Vol. 6, No. 3 | There's A Dawa For That
There’s no telling what happens today.
I sent out the first newsletter two weeks ago and then a few hours later the US Capitol incident happened and I went…Oh! That newsletter isn’t aging well at all.
So as not to have the same folly, I’m dropping in a cocktail recipe today. This is not condoning drinking when you’re down to make yourself feel better. (Don’t do that at all.) And I imagine that everything will stay perfectly fine today. However, any day can be a good day to gather some friends over a zoom call, find something really good to laugh about, and make a few dawas.
The dawa (Swahili for medicine) is the most popular cocktail in Kenya. It was created in Nairobi and it’s a riff off the Brazilian caipirinha. As one bartender explained to me, “Kenyans drink the dawa when they’re sick or when they’re feeling good…they drink it all the time.”
I didn’t try the dawa until I was on the coast in the beach town of Malindi. It was the last leg of the trip and the hotel we stayed at was not great. Aesthetically it was stunning, operationally a disaster.
After the first night, I went to air my grievances to management. I made it to the restaurant and was informed that no one would be in for another few hours. Raging mad, I sat, ordered some mango juice and took in the scenery. At that moment, I decided that no matter what I was going to enjoy the time I had there. (So what the plumbing wasn’t considered when renovating the space.) A few deep breaths later and I was in a great place by the time the mango juice arrived. (And if I hadn’t been, I would have after I had it. That mango juice was life-changing.)
After leaving the restaurant, we gathered on the hotel beach. The happy hour special of the day was the dawa, so when in Rome…(seriously, Malindi is pretty much an Italian village. There’s also something about it being run by the mafia…and the previous owner of this same hotel ending up missing because of an unpaid debt. Probably a good thing I sat my rump down and had a dawa). The cocktail was delightful and it’s how I’ll now remember Malindi (along with the mango juice).
2 oz vodka (or sub rum)
1 lime quartered
1 tablespoon cane sugar
Ice (crushed if possible)
raw honey to taste
Gently muddle lime and sugar in a cocktail glass.
Pour in the vodka and add ice.
Stir in about a tablespoon of honey. (Add more if it’s not sweet enough for your taste.)
P.S. - The winner of the coffee giveaway is Jerrold Mobley. I’ll be in touch shortly.