On a recent trip to Kenya, I discovered a refreshing East African cocktail called ‘Dawa.’ Dawa is the Swahili word for ‘medicine’ and definitely cures a whole host of ills- mainly thirst, jet lag and the desire for a delicious cocktail.
At a restaurant appropriately named Carnivore (they serve 20+ different BBQ’d meats), in Kenya’s capital of Nairobi, a man attends each table with a ‘Dawa’ tray similar to that of a 1940’s cigarette girl. On his tray sit the ‘Dawa’ ingredients: a bottle of vodka, fresh limes, honey and ice. He makes one at a time, combining everything on his tray before passing guests their low ball glass with a ‘Dawa Stick.’ This stick is a hand carved pestle style piece meant for stirring your drink and crushing the fresh lime as you go.
Although I don’t know where to buy a ‘Dawa Stick’ in Toronto, I did bring home the recipe to share with you. I highly recommend enjoying a ‘Dawa’ on the deck or patio this summer as a pre-meal drink, a sipper post BBQ or just because. Don’t worry about the lime crushing stick- I think a spoon, straw or even your finger will do the trick.
1 or 2 shots of Vodka
1 Tablespoon of honey
1 Tablespoon of fresh lime
Chunks of lime
Small chunks of broken ice
Put all of the ingredients in a glass. Stir well with the ‘Dawa Stick’ (or your finger) and crush the fresh lime chunks with the stick as you enjoy the drink!