ZOBO: Nigeria’s Very Own Red Wine

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Zobo might as well be called Nigeria’s own red wine, given its popularity. You may have seen it sold in bottles, branded or not, at events, or maybe you’ve been served at a friend’s house.  It has grown quite popular in recent years and is the goto “juice” or “wine” for many people. The tonic wine color is unmistakable and the relish with which it is drank is tempting.

This rich drink is made from dry Roselle leaves, a species of Hibiscus plant, original and native to West Africa. It is a drink that you can easily make and enjoy at home and even serve at parties. It owes its spicy taste to zobo seed, ginger, and garlic.

In preparation for this drink, the choice of sweeteners is often between honey or sugar. Using actual fruits like pineapple, strawberry, lime, orange etc, may leave a sour taste because of fermentation. However, if you don’t want to bother with having to prepare it yourself, zobo is available in a ready-to-drink powder form. You can buy it then mix it with hot or cold water, as desired.

How To Prepare Zobo:

To make this drink, you’ll need the following ingredients: Zobo leaves, Zobo seed (optional), any fruit of your choice (Lime, pineapple, lemon, orange, strawberry etc.), Ginger (peeled), Garlic (Peeled), Sugar or artificial flavors.

Wash the leaves with clean water to remove dirt/dust, and afterward, put in a deep pot, add water, zobo seed, peeled ginger, and garlic. Cut the fruit(s) into slices and add. Allow to boil for 30 minutes – this is the time it will take for the zobo leaves and fruits to be soft and tender. Bring down and allow the zobo to cool completely then wring out juice from the zobo leaves and fruits leaving only the zobo drink.

Use a sieve to remove any remaining particles.  Next, add artificial flavors or sugar, mix together and refrigerate. Enjoy!

For those of you who have never tried out Zobo, you might want to give it a shot this holiday with family and friends. Get some and put in the refrigerator and serve chilled when you have people over.

 

Mamador

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