While on vacation in Kenya with my sister, we stumbled upon (and later, because of) a fantastic cocktail. Simple to construct, lots of flavour and extremely refreshing. It’s called a Dawa, which is the Swahili word for “medicine.” I assure you, the name speaks to the effect rather than the taste.
While it looks and sounds an awful lot like a vodka caipirinha, the magic of the cocktail is that it uses honey rather than cane sugar. Even better for us, the bartender was using local honey from the mangrove. Being something of a self-diagnosed Honey Snob, I convinced him to let me taste the honey by itself off the back of a bar spoon. The nearest approximation is the dark rich flavour of buckwheat honey, which is what I’d recommend in this cocktail if you can get it.
3 Key limes, quartered and muddled
2 oz vodka
3/4 oz honey (more or less depending on your taste)
Quarter and smash the limes, add the honey, top with ice, add vodka, stir well, and top with ice to serve. The vodka stands way back out of the way and lets the flavour of the honey and limes take the stage.
Don’t forget your sunscreen.