5 local alcoholic drink made and consumed in Nigeria which have gone a long way into molding and becoming a part of Nigeria’s tradition.

No doubt, Nigeria is one of the countries in the world with extreme abundance of natural resources.

However, Nigerians have invented several methods to process foods, ferment, and distill the necessary agricultural produce to consumable alcoholic drinks locally.

For instance, the fermentation and distillation of palm sap or palm wine to produce alcohol. Analogous to how the Chinese makes alcohol from young shoots of bamboo.

Specifically, we’ll only detail the 5 local alcoholic drinks made and consumed in Nigeria.

Palm sap Or Palm wine

Man tapping wine from a Palm tree Elaeis guineensis.-Nigeria
Man tapping wine from a Palm tree Elaeis guineensis.

Palm sap is very famous in Nigeria. Usually, in some parts of Nigeria precisely in Southern Nigeria, it is traditionally known as Tombo. In general, across the whole of Nigeria, it is palm wine.

Palm wine is locally tapped from species of palm trees- Raffia Hookeri and Elaeis guineensis.

It is a white liquid, very sweet, and rich in carbohydrate and yeasts. Majority of Nigerians consumes this wine a lot due to it’s rich health benefit.

Palm wine or Palm sap wine in a mug and cup
Palm wine or Palm sap wine in a mug and cup

Over night the taste often changes from very sweet to a sour alcoholic taste. This is as a result of the yeast content which converts the sucrose into alcohol.

However, Most Nigerians prefers drinking the over night sap wine due to it’s alcoholic content level.

In addition, palm wine is a very important wine in most Nigeria’s culture. In contrast, It is a traditional necessity in carrying out traditional marriage rites in the southern and Eastern Nigeria.

Nigerian local drinks
Woman dispensing Palm wine from a traditional keg into a traditional cup in a ceremony

Palm wine or sap wine have local names like;’Tombo,’ ‘Pammy,’ and ‘nkwu ocha,’ in the Eastern Nigeria.

Monkey tail

Monkey tail is also another traditional alcoholic drink in Nigeria. Conversely, It is also popular in the South-South Nigeria and the Eastern part of Nigeria.

Though, it is a mixture of palm wine, strong alcohol and Cannabis sativum. Also commonly known as Indian hemp.

Note: Buying or selling Indian hemp in Nigeria is a crime.

Shekpe or Ogogoro

Shekpe or Ogogoro is another popular traditional alcoholic drink.

Moreover, it is a very strong alcoholic drink with alcoholic content between 40% – 60% depending on dilution. It very similar to the Russian vodka.

Read: Russians drink more tea than vodka

Besides, it is the most popular and affordable alcoholic drink in Nigeria. It is commonly a product of the distillation of overnight palm wine and consumption is often by local dwellers.

However, It’s process is by the fermentation and distillation of the over night palm sap (palm wine).

In fact, Shekpe or Ogogoro is very intoxicating.

In addition, it is so popular that Nigerians have to give it code names like; . I would have married in Pidgin English

Usually, Ogogoro is a very important item in most Nigeria’s traditions. Where it is likely important in traditional worships, festivals, and also in traditional marriage rites.

Burukutu (local beer)

This is another local alcoholic drink making waves in Nigeria.

It’s specifically a reserved ethnic identity for the people of the middle-belt in Nigeria.

The traditional method of producing this alcoholic drink is by malting Soghurm and other proteinous grains, mashing and fermentation. Afterwards, a 48 hour pasteurization by controlled boiling.

Pito (Nigeria’s local made beer)

Pito a local Nigerian beer
Pito a local Nigerian brew

This is another alcohol drink popular in the northern Nigeria.

It is also a by-product from the process of fermenting sorghum. Likewise, the local beer Brukutu.

But pito is filtered off from the top of the fermentation Chamber. Whereas, Brukutu is filtered out from the bottom.

In other words, top and bottom fermentation.

Read: The local Nigerian drink similar to Russia’s traditional compote

Further, to make Pito, the Northerners in Nigeria also ferments Guinea corn together with sorghum.

Additionally, introduction of sugar or other natural sweeteners is to enhance the taste of the traditional alcoholic drink

Thank you for reading the 5 local alcoholic drinks made and consumed in Nigeria.

Our next blog: 5 local non alcoholic drinks made and consumed in Nigeria

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