Many ethnic groups in Nigeria have special local drinks peculiar to them. These drinks range from fruit juices to milks and brews. Despite the influx of sugar filled and nutrition stripped foreign drinks, Nigerians are still known to appreciate their local drinks especially due to the high levels of nutrient in most of these drinks.
Most of these local drinks stand out as purely indigenous drinks. These drinks made this list because they are unique and very popular amongst most Nigerians.
Let’s explore the top 10 popular local drinks in Nigeria.
This is probably the most popular drink local drink in Nigeria. It is consumed by almost all ethnic and tribal groups in Nigeria. The palm wine also plays a vital role in traditional celebrations as it is used to cary out several rites.
Palm wine is gotten from different species of palm trees such as raphia palms (Raphia hookeri or R. vinifera), the oil palm (Elaeis guineese), palmyra and coconut palm. The palm wine popularly known in Nigeria as Tombo, Pammy etc.
The palm wine can be taken fresh with little or no alcoholic content or taken after fermentation with a drastic increase in alcoholic content. The palm wine is very nutritious. The results showed that while palm wine is an important source of nicotinic acid, vitamin C, protein, thiamin, and riboflavin.
This drink is peculiar to ethnic groups around the middle belt region of Nigeria. It is a local brew made from fermented sorghum and other protein enriched grains. The traditional method of producing burukutu involves involves malting, mashing and fermentation.
Fermentation of sorghum is carried out by using a 48 hour pasteurization achieved through boiling and maturation. Burukutu is a popular local alcoholic drink for the people of the middle belt region.
This is another locally fermented alcoholic drink from the northern part of Nigeria. Pito is produced from the grains of guinea corn including sorghum vulgare and sorghum bicolor. The drink is further sweetened to enhance taste.
Pito is also a by-product of Burukutu as it is often filtered off from the top. Pito has a high alcholic content like many local drinks.
This is a fermented traditional non-alcoholic drink also from the northern part of Nigeria. It is very popular among Nigerians. This beverage has a milky texture and is as we term it “Nigeria’s Irish Cream”
Kunu is a millet based food drink which is best consumed within few hours of its production. This drink has two varieties; Kunu Zaki whcih has its main ingredient as millet and Kunu Gyada which has its main ingredient as groundnut sometimes, sprinkled with rice. Other varieties such as Kunu made with tiger nuts have surface from fast rising chefs in Nigeria.
Kunu is rich in protein, vitamins, minerals and is high in fiber.
Adoyo is a yellowish local drink which looks a lot like fruit juice from a distance. Adoyo is produced from ripe pineapple juice and supplement derived from Ogi, a product made from maize or sorghum. Adoyo is highly nutritious as it contains high ascorbic acid. Adoyo is also said to be very therapeutic as a cure for malaria; although this assertion is largely unverified, many locals purchase this drink as a cure for malaria.
Omi Wara is another local drink from the northern part of Nigeria. It is obtained from cheese and water. Omi Wara is mostly enjoyed by northern locals.
Zobo is the local Nigerian non-alchoholic red wine. The popularity of this drink cuts across all Nigerian ethnic groups. Zobo is made from dried dry ingredients including red calyces and sepal of the Roselle plant (Hibiscus sabdariffa) which is commonly known as zobo leaves in Nigeria.
Other basic ingredients for the zobo drink include garlic, ginger, pineapple, water and sometimes honey, ginger, chilli flakes, orange, lemon and sugar syrup or concentrated juice powder. The drink is made by boiling all these ingredients in water.
Zobo drink is loaded with lots of health benefits and is said to help reduce high blood pressure, aid digestion and promote a healthy the urinary tract.
Ogogoro drink is the Nigerian version of vodka. It is derived from palm wine and is very popular among lower class Nigerians and rural dwellers. Ogogoro is also popularly known by names like Kai-kai’, ‘Sapele Water’, ‘I for don marry’, ‘Ishi Enwe’, ‘Ufofob’, ‘Push Me, I Push You’ and loads of other funny names. Like the palm wine, ogogoro is also a traditional drink used to carry out traditional rites in festivals and traditional worship.
The drink is sometimes derived from ripe plantain and other fruits through distillery methods. When not properly prepared, ogogoro can be very dangerous due to ethanol which is its active ingredient. This is also one of the few local Nigerian drinks that adds no major nutrient to the body.
The alcoholic content of this local drink ranges between 30-60%.
This drink is a combination of some other popular drinks like Fanta, Sprite, orange juice. Other ingredients like lime or lemon, pineapple, cucumber, Grenadine syrup, Angostura aromatic bitter or Alomo bitters are also added to this local mix. Some people prefer the non-alcoholic type, while others prefer to mix alcohol. It is best when served chilled.
The fruit content of this drink makes it rich in vitamins and minerals.
Groundnut Milk Drink
Since groundnuts are rich in protein, some creative cooks devised a means of making drink out of it. This groundnut milk drink is made from raw groundnuts and cool water. It is made by peeling raw groundnuts, blending with water and straining.
This drink can also be made by boiling the blended skinless raw groundnuts in little water. Boiling is preferred for the purpose of eliminating aflatoxins, which are present in raw foods such as corn, cassava, raw groundnut and many others.However, it is ok to drink it raw since the amount of aflatoxins in food is said to negligible.
Groundnut milk is very rich in proteins.
These local drinks are found to be popular amongst many Nigerians another drink that should have found its way to this list is the Nigerian soy-milk commonly known as soya-milk. Like most of the local milk drinks, it is very high in protein. However, many people do not like the after taste of soy milk.
Did you know about these local Nigerian drinks? Let us know in the comments section!