Drinks Across West Africa: A Zikoko Guide


July 23, 2018

West African countries have quite a lot in common when it comes to food and drink. Just see how many countries are claiming ownership of Jollof rice.

But there is also a lot of diversity we can’t help but appreciate. You probably already know what to eat when you travel across West Africa, but have you ever wondered what to drink? Check this out!

La Beninoise – Benin Republic

This is the official national drink, and definitely the cheapest beer to buy in Benin.

Zoom Koom – Burkina Faso

The traditional drink of Burkina Faso, zoom koom is a flour-based drink. It sounds a little weird, but it’s so delicious!

Grogue – Cape Verde

Cape Verde’s national drink is grogue – a rum distilled from sugar cane that has an alcohol percentage of over 40%! Honestly, the country sounds lit.

Bangui – Ivory Coast

Bangui is the national drink of Ivory Coast, and it is the local palm wine. It looks milky and is both bitter/sour and sweet.

Attaya – Gambia, Senegal

Attaya is a green tea and a way of Gambian and Senegalese life. It is served extremely hot, strong and sweet.

Asaana – Ghana

Asaana is a delicious Ghanaian drink made from fermented corn and caramelized sugar. It is absolutely refreshing and it tastes great.

Ginger Juice – Guinea

This is a Guinean drink that is everything you need it to be. It is the most delicious balance between spicy and sweet. Ask for it when next you’re in the region.

Lemongrass Tea – Liberia, Sierra Leone

This drink tastes as good as it smells… maybe better lol. This drink is a favourite in Liberia and Sierra Leone.

Sweet Tea – Mali, Mauritania

Mali and Mauritania have a sweet green tea culture. It is served three times from the same pot; the first is bitter as death, the second is slightly sweetened like life, and the third being as sweet as love, as is popularly said.

Biere Niger – Niger

Although alcohol is restricted in Niger, its national drink is Biere Niger, and it is actually quite good.

Ogogoro – Nigeria

This is a very potent alcoholic drink that is distilled from fermented Raphia palm tree juice. Advance with caution.

Saint Helena – Tungi Spirit

Tungi is an alcoholic drink distilled from the cactus pear fruit. It is very strong, so make sure you’re careful with this.

Sao Tome and Principe – Palm Wine

This is a delicious sour/sweet alcoholic drink made from the sap of certain palm trees. You can pretty much find this across West Africa.

Sodabi – Togo

And finally, we have Sodabi. This is a liquor made by distilling palm wine. It’s an award-winning drink, so you can guarantee that it’s good!
What drink are you most interested in trying? And if you’re a connoisseur, what drink would you recommend? Tweet us @zikokomag!

Find Zikoko
wherever you are

Zikoko amplifies African youth culture by curating and creating smart and joyful content for young Africans and the world.