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Africa Month: 7 amazing African drinks you need to try

Amasi. Picture: Supplied

Amasi. Picture: Supplied

Published May 16, 2022


The continent of Africa is amazing, and so are its drinks!

Below, we look at some of the drinks out of Africa that are out of this world. These drinks are popularly consumed throughout Africa.

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From beer to wine and many other types of drinks, these drinks are well-known.

Here are a few you should be sure to try.

Chibuku shake shake. Picture: Lucy Corne/The Brew Mistress

Chibuku shake shake

Chibuku is a misty beer based on traditional African recipes using maize and/or sorghum, depending on local tastes.

It’s a low-alcohol beer sold in cartons and ferments in the package, with alcohol strength increasing from 0.5% alcohol by volume (ABV) on day one up to 4% ABV on day five, before expiry.

Given its short shelf life it must be brewed and consumed locally. And what’s with the term “shake-shake”? It’s derived from the fact that the liquid tends to separate in the carton, so it needs to be shaken before you drink it.

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Banana beer

Banana beer is an alcoholic beverage heavily consumed in many parts of East Africa. Known by many names, it’s commonly referred to as “urwaga” in Kenya, “kasiksi” in the DRC, “lubisi” in Uganda, and “urwagwa” in Rwanda and Burundi.

East Africa has the highest banana consumption density in the world. This beer is made from the fermentation of mashed ripe bananas.

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The mash is usually mixed with maize, sorghum, or millet flour to provide the yeast that facilitates fermentation. Banana beer is often consumed as an everyday beverage and is a favourite drink during festivals, ceremonies and cultural events.

In terms of alcohol contentm, this beer can range from slightly alcoholic to very alcoholic.

Springbokkies. Picture: Supplied


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Springbokkies is a sweet drink named after the South African national rugby team and a popular shooter, named after the long-legged buck.

When prepared by pouring a layer of Amarula over a vibrant peppermint liqueur or crème de menthe, it gives the colour of a springbok and a field, and also the jersey of the Springbok team.

It is served in bars and clubs around the country, especially during the sports season.

Amasi. Picture: Supplied


Amasi, is one of my favourites. Translated as “sour milk”, it is one of South Africa’s food staples that you can enjoy with “umphokoqo” (crumbled pap). From my understanding and how I saw it being done at home, milk from the cow is put in a skin bag or bucket, where it ferments and acquires a sharp acid taste.

What I love about amasi is that it is very nutritious. It is also a pleasant beverage, especially during warmer weather.


Sobia is an Egyptian traditional drink prepared with rice, coconut milk and sugar, sometimes with cinnamon and cardamom. It’s vanilla-flavoured and served cold, with crushed ice.

This African drink is a thick and flavourful meal that falls in between a drink and a dessert.

Maghrebi mint tea

Maghrebi mint tea is the generously sweetened combination of green tea and fresh spearmint. The consumption of mint tea is common in the Maghreb region of North Africa, but it is strongly associated with Morocco.

The tea is traditionally prepared in berrad teapots, in which the tea is first steeped to produce the so-called “spirit” that is saved for later use. The leaves are washed and are then brewed with the addition of the tea spirit and water.

Pinotage. Picture: Supplied


It would be impossible to talk about African beverages of any kind without mentioning South African wine.

A well-known local variety is pinotage, with an aroma that reflects the fruits of the luscious South African land, including notes of rooibos tea and tobacco.

Other varieties of South African wine available worldwide include cabernet sauvignon, chardonnay, merlot, sauvignon blanc and shiraz.