The World in Liquor

Amarula – South Africa

Popular South African spirit Amarula is made with cream, sugar, and fruit from the marula tree. A large woodland tree that’s native to Africa, the marula tree produces a yellow fruit that ripens for a couple months every year, and lends Amarula a delicate fruity taste. Unlike many other cream liqueurs, marula fruit provides both the flavor and the spirit base, rather than being made with brandy or whiskey. Drink it on the rocks, or mix it into a creamy cocktail.

Waragi – Uganda

Waragi is a popular Ugandan liquor—any home-distilled liquor that’s produced within the country can be called waragi. Popular base ingredients include cassava, bananas, or millet. Distillation of waragi is almost completely unregulated, and there are occasional news stories that involve people dying from overconsumption, so do be careful how much you consume. The name waragi is derived from the English phrase ‘war gin’—the ration of crude spirits that was given to nervous soldiers before they went into battle.

Soju – Korea

Soju is an extremely popular liquor that can be found across Asia but originates in Korea. It’s made from a base of either rice, or a grain like wheat or barley. It’s been produced in Korea since the 13th century, when Levantine traders brought their traditional distilling techniques to the Korean peninsula. Look for good quality soju to be served plain, and make sure you’re following the traditional drinking rituals if you’re in Korea.

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