Get to know the most loved & requested cocktails by Kenyans

• Cocktails offer an entire sensory experience and are more that just a treat for your taste buds. 

Mixologist Nataleen Njoki participates in a cocktail competition (1)

The Kenyan cocktail culture has grown to accommodate varying preferences for alcoholic drink serves and offer an alternative to neat serves for beers and spirits, resulting in elevated drink experiences for alcoholic drinks consumers.

If you walk into any bar, entertainment joint, even a “local” and order a cocktail, you are likely to get a variety of cocktails in the menu, ranging from the most basic dawa which occasionally includes vodka, to the most sophisticated, classic cocktails. The cocktail culture is growing rapidly with bartenders becoming even more creative in the trade. 

On this World Cocktail Day, we explore local cocktail preferences, appreciation of the art that goes into making amazing cocktails and the people behind them.

We don’t just love drinking cocktails, we also love taking photos of them. It’s hard to miss a photo of a hand holding a cocktail on your timeline on a good weekend.

According to mixologist Nataleen Njoki, the most requested cocktails are gin cocktails like negroni and martini which make up a list of classic cocktails. And you can get anything from a simple gin and tonic to more extravagant options like a Ramos Gin Fizz.

Over time some of these have been localized, like dawa which is a recreation of the Brazilian caipirinha cocktail. This and the vibrant cocktail culture in the country can be attributed to the wide variety of fresh fruits, herbs and spices available locally for experimentation and improvement of classic cocktails and new creations with unique flavour profiles.

Cocktails offer an entire sensory experience and are more that just a treat for your taste buds. Visual appeal is a vital part of the experience and particular attention is paid to the presentation with the right choice of glass and garnish, and if you are lucky, you get your cocktail with a show from mixologists who perform flairs to entertain guests.

It might be difficult to recreate some of these drinks at home because of the skill and expertise that goes into making them which has spurred the market and demand for ready to drink bottled cocktails.

However, if you have an interest in learning how to make cocktails you can make use of online resources such as the Diageo Bar Academy website and learn essential cocktail making skills.

A quick tip from Nataleen, “Don’t be afraid to experiment.”

Happy World Cocktail Day from us.

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