A Teetotaler’s South African Go-To-Drinks

isiZulu: Ukuphuza
isiNgisi: to drink

Unlike many Americans in my age bracket, I do not consume alcohol regularly. No I am not religious, but body does not process caffeinated drinks well (it induces anxiety) so I have delayed my alcohol debut. Despite trying wine four times in South Africa, I just cannot get over the sour taste…it reminds me of communion (curse you Catholic background). Once I accidently spit wine out on the table (it was classic conditioning but the Social Worker will not let me forget it…it was her wine).



It looks like I will be teetotaling for a while in South Africa. Honestly, it is not that big of a deal here. In the United States I would try to hide my pretentious water bottle at bards but South Africa graciously has nonalcoholic options next to beers. Most South African restaurants have awesome milkshakes. I save up to get a delightful Roobios milkshake at my shopping town’s local cafe. When I am not in the mood for liquefied ice cream (like now during winter) there are Grapistiser and Appletisers. Both are simply sparkling fruit juices but the cans or glass bottles are right next to the Windehoek and Savannah Dry Cider in most bars. Maybe bars in the US could take a hint and offer the sparkling Welch’s next to the Coors (Colorado educated right here). It would make my bar visits less awkward!

Aquelles from Left to right: Lemon/Lime, Naartje. Marula, and Litchi

Aquelles from Left to right: Lemon/Lime, Naartje. Marula, and Litchi

The other main drink I consume in moderation are Aquelles. Aquelle is a bottled water company out of Msinga which offers a variety of flavored sparkling waters with local fruits such as litchi and naartjes. Litchi are atomic looking fruit that I cannot buy into as a fruit but in Aquelles they have a nice refreshing taste. Same with honey dew melon, I cannot enjoy it if it is mushy but the flavour is. Naarjtes are Afrikaaner tangerines. There is lemon lime which tastes just like Sprite in a pinch for upset stomachs. Finally there is my sweet favorite, the golden marula.

Marula Tree in the Bush

Marula Tree in the Bush, you can see the green fruit at the bottom. They turn yellow when ripe.

Marula trees are nostalgic for me (as I practiced Volleyball with the men’s volleyball team as an exchange student under them). The trees have a fruit that provides South Africa’s signature liquor, amarula cream. I have not had the actual drink but Clicks sold these delightful dark chocolate truffles with amarula cream. I am not enthusiastic about chocolate, but in South Africa there was an option to enjoy amarula cream without massive amounts of alcohol.


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