Ghana, a country with a rich cultural heritage and diverse ethnic groups, is known for its vibrant local drinks.
From refreshing beverages to healthy concoctions, the local drinks of Ghana offer a unique taste of the country’s traditions and flavors.
In this article, we will explore the top 10 local drinks in Ghana that you must try. So, let’s dive in and discover the delightful world of Ghanaian beverages.
1. Brukina – A Refreshing Fermented Millet Drink
One of the most popular local drinks in Ghana is Brukina, a fermented beverage made from millet and cow milk. Also known as “deger” or “nunu” in various regions of West Africa, Brukina has a distinct flavor that is enhanced with a touch of sugar and salt. Some people even add peanuts to give it a unique twist.
Brukina is readily available in small plastic bottles at bus stops and neighborhood grocery stores. However, for the freshest taste, it is recommended to purchase it from local markets like the Osu market in Accra. This refreshing drink is not only delicious but also packed with essential nutrients such as fiber, vitamin B, antioxidants, magnesium, calcium, manganese, tryptophan, and phosphorus.
2. Asaana & Nm3daa – Ghana’s Caramelized Corn Beverage
Asaana is often referred to as the “African Coke” and is a well-known non-alcoholic caramelized corn beverage in Ghana. Made from fermented corn and caramelized sugar, Asaana has a flavor reminiscent of malt. Interestingly, there are two distinct forms of Asaana – the traditional Asaana and the Nm3daa.
The traditional Asaana is primarily sold in markets by women who carry large calabashes or sit behind knee-length tables with the same calabash on top. The Nm3daa, on the other hand, is historically made by the Ga ethnic group and is typically served during special occasions such as weddings, naming rituals, and funerals.
3. Sobolo – A Refreshing Hibiscus Drink
Sobolo, also known as Bissap in Senegal, Zobo in Nigeria, and Sorrel in the Caribbean, is a popular and widely consumed drink in Ghana. This vibrant red drink is made from hibiscus leaves and flavored with pineapple juice and ginger, giving it a strong and distinctive taste. Sobolo is often served chilled and pairs well with spicy meals.
Apart from its refreshing taste, Sobolo offers numerous health benefits. It helps reduce blood pressure, contributes to weight loss, decreases cholesterol levels, and contains a high amount of vitamin C, which helps prevent certain illnesses. You can easily make Sobolo at home by boiling hibiscus leaves and adding ginger and pineapple to enhance the flavor.
4. Pito – Ghana’s Traditional Fermented Beverage
Pito is a traditional African fermented beverage that is commonly associated with Ghana and Nigeria. It is made from fermented millet, sorghum, or a combination of both. The grains are soaked, dried, ground, and mixed with water before being boiled and allowed to ferment. The resulting beverage ranges in color from amber to dark brown and has a slightly sweet and sour taste.
Pito is traditionally consumed from calabashes, but it is now increasingly being sold in plastic cups and gallons. It is often enjoyed at social events such as weddings, naming ceremonies, and funerals. The brewing of Pito is not only a cultural practice but also a significant source of income for rural households.
5. Lamugin – A Chilled Ginger Drink
Lamugin is a delightful ginger drink that offers a refreshing and cooling effect, perfect for hot days in Ghana. While it may resemble a ginger drink, Lamugin is distinct as it is mixed with additional ingredients like water, lemon, and soaking cloves. This combination gives Lamugin a unique flavor profile that sets it apart from other ginger-based drinks.
6. Akpeteshie – Ghana’s Strong National Spirit
Akpeteshie is a highly potent alcoholic beverage and is often referred to as Ghana’s national spirit. It is made by distilling either sugar cane or palm wine, resulting in a strong and fiery drink. With a longer history that we’ll delve into another time, Akpeteshie has gained popularity among locals and visitors alike.
7. Palm Wine – Ghana’s Traditional Alcoholic Beverage
Palm wine is a popular alcoholic beverage in Ghana that is made from the sap of various palm trees. Known for its unique taste and cultural significance, palm wine is collected by young boys known as “tappers.” The sap is then allowed to ferment naturally, resulting in a mildly alcoholic drink.
Palm wine is often enjoyed in social gatherings and celebrations. It has the same alcohol content as a typical beer but boasts a distinct flavor profile. The process of collecting palm wine and its consumption is deeply rooted in Ghanaian traditions and adds to the cultural richness of the country.
8. Ginger Drink – A Fiery and Soothing Beverage
Ginger drink is a popular choice for those seeking a fiery and soothing beverage in Ghana. Made purely from ginger, this drink can be customized by adding various flavorings to give it a unique twist. Ginger drink is known for its health benefits, particularly in soothing sore throats and relieving cold symptoms.
9. Ice Kenkey – A Probiotic Local Smoothie
Ice Kenkey is a probiotic local smoothie prepared with the popular Ghanaian dish called kenkey. Kenkey, which can be either Fante or Ga, is blended with water, sugar, powdered milk, and ice to create this delightful drink. It is sometimes garnished with peanuts for added flavor and texture.
10. Atadwe (Tiger nut) Milk Drink – A Light and Nutritious Dessert
Atadwe, also known as Tiger nut, is a nutritious ingredient that is used to create a light dessert in Ghana.
Blended rice or rice flour is combined with tiger nut milk collected from the nuts to make a delicious and healthy pudding.
This dessert is often served alongside hot entrees and complements them perfectly.
In conclusion, Ghana offers a wide array of local drinks that showcase the country’s cultural diversity and unique flavors.
From refreshing beverages like Brukina and Sobolo to traditional brews like Pito and Palm Wine, each drink carries its own significance and taste. Whether you’re a visitor or a local, exploring these local drinks in Ghana is a must to truly experience the country’s rich culinary traditions.
So, make sure to try these top 10 local drinks during your visit to Ghana and savor the flavors of this beautiful country.