Nigerian cultures have always been very rich and quite innovative. Before the coming of the Europeans and their products, we found ways to entertain and enjoy ourselves. We have our food as well as drinks. Drinks that could be made without the need for breweries or sophisticated preservation. The ingredients were also very easy to get, and they could be made in very little time.
Today, many of us still enjoy these drinks, and some people prefer it to those foreign ones because they claim they can be very sugary, unlike the local ones that always taste great and have health benefits. So let’s jump into looking at some of these popular local drinks
Many of us are familiar with this creamy white drink with a sweet and spicy taste, thanks to the ginger added. Kunu popularly called “Nigeria’s Irish Cream” is a drink from Northern Nigeria. It is non-alcoholic, and the chief ingredient is millet, which is left to ferment, although there are some varieties where tiger nut, groundnuts, and rice are added. Kunu is enjoyed by both the young and the old, irrespective of tribe. Best enjoyed cold, kunu can be taken alone or with food or snacks. Many people enjoy kunu because of its rich taste, but it is also rich in nutrients as it helps lower the risks of diabetes and reduces cholesterol levels while the fibre in it good for the digestive system.
Kunu that is made with millet is known as kunu zaki, while kunu that is made with groundnut is called kunu gyada. You can read more about the health benefits of kunu.
Zobo is a healthy, tasty non-alcoholic drink that is made from the flowers of the roselle plant. It is this flower that gives the drink its unique reddish-wine colour. Many things go into the production of the drink, including ginger and fruits, and it always comes out tasting great. Due to the colour and rich taste, some people see it as a substitute for foreign drinks. Packed with enough nutrients that help reduce the blood pressure, you cannot go wrong with a cold glass of zobo drink. You can read more about the health benefits of zobo drink.
3. Palm Wine
The palm wine drink is another popular local drink enjoyed all over the country. Palm wine also has an important status, and some occasions are not complete if there is no flow of palm wine, regardless of how many varieties of foreign drinks are present. It also plays an important role in some traditional activities, like marriage. Such is the status that palm wine enjoys today. Unlike other drinks in the list so far, palm wine is not prepared. Instead, it is tapped from palm trees. It has a clear white color and can be very sweet if enjoyed fresh. In its fresh state, palm wine is non-alcoholic and can be enjoyed by everybody, but after it is left for some time, the wine ferments and becomes alcoholic, to be enjoyed by those who are mature enough to take alcohol. You can read more health benefits of palm wine.
Even the name tells you much about its Nigerian nature. Another popular name for the alcoholic drink is “kai kai.” Ogogoro is gotten from fermented palm wine, which has been left to stay in tightly sealed containers for days. After that, it is then heated in drums. The local distilling process involved in making ogogoro is known only to the experts involved in it, who are found all over the country. Ogogoro has a harsh taste and also has a status like that of palm wine, being used in traditional religious settings, often for libation. But there are those who always like to start their day with a shot of this drink as they claim it aids their thinking.
This is another drink for the elders due to its alcohol content. Burukutu is made from sorghum, but other grains can be used or mixed with it. The preparation of burukutu, which involves fermentation of the grains and boiling, is quite extensive and takes a bit of time, but it gives you an idea of what local distillation is like. You can learn about the health benefits of burukutu.
You must have seen this without realizing what it is. Adoyo is made from fresh pineapple juice and corn pap or ogi. Making pap is another task on its own, but it involves letting corn sit in water for days before it is ground and left to ferment for a few days. Naturally, pap has a mild-sour taste, but the addition of pineapple juice helps to improve it a bit. It is enjoyed by many people, especially those who are fans of pap and those who enjoy it for its nutrients.
7. Fura da Nono
This is another drink from Northern Nigeria. This healthy Nigerian drink is so delicious and nutritious. The ingredients include millet, the fura, and fermented cow milk, nono, which is very easy to get around Northern Nigeria. The milk has a consistency almost like yoghurt but also contains lumps, due to the fermentation process. The millet is ground and set to low heat before the milk is added to it. Other things, like ginger and pepper, may be added to it to enhance the taste.
8. Tiger nut milk
Tiger nut milk is also known as Kunnu Aya. It is another healthy Nigerian drink that is widely consumed and readily available. Tiger nut milk is naturally delicious, creamy and gives you a sweet, rich and nutty flavour. There are two reasons why tiger nut makes our list of the top healthy Nigerian Drinks.
Firstly, tiger nuts are a healthy alternative to animal dairy products, because it contains more nutrients that animal milk. Also, if your gluten sensitive or lactose intolerant, you can take tiger nut milk.
Secondly, other milks made from almonds or other nuts which are typically very rich in inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids, but tigernut milk is high in monounsaturated fat, as well as minerals and vitamins C and E. You can read more about the health benefits of tiger nuts.
9. Soya Milk
Soya Milk is a refreshing nutritious drink made from plant protein. It made from soya beans, and is also very delicious. Soy milk is rich in sodium, potassium, calcium and iron.
10. Nigerian Chapman
Nigerian local chapman is an easy-to-prepare cocktail drink with a nice blend of fruity flavours. This drink can either be prepared as an alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverage in Nigeria. Local chapman is prepared with Grenadine syrup, Angostura aromatic bitters, lemon, pineapple, orange or even sprite or Fanta drink.