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Palm Wine in Gambia
Travel & Tourism    Travel Advice    Drinks
In Gambia it is extracted from the "palm palm" tree, by palm wine tappers, most often Bainunka men who climb the trunk using a strap made from rope or leaves called a kajandak.

They tap the tree just below the flower-stalk of the male inflorescence and attach a gourd there for a while. The juice is fast fermenting and contains glucose and sucrose.

After tapping the palm tree, stick a bottle in, and wait eight hours or so for the container to fill with wine. The alcoholic drink comes from the tree fully fermented, with a yeasty taste that can range form very sweet to fairly sour. The sweetest comes from a tree tapped for the very first timeómen often call it the drink of females due to its low alcohol content and sugary tang. It is locally known as 'Sengga' and the Jolas have a dance which represents Cassa-tappers in their daaka, brewery production.

Stronger liquor is had by trees that have been tapped many times. You can buy palm wine at a local tapping ground called "Nature", which can be found near the golf course in Fajara ó for best luck, ask a Gambian friend for directions.

Don't buy bottle-loads, because it gets stronger and sourer with time, spoiling totally within a few days. Refrigerate it if possible. If you are drinking at the beach, kept it fresh by burying the bottle in the sand.

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