Kenyan Dawa cocktails were first introduced to me whilst sailing along the Kenyan coastline at sunset. They handed this concoction to me. Surprised, I discovered it’s known as Kenya’s ‘magic potion’ to cure all health ailments. Could this be true? I think so, too.
It seems that this is a drink that is known throughout Kenya. If you go to any restaurant and order a ‘Dawa’ or something for the sniffles…They’ll know exactly what to make you. While the drink is used at parties, if you drink too much the cocktail could, of course, do more harm than good. However, if you decide to sip on one as a sundowner, the powerful ingredients in it could prevent all kinds of nasty flu-like or low immune system colds.’s
Kenyan Magic Potion
‘Dawa’ means medicine in Swahili. I am not promoting the consumption of alcohol, but the ingredients used to create this drink make it a really healthy one. Not only is it a healthy drink, but it has been used by many communities to cure various ailments. If you have a common cold people treat it with lemon, honey, and hot water. These are powerful ingredients when it comes to fighting sickness.
The Dawa recipe is based on a famous Brazilian drink that was introduced to Kenya. It is now one of the most widely consumed cocktails in Kenya and has spread throughout North and South Africa.
Kenyan Dawa is one of the most requested cocktails in most tourist destinations like the Carnivore, Tribe hotel, and Fairmont Mara. It is also very famous in Tanzania and Zanzibar. Most mixologists add vodka, white rum, or gin to make it more potent. But prepare yourself a virgin cocktail if you’re not into drinking alcohol.
Kenya’s Most Potent Medicine
Kenyan communities believe the drink is the ultimate cure for all ailments. Sure, but is this really true?
I wouldn’t say that it is because of the alcohol used in the drink, but more to do with the individual ingredients used to create it. These ingredients consist of:
- Water or Soda Water. I think this one speaks for itself. Water keeps everything in your system regulated and moving. The key to a long and healthy life is to keep hydrated daily.
- Raw Honey. It is a naturally antibacterial humectant that draws in moisture and regulates blood sugar levels in the body.
- Lime. This is a citrus fruit that aids in digestion due to its natural aroma. It is also loaded with antioxidants that help refresh your skin, while citric acid helps to burn fat and promote weight loss.
- Vodka, Gin, or White Rum. According to researchers, these three spirits, if you drink them responsibly, can contain some very beneficial health properties.
Some people are even enhancing the strength of the Kenyan Dawa health benefits by adding in ingredients like apple cider vinegar and ginger. They are both incredible for regulating digestion, improving metabolism, staving off hunger cravings, boosting immunity, and maintaining energy levels.
Kenyan Dawa Recipe
If you’re experiencing any kind of aching body, stuffed nose or sore throat then cure it with this magical recipe. While it helps with digestion after a heavy meal, lemon and ginger are also known to battle and win over the worst kind of cold.
- Water or Soda Water
- 2 fluid ounces vodka, gin, or white rum
- Crushed ice cubes
- Add 1 whole lime, a quarter with skin on
- 1 dawa stick, twisted in creamed honey
- Cut 1 slice of ginger (optional.)
- 1 tot of apple cider vinegar (optional.)
Each of these ingredients boasts amazing health benefits for your body. The lime, honey, and ginger will clear your sinuses, and soothe that scratchy throat.
Grab a large glass or jar and muddle the limes with the honey. Try to crush out as much lime juice as possible and then add crushed ice and the spirit of your choice. Dip a “dawa stick” in honey and twist it to coat. Use a honey-coated stick to stir the drink. You can also spoon a bit of honey into the drink, and then stir it from the bottom with the dawa stick.
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