Dawa-Signature Kenyan Cocktail

It’s summer time people and thank God for that. The sun is out and it’s time to hit the pools the beaches and you know…any general place where you’d love to cool off. Here’s a list of drinks available all over Kenya where a cool breeze and even cooler water is to be had. And for our teetotalers there’s no worries because all the drinks are also available in ‘virgin’ options. Because we here at SFA are so nice we’ve tossed in instructions on how to make them yourself at your own pool parties even before you make it to the beach.


Dawa is an appropriate first cocktail as it’s an African cocktail – the word ‘dawa’ meaning ‘medicine’ in Swahili.  It’s a refreshing drink and excellent first cocktail for the cool afternoons by the pool/beach
  • Vodka
  • Crushed ice
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 fresh lime quartered with skin on
  • 1 dawa stick (muddler) coated thickly with honey
  1. Grab a whiskey tumbler and squeeze in the lime and sugar (leaving the squeezed lime quarters in the glass)
  2. Add the crushed ice and then pour in a double measure of vodka
  3. Then twist the dawa stick in some honey and add the stick to the drink
  4. Muddle the limes with the dawa stick and drink.  As you are drinking continue to muddle the ingredients together – the more you muddle the sweeter the drink will be.


Pimms is a gin based liquor and is great as a pre-meal cocktail by the pool.

  • Pimms
  • Lemonade (or Ginger Ale is a good alternative)
  • Sodawater
  • Slice of lemon
  • Sprig of mint
  • Slice of cucumber
  1. Pour a measure (or 2) of Pimms into a tall glass with ice
  2. Add half the lemonade and half the soda (a combination of the lemonade and soda works well so the drink is not too sweet)
  3. Garnish with the lemon, mint and cucumber

Note: If you fancy a bit of a ‘kick’ pour in a splash of gin!



A seabreeze is a refreshing perfect summer cocktail and can be enjoyed pre-lunch, post-lunch or to kick start the evening after a stressful day of lying on a lounger and walking a long the beach.(I know right? soo much work)

  • Vodka
  • Cranberry juice
  • Grapefruit juice
  1. Pour a couple of measure of vodka over ice served in a tall glass
  2. Pour in the cranberry juice (3/4)
  3. Pour in the grapefruite juice (1/4)
  4. Garnish with a wedge of lemon


A cocktail list is never complete without the good old Bloody Mary.  This cocktail is perfect anytime – pre-lunch, mid afternoon, pre-dinner or at breakfast to smooth the head after a big night and kick start your day!

  • Vodka
  • Tomato juice
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Tobasco sauce
  • Lemon juice
  • Salt & pepper
  • Celery
  1. Pour 2 measures of vodka into a large glass filled with ice
  2. Add the tomato juice, worcestershire, tobasco, lemon juice, s&p and mix well.  The amount of worcestershire and tobasco is very personal – best to start with just a few drops of each, do the taste test and add more if necessary.
  3. Garnish with a celery stick


If you are at the coast mangoes are plentiful and so sweet and delicious so it would be sacriledge not to indulge and enjoy a cocktail made from this luscious fruit.

  • 2 Mangoes
  • 2 measures White Rum
  • 1 measure Vodka
  • Lemon juice
  • Sugar syrup
  • Crushed ice
  1. Combine the mango, rum, vodka, splash of lemon juice and 1 tbsp of sugar syrup in a blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Add the crushed ice and blend again until just combined
  3. Pour into a cocktail glass and serve immediately

Note: For the sugar syrup, combine 1 1/2 cups caster sugar and 1 1/2 cups water in a saucepan over medium heat. Heat, stirring, for 5 minutes or until sugar dissolves. Increase heat to high. Bring to the boil. Pour into a jug. Refrigerate until cold. Makes 2 cups.


The Mojito, The ultimate chill drink


If alcohol is not your thing but enjoying the party atmosphere and colourful drinks are all the above cocktails can still be enjoyed without the alcohol – the favours are still delicious.  The Mojito is another one that is full of flavour and a very refreshing coastal drink.

  • Handful of mint leaves
  • 1 tbsp of sugar
  • Juice of one fresh lime
  • Soda water
  • Crushed ice
  1. Place meet leaves in the bottom of a glass
  2. Add the crushed ice, sugar and lime juice and muddle
  3. Pour in the soda and garnish with mint leaves

Note: to make an alcoholic mojito simply add a measure of rum at stage 2 and continue as per instructions.

Student Flights Africa is happy to book your trip to anywhere in the coast where you can enjoy these amazing cocktails. They are also available at the myriad of restaurants bistros and hotels spread all over Nairobi (Kenya’s capital of cuisine)


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