Image credit: Ghana Wedding Market

Local dishes are a great way to showcase our and preserve our traditions.  I do not know what you’ve heard about Ghanaian dishes, but trust me, they are some of the tastiest and healthiest dishes in the world; each sip and bite tells a story of tradition, community and the warm hospitality for which the country is known for.  Here are 10 authentic Ghanaian drinks that will leave you craving for more once you try them:

1. Kɔɔla daŋ (pepper drink)

Kɔɔla daŋ is an indigenous drink among the Danŋmes. It is called pepper drink because of its hotness. It is made of ginger, Senegal pepper, cloves, black pepper and caramelized sugar. It has a very light texture as tea would, but a strong taste because of the spice it’s made of. Usually served among the Danŋmes during traditional ceremonies and can also be found in the streets of Ashaiman. The combination of sweetness and hotness in a single drink makes it suitable to enjoy on all occasions.

2. Ŋmɛ daŋ

Ŋmɛ daŋ is known as the Ghanaian malt drink traditionally made by the Ga community and commonly served at traditional ceremonies. The drink is made of fermented corn and caramelized sugar. It is believed to offer various health benefits and is a popular choice for detoxification and overall well-being.

3. Asaana

Asaana is a local drink made from fermented corn dough and caramelized sugar. It is usually lighter and sweeter than Ŋmɛ daŋ, due to the sugar and local spice added after preparation. Asaana is a satisfying beverage that is popular in the streets, and perfect for enjoying on lazy afternoons. You always have an option of adding milk (as a sweetener).

4. Pito

Pito is a type of beer that is traditionally made in Ghana using fermented millet or sorghum. There are two types of pito: bitter and sweet. Pito is known for its distinct taste and cultural significance, providing an authentic bitter-sweet experience. It is believed to have some health benefits. Pito is brewed in a variety of styles, resulting in different tastes. In addition to being an alcoholic beverage, pito plays an important role in fulfilling social obligations such as marriages, naming and burial ceremonies, parties, and other social gatherings. In northern Ghana, pito serves as an energy drink for the youth who consume it throughout the day to provide energy for their farming activities.

5. Brukutu

Burukutu is another authentic Ghanaian alcoholic drink made from fermented millet or sorghum, much like Pito. Nutritionally, burukutu is reported to contain various vitamins and minerals, such as iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, calcium, and 5.9% proteins per litre. It also contains 26.7% starch. The difference between pito and burukutu is that Pito is cream-coloured liquor while burukutu is a brown-coloured suspension. According to Annals of Medical and Health Sciences Research, chronic consumption of burukutu and other alcoholic beverages like beer may have adverse effects on liver biomarkers, with burukutu having a more significant impact. This is likely due to its relatively high alcohol content and unstandardized fermentation process during production.  

6. Sobolo

Sobolo is a refreshing beverage made from hibiscus leaves that is carefully spiced and sweetened for an enticing taste. The combination of ginger, pineapple, cloves, and black pepper, results in a perfect blend of sweet, acidic, and mildly spicy flavors. This drink is known for its ability to promote healthy blood levels and circulation, providing relief to people who are experiencing menstrual discomfort. According to Healthline, hibiscus has a number of health benefits, including the potential to aid in weight loss, support for heart and liver health, and anti-cancer and antibacterial qualities due to its antioxidant content. Furthermore, the inclusion of ginger and other spices in Sobolo may help to enhance blood circulation and relieve period cramps.

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7. Lamugin

Lamugin also known as zonkom, kunoo or Hausa beer, is a spicy millet or rice drink that is mainly made with ginger, millet, sugar, cloves, grains of Selim black pepper, and dried chili. It is popular in the northern part of Ghana and some parts of southern Ghana. It has so many health benefits due to its natural ingredients. Lamugin is commonly served with cloves in Ghana, which leads to medicinal benefits such as the treatment of colds and coughs, cleansing of the heart due to the usage of millet and relief from stomach pain by the presence of ginger.

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8. Palm Wine

Palm wine is an authentic Ghanaian drink made from the sap of palm trees. Palm wine boasts a subtly sweet taste with hints of tropical fruit making it an ideal choice for a laid-back afternoon. You can have palm wine at any time of the day. Unlike wine, it turns sourer when it stays longer in its container while the level of alcohol also shoots up. Fresh palm wine is refreshing and relaxing to the taste buds but if you want to taste alcohol, then you might want your palm wine to sit in its container for 72 hours to get a satisfied result.

Image credit: The Voice News Magazine

9. Akpɛtɛshi

Akpɛtɛshi is a potent alcoholic beverage that is distilled from either palm wine or sugar cane. It is known as the Ghanaian spirit due to its strong taste and smell. It is often chosen when someone desires a powerful drink. Additionally, it is sometimes mixed with local herbs to produce traditional remedies for specific ailments.

Image credit: Green Views

10. Tigernut and Ginger Drink

Tigernut and ginger drinks can be prepared by blending soaked and drained tiger nuts, sliced ginger, pitted dates, and coconut milk until the mixture is smooth and creamy. This is a popular drink recipe that is commonly enjoyed by everyone, including married couples. Besides its health benefits, such as regulating the central nervous system, lowering cholesterol levels, and stimulating the liver, this drink is also believed to enhance libido.

Image credit: Pinkvilla

Have you tried any of the aforementioned drinks? We’d love to hear about your experiences! Likewise, which of these beverages are you eager to sample? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Source: Ghana/Starrfm.com.gh/Caris Adjei London