This month we are showcasing Kenya and their African cocktail Dawa.  Dawa is a word in Swahili that refers to medicine or magic potion.  You be the judge which it is.

What can be commonly heard is “I need dawa for my headache”.  I think that translates to “Just what the doctor ordered on a hot summer’s afternoon”.

Ingredients (for 1 serving):

  • 1 T white or brown sugar
  • 2 oz. vodka
  • crushed ice
  • 1/2 lime, cut into quarters with skin on
  • 1 “dawa” honey stick (often a wooden stick; I used a swizzle stick), twisted in honey
  • 1 on-the-rocks glass, rimmed in sugar

Put lime quarters and white or brown sugar into on-the-rocks glass, rimmed in sugar.  Crush limes slightly with sugar (I used a muddler, as for a mojito or a mint julep).  Add vodka and ice, and stir.

Twist dawa stick in honey, place in glass and muddle limes with dawa.  The more you crush the limes into the mixture and stir, the sweeter the taste.

The Dawa can be topped off with club soda, if desired.

This cocktail is similar to the Cuban mojito, the Brazilian caipirinha, and the southern US’s mint julep.

Now where’s my seared ostrich and crocodile skewers?

Try a taste of the world, a culinary journey, with our DIY dinner adventure kits at