Palm wine, also known as “palm toddy” or “toddy,” is a fermented drink made from the sap collected from virtually any species of palm tree. Palm wine is well liked throughout West Africa where some 10 million people consume it nationwide. Its popularity does not end in Africa, however; it is also a common beverage in India, Sri Lanka and the Philippines, among other countries.


Things You'll Need


Climb a palm tree and locate a palm fruit.

Identify the fruit’s kernels. They reside deep inside the fruit which consists of 3 parts: a thin skin, a somewhat thicker and fibrous flesh beneath and at least one seed covered by a woody shell with kernels inside.

“Tap” the tree by making an incision between the kernels using a knife or machete and tying a gourd around the tree to collect the sap that flows out.

Descend from the tree leaving the gourd behind for 1 to 2 days.

Retrieve the gourd and transfer the wine to a clean glass or plastic bottle. The wine is ready to drink immediately.

Tips

  • Fermentation begins soon after the sap begins flowing. Within 1 to 2 hours the alcohol content may reach upwards of 4 percent. Sap that ferments for more than 1 day takes on a vinegary flavor. Some people prefer this vinegary flavor while others prefer the relatively sour, lightly-fermented flavor of a younger wine.

  • Keep the wine in a cool, dry place and out of direct sunlight. Drink it within 1 to 2 days.

  • The quality of the wine depends largely on the collection process. Palm wine makers or “tappers” tend not to wash their collection gourds between tappings. This leaves residual yeasts in the gourd that assist in fermenting the next batch of wine.