A Kenyan Cocktail

January 5, 2012

To celebrate the New Year I would like to offer this unique cocktail recipe. I discovered it in Kenya this past October. It was love at first sip.

It’s called a Dawa and means medicine in Swahili. Its roots are Brazilian but if a country has a national drink this would be it. It’s quite simple and is made up of vodka, limes, honey and ice. The stick is like a muddler and although cool to twirl in the glass it actually has a purpose. Dipped into honey before adding it to the glass, you also use it to mix the ingredients together and to bring out the flavor while you are drinking it.  I brought some sticks home with me but if you don’t have them you can use the end of a wooden spoon or make your own by cutting a dowel into 5 inch sections. In a pinch a muddler would work but it’s a little large.

At different spots in Kenya I had it prepared various ways. This version is the best. Additions like soda water made it more like a honey vodka tonic; sugar made it too sweet; large pieces of ice, rather than crushed, didn’t allow for proper mixing; and straight lime juice without lime pieces made it less attractive and didn’t allow the lime flavor to develop. Cheers!


Serves 1

2 ounces vodka

3/4- 1 cup crushed ice

1/2 lime cut lengthwise into quarters and sliced 1/4 inch thick

1 tablespoon honey

Pour the vodka in the rocks glass. Fill it about 1/2 full of crushed ice. Add the lime. Dip the stick in the honey jar or add 1 tablespoon with a spoon to the glass. Stir to blend. While sipping crush the lime with the stick and stir to make sure the honey is evenly incorporated.

One comment

  1. I like the way this recipe reads, and am certainly interested in what other cultures deem medicinal. I will let you know when Allen and I try it.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: