National Alcoholic Drinks of some African Countries

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Africans love their alcohol. From the locally made brews to the imported spirits and stout from Russia and Ireland.

While sparkling wine, refined spirits and triple filtered beers make their way into the markets however, the thirst for locally brewed alcoholic drinks still remain, with it being the drink of choice for most of the locals.

In this article we attempt to highlight the ‘National Alcoholic Drink’ of Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa and Tanzania.

Ghana: Akpeteshie


Ghana’s traditional liquor and national drink is called akpeteshie. Akpeteshie is made from distilling palm wine or sugar cane. A moonshine concoction, akpeteshie means ‘hide’ in the Ga language of Ghana which was derived from the British colonial masters banning the drink in their day, but not effectively stopping Ghanaians from distilling and drinking the drink. For decades the drink has been looked down on as a drink for the lower class, but it is recently gaining a rehabilitation and you can sometimes find it in growing upscale bars that offer it as a cocktail.

Kenya: Dawa

dawa cocktail

Dawa, the most beloved drink in Kenya is a mixture of honey, lime, white sugar, ice, and vodka. It’s popularity is such that virtualy every restaurant and bar in Kenya has it on its menu. Dawa means medicine in Swahili, but unlike many local drinks and brews that lay claim to medicinal and healing properties, Dawa makes no such bold assertion. The Canivore, one of Kenya’s most famous restaurants is credited for inventing the drink.

Nigeria: Palmwine


Palmwine is made from the sap of the palm tree, coconut palms and date palms. Popular worldwide and across various cultures, the Palm Wine is not indigenous to Nigeria but is the most popular and commonly accepted alcoholic beverage across the country. During the process of extracting the sap, knowing as tapping, the beverage is sweet and not alcoholic but is then put through a fermentation process where it becomes Palmwine.

South Africa: Amarula


Amarula is synonymous with South Africa. It is a cream liqueur made with sugar, cream and the fruit of the African Marula tree. The taste of Amarula is that of a sweet, fruity caramel.

Tanzania: Konyagi


Known by several aliases including ‘tears of the lion’, ‘fire water’ among others, Konyagi, Tanzania’s most popular drink is made from molasses, spices and flavoured rum. It is popularly touted as an aphrodisiac. The drink is a clear liquid which makes it marketed with the lines ‘it is now vodka, it is not gin.’



What is the national alcoholic beverage in the country where you are from? Share with us in the comment section.

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