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Inspired by thedailymeal.com

As anyone knows, spending the day spotting lions, elephants, leopards and rhinos can be exhausting, just like spending the day creating TPS reports, shopping or watching/teaching children. Akin to our cocktail hour, transitioning the day into evening, the “sundowner” follows a day of safari.

During the British Colonial period in Africa, cocktail ingredients were selected based on health and medicinal properties. Lemon was used to help prevent scurvy…cucumber helps reduce dehydration…and tonic water contains quinine and is believed to ward off pesky mosquitoes. I think I would have bathed in it to reduce risk of malaria.

In Kenya, safari goers head back to the lodge for an evening dawa, a drink filled with sugar, vodka, lime, crushed ice and honey. Translated dawa means medicine; the drink is meant to cure anything that ails you. I’m not sure what the vodka helps with, besides my mood, but local honey is great for allergies.

Tequila. Liquor word association with tequila does not give me images of a safari. A hangover, maybe. Research from the University of Guadalajara has determined some of the medicinal properties of tequila includes: increased good cholesterol while reducing the bad; acts as a relaxant before going to sleep; increasing cardiac functions; stimulated metabolism to aid in digestion. I should drink lots of tequila with pineapple to help with weight loss, too.

For now, I’ll start with a dawa; tasted great with leftover South of the Border Sliders and Grilled Grape Gazpacho shooters.

dawa cocktail made with vodka, lemon, honey and sugarDawa

Traditionally, this recipe calls for lime and dawa. I’m out of limes, and I’d like to prevent scurvy so I substituted with lemons. I have NO idea of where to find dawa, so local honey from my farmers market will have to do.


  • 1 lemon, sliced into 6 sections
  • 1 tbs local honey
  • 1 honey stick
  • 1 tsp cane sugar
  • 2 oz vodka
  • lots of crushed ice


  • Cut lemon sections in half to form chunks.
  • Add lemon, sugar and honey in shaker.
  • Muddle to squeeze juice out of lemon.
  • Add ice and vodka.
  • Shake.
  • Fill glass with ice.
  • Strain into glass.
  • Garnish with honey stick and lemon slice.