page Copyright © 2009 Brian Williams


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  1. It’s sounds like you had a nice time despite the weather. I’d like to go one day, just to say I’ve been if for no other reason.

    Nice work!

  2. catherine says:

    Yummmm Milli ~ that drink sounds deelish! Good idea you went back to drinking wine, otherwise we might have seen you on YouTube doing the African critter jitter! Brian’s photo of the street performers is nice! And the one of you drinking your Amarula drink looks like the makings of a Jazz Festival poster. I’ll be following Milliver’s travels…

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