Palm wine is such a fine vintage. It has served our ancestors for millennia, and some of those ancestors have become deities. Ogun, the African god of iron, and war is a case in reference.

There are plentiful of lofty appellate for palm wine. Emu, Ogoro, palmy et cetera, certainly. Palm Wine is actually the sap of certain species of the the palm tree. The sap is tapped by making expert cuts near the stalk of the leaves at the top of the palm tree. It is not further processed. It could be drunk straight up. The longer it is left lying about the stronger it becomes due to the mystery of fermentation which defies chemistry. Only a connoisseur will know this.

Some smart entrepreneurs have begun to bottle palm wine though. I don’t know if they export it yet. But nothing beats palm wine drunken from a keg, or gourd, as tradition demands.

The white frothy drink is no doubt the elixir of life. It is good for the eyes, as palm wine is a rich source of vitamin A, B1, B2 and B6. It is widely drunk for for leisure, for rituals, in happy times and other times. It is curious to note that Palm Wine could be imbibed for libidinal performance enhancement, and general energy boost. Sometimes too, the fresh wine is used in homeopathy (that is ensuring wellness)

When fermented, palm wine gets really, really heady, so heady that it induces psychedelic euphoria or ecstasy. The fermented Palm Wine is fondly referred to as “overnight” in Sapele parlance, and usually favoured only by the brave at heart.

Back in the good old days, when men were still mere boys, my school friends and I used to opt for “overnight” that was when we needed to get high and dope was scarce. We would spike a keg of palm wine with the juice of boiled indian hemp and Guinness stout and sometime Aromatic schennapps.

There are intellectuals, and sages who are of the view point that palm wine enter into the arcade of world heritage. I am of that mind too.


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