When we think about the African beverage industry we usually think coffee, tea and juice, but West Africa boast of good traditional beverages (many of which are alcoholic) and Ghana is no exception.
These beverages are prepared with so much attention to their medicinal and nutritional values. In this post, we look at 9 popular local beverages you should try out while in Ghana.
Lamugin (Chilled Ginger Drink)
Lamugin is a chilled ginger drink. It is prepared by blending a mixture of chopped ginger, lemon, soaked cloves and water. The blended mixture is then strained into a jar or if it is in large quantity into a big bowl. Add sugar to taste and more water if need be.
Pito is a traditional alcoholic beer that is made from fermented sorghum or millet. Locally brewed. It is popular in the northern part of Ghana. It could be served cold or hot but usually it is cool.
Palm Wine – Nsa-Fufuo
A favourite amongst many others. Palm wine is tapped from a fully-grown palm tree and the process is enhanced by heat application. The longer the days the sap is stored, the higher the alcoholic content but it is mostly sold fresh. It is completely natural.
Although not officially advertised, Akpeteshie is a very popular local alcoholic spirit brewed in Ghana using local means of distilling sugarcane juice or palm wine.Its production is very popular in the northern part of the country as the materials and labor are less costly for companies who produce and sell in larger quantities.
Asaana is a caramelized corn drink also called Ahai in Fante language prepared from fermented corn and caramelized sugar. A bit of water is sprinkled on the corn in a big flat bowl and left for 3 days to sprout.
It is then milled to a fine dry dough and just like the process of preparing porridge, the Asaana would be ready in about an hour. It is then allowed to cool overnight, but most sellers sell the Asaana the same day, so they rely on ice block to cool it down.
Bissap nicknamed as Sobolo which can also be referred to as Hibiscus tea is a popular Ghanaian drink which is delicious and unique in taste.
Sobolo is not just a refreshing drink, it is also medicinal as it helps improve a person’s health. Bissap is made from dried bissap flowers mixed with sugar and ginger juice as the main ingredients.
Burkina, the reigning millet smoothie in Ghana is a locally produced beverage with local ingredients and materials. This is prominent in the northern part of Ghana.
It is mostly taken chilled. I didn’t like it at first but now it is one of my go to breakfast. I take it with some pastries. It is made with ancient grain-millet, with its sweet essence, milk, salt and sugar. The milk is mostly fresh cow milk.
Some people refer to it as Brukina, including moi haha but the correct name is Burkina. Burkina originated from Burkina Faso and its original name is “Deger”. I didn’t see much of it when I travelled to Burkina Faso earlier this year so I guess it is more popular in Ghana than Burkina Faso. A little strange right?
Ice kenkey is a pro biotic local smoothie made with kenkey. The kenkey could be any of the two main types of Kenkey, Fante or Ga kenkey. Most people's favorite is the Fante kenkey.
The kenkey mixed with water in right proportion is mashed or blended into a smooth paste. Sugar and salt is added to taste and the smoothie is completed by adding milk. Some people take it with roasted groundnut and some sellers blend the roasted groundnut with the kenkey.
This Ghanaian drink which is popular in the Volta region of Ghana is made from fermented red millet.
The slightly fermented red millet is mixed with water and allow to boil for about 10minutes, it is allowed to cool and sugar is added to taste. it is sold chilled with the aid of ice block. How about that?
You know how the saying goes, “the way to a man’s heart is his stomach”. In this case the way to a traveler’s heart is these yummy Ghanaian street foods. Have a wonderful travel and make sure you taste as much as you can.